ICC mourns Mike Denness` death

Dubai: The International Cricket Council on Saturday paid tribute to former England captain and ex-ICC match referee Mike Denness, who passed away at the age of 72.

"We are sad to hear the news of Mike`s passing and our thoughts go out to the members of his family and friends," said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.

"Mike was a fine cricketer, a successful administrator at the Kent County Cricket Club and a vital member of our panel of match referees in the mid-90s.

"Mike will always be remembered as an outstanding servant of our sport," he added.

Denness represented England in 28 Tests, 19 as captain, and scored 1,667 runs at an average of just under 40. He also played in 12 One-Day Internationals and captained England in the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup in 1975 in England.

His role as an ICC match referee saw him officiate in 14 Tests and 35 ODIs between 1996 and 2002. In recognition to his all-round services to cricket, he was awarded an OBE earlier this year.

Denness is also remembered for his controversial decision to penalise six Indian players during the 2001/2002 tour of South Africa. This prompted the Indian and South African boards to ban Denness from officiating in the next match.

The ICC subsequently withdrew Test status from the game.