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ECB lead tributes to former England captain Mike Denness

Mike Denness: Won six trophies with Kent and a further two at Essex

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have paid a glowing tribute to former England captain Mike Denness following his death at the age of 72.

The Kent and Essex legend, who passed away after a battle with cancer, was renowned as a classy batsman who formed a formidable opening partnership with Brian Luckhurst during his highly-successful career.

Denness led Kent to six domestic titles and also remains the only Scotsman to captain England, leading the side in 19 of his 28 Test appearances.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "Mike was a man who gave so much to our game in so many different ways as a player, captain, match referee and administrator.

"I had the honour of working with Mike in my first role in cricket administration at Essex and Mike was a wonderful source of advice and knowledge. He will be sorely missed by all - especially by everyone at Kent.

"All at ECB were delighted to see him receive national recognition for his service to cricket in the recent New Year's Honours list and we send our condolences to his partner Doreen, immediate family and all his many friends within the First Class game."

Tributes have also been paid by Essex, where Denness scored over 4,000 runs and featured in two trophy-winning teams in the final three years of his playing career.

Essex chief executive Derek Bowden said: "Mike Denness was clearly a cricket legend at Essex, our thoughts will be with his family and friends at this sad time.

Club president Doug Insole added: "Mike Denness came to Essex at a time when what was needed to turn a team of many talents into a team of match-winners, was just that - a match winner.

"His influence was immediately felt and as we had dared to hope, success followed quickly.

"He was of course, a very good and determined player and he was also an extremely likeable man, much respected throughout the game. His contributions both on and off the field for Essex were invaluable, and a deep sense of loss will be felt by all friends he made in the County."

Kent batsman Robert Key said on Twitter: "Very sad that Mike Denness has passed away. His is a legacy at Kent that so far has not and may never be surpassed. A lovely man."