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Middlesex great Bennett dies

Middlesex great Bennett dies

The Middlesex flag will fly at half mast in place of the MCC flag from the Lord's Clock Tower on Friday 13 June in honour of Don Bennett, who passed away yesterday aged 80.

Bennett made his first-class debut for Middlesex in 1950, as a sixteen-year-old, and went on to play 392 first-class matches for the county until his retirement in 1968. 

He scored 1,000 runs in a season on two occasions, and of his four centuries Bennett's 117 not out, against Yorkshire in 1964, was his highest score. 

He also took 784 wickets in first-class cricket, including five wickets in an innings on 24 occasions, and he once took ten wickets in a match.  His 7 for 47 for Middlesex against Sussex at Hove in 1956 were his best bowling figures in first-class cricket.

In 1968, he became Middlesex’s first-team coach, continuing in that position until 1997. 

Also in 1968 he was elected to membership of MCC, for whom he had played ten matches, mainly first-class, between 1954 and 1958. 

In those matches, his highest score for the Club was 84, against Oxford University in 1955, and his best bowling figures were 5 for 42 against Yorkshire in 1957.

Bennett was also a member of the MCC touring team to North America in 1967, which played 25 matches between July and September.  He had an outstanding tour with the bat, scoring six fifties and twice going on to record unbeaten hundreds. 

He also returned good bowling figures on a tour which helped to celebrate the Canadian Centennial Year.

Bennett was also a noted footballer, who was on Arsenal’s books between 1951 and 1958, after which he moved to Coventry City whom he represented in 73 matches.

Don Bennett was President of Middlesex County Cricket Club in 2007, and a member of a number of the county’s committees for many years.  He will be remembered with much affection by everyone at Lord’s, and indeed more widely.

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