Dennis Amiss, born 7 April 1943 in Harborne, Birmingham, went to Warwickshire, aged 15, and was coached by the likes of Tiger Smith, Tom Dollery and Derief Taylor.

A right-handed batsman for Warwickshire (1960-87), Dennis was capped in 1965, had a benefit in 1975 and a testimonial in 1985. He scored the all-time most runs (35,146) and most centuries (78) for his county. Twenty times he scored 1,000 runs in a season, and he scored at least one century against every other first-class county. Unsurprisingly - he is a member of Warwickshire's elite Hall of Fame. Dennis played 658 first-class matches, amassing 43,423 runs (12th all time highest) at 42.86 with 102 centuries (only 25 players have made 100 centuries) and 212 fifties.

In August 1966, aged 23, Dennis scored a maiden first-class hundred against the West Indies. He was picked against them in the fifth Test and made 17. In 1968, he bagged a pair against Australia in the first Test at Old Trafford. In his first 12 Test matches (1966-1972) he seemed unable to translate his talent and ability from the county stage to the Test one scoring just 348 runs in 19 completed innings at 18.32. Then, despite being ill, Dennis scored his first Test ton (112) in his 13th Test match vs Pakistan at Lahore in March 1973. In his next 20 Test matches (1972-1974) Dennis scored 2,140 runs, with 8 centuries in 30 completed innings, at 71.33! In February 1974, he played a great, match-saving Test innings vs West Indies at Sabina Park. Facing a first innings deficit of 230, Dennis began the last day on 123* and finished it on 262* out of England's total of 432/9. At the end of that innings Tony Greig remarked that Amiss looked like a sack of spuds - hence his nickname Sacker!

1972 was a pivotal year for Dennis. In and out of a very powerful Warwickshire batting line up Dennis considered leaving the county. Luckily his gamble of opening alongside John Jameson paid off. He scored 151* vs Middx, 156* vs Worcs, 192 vs Lancs (in a 3hr second wicket stand of 318, with Rohan Kanhai) and a match-winning, blistering 121* vs Kent. Warwickshire won the County Championship with Dennis topping his county’s batting averages with 1,129 runs at 66.41.

In the calendar year 1974, Dennis scored 1,379 runs in 13 Tests at 68.95!! He had 22 innings with 2 not outs and 5 centuries. This record stood until 2002 when Michael Vaughan scored 1,481 (at 61.70) in 14 Tests and 26 innings. In 50 Tests, Dennis scored 3,612 runs (11 hundreds, 8 exceeding 150 and 11 fifties at 46.30, top score 262*). Dennis also made the first-ever ODI hundred on debut vs Australia in 1972 (103 in 134 balls). In 18 ODIs he scored 859 runs, at 47.72, with a top score of 137.

Dennis was made a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1975 alongside Mike Denness, Norman Gifford, Tony Greig and Andy Roberts. He was awarded an M.B.E. in 1987, became C.E.O. of Warwickshire from 1994 (when Warwickshire did the treble) to 2006 and served as ECB Deputy Chairman for two terms of office.

Ken Burney

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