Essex and Kent cricket clubs to slug it out for Mike Denness Challenge Shield

Echo: Opening the innings - Mike Denness (right) steps out on to the Essex pitch with Graham Gooch against Surrey in August 1979 Opening the innings - Mike Denness (right) steps out on to the Essex pitch with Graham Gooch against Surrey in August 1979

ESSEX County Cricket Club and Kent Cricket will be playing for silverware when the derby rivals play each other in future.

The clubs have announced they will play for the Mike Denness Challenge Shield in all future matches between the two counties.

The shield is named in honour of Mike Denness who played for Essex, Kent and England, and captained both counties.

“Mike became a key member of the Essex squad during his time here and is still remembered for his achievements and the huge impact he had on our cricket, just as he had at Kent,” said Essex chief executive Derek Bowden.

“He was an outstanding cricketer and we are very pleased to be supporting the creation of the Mike Denness Challenge Shield in his memory.”

The Mike Denness Challenge Shield will be contested in all matches, across all formats played between the counties during the season.

Two points will be attributed to County Championship wins, one point each for limited overs match victories, with the county with the most points at the end of the season having the honour of their name on the Shield.

The clubs will have a chance to grab early bragging rights over the next few days, with their County Championship clash at Canterbury starting on Saturday before they face each other in the T20 Blast at the same venue on Wednesday.

Denness was born in Bellshill, Scotland, in December 1940 and died in London in April 2013, aged 72.

He played for Kent between 1962 and 1976 before moving north of the Thames to play at Chelmsford from 1977 and 1980.

Denness made his England Test debut against New Zealand in August 1969 and finished his international career against Australia in July 1975.

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