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Mark Benson to retire from First Class Umpiring

Wednesday 20th January 2016

Men’s First Team

Former Kent and England batsman Mark Benson will step down from his role as a first class umpire after suffering a back injury which required surgery.

Mark represented Kent from 1980 to 1995 as a left-handed batsman, scoring more than 18,000 first-class runs at an average above 40 in almost 500 innings.

In limited overs cricket, he lifted the AXA Equity & Law League title in 1995 during his spell as skipper.

He attended Sutton Valence School in Maidstone before breaking into the county game with a fine reputation for facing fast bowling.

Benson, who played one test match and one ODI in 1986, became a first class umpire in 1997, before officiating an international match for the first time in 2004.

Since then he has umpired the World T20 final in 2007 and was a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.

Kent CEO Jamie Clifford said: “We would like to wish Mark all the best with his recovery and retirement. He was a fine servant of the game as both a player at Kent and England and an official.

“All the first-class umpires do an excellent job and the game owes them a great debt.”

ECB Chief Operating Officer Gordon Hollins said: “Mark will be sadly missed by everyone involved in the game.

“He has made a huge contribution to the sport as both a player and an umpire and has been involved in some crucial matches during his tenure. We wish him well with his recovery and in the future.”

Mark will be replaced on the ECB Full Umpires List by former Hampshire and Sussex fast bowler Billy Taylor. He was appointed to the Umpire Reserve list in 2011.

Everyone at Kent Cricket wishes Mark all the best with his recovery and retirement – he will always be welcome at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.


ECB Full List 2016

Rob Bailey, Neil Bainton, Paul Baldwin, Michael Burns, Nick Cook, Nigel Cowley, Jeff Evans, Russell Evans, Steve Gale, Steve Garratt, Michael Gough, Ian Gould, Peter Hartley, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Graham Lloyd, Jeremy Lloyds, Neil Mallender, David Millns, Steve O’Shaughnessy, Tim Robinson, Martin Saggers, Billy Taylor, Alex Wharf.

Join international umpire Nigel Llong and head groundsman Simon Williamson for afternoon tea next month

Click here to book your place