Skip to main content
Michael Henry Denness

Michael Henry Denness

BatRight-handBowlRight-arm off break/ medium
Born-National Team Eligibility-
Years of Service1962-1976DebutKent 1962, Essex 1977, MCC 1966, Scotland 1959, England 1969.
Local Club-Shirt Sponsor-

Other Teams

Scotland, Essex, AER Gilligan's XI, International XI, DH Robins' XI, Duke of Norfolk's XI, International Wanderers, MCC and England.

Player Biography

Few contemporary batsmen were more stylish than Mike Denness at his peak, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Tallish and slim, well-balanced, immaculately dressed on and off the field, possessed of a fine array of strokes and an excellent cover fieldsman to boot, Denness looked a model cricketer in every way. It was his misfortune that when those qualities won him the England captaincy, after Ray Illingworth’s dismissal, he lacked the support of one of the players on whom he was most dependent. Geoff Boycott, who made no secret of how acutely he coveted the captaincy himself, played only the first six of Denness’s 19 Tests as captain, which fatally holed England’s prospects against Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in Australia in 1974-75. Deposed when Australia won the first Test of 1975 at Edgbaston, Denness took his medicine with typical graciousness. He later became an ICC match referee but, at Port Elizabeth in 2001-02, his decision to sanction six Indian players, including Sachin Tendulkar, caused such a furore that the Indian and South African boards barred Denness from officiating in the next match, at Centurion. The ICC responded by withdrawing Test status from the game.