List of Kent County Cricket Club captains

Robert Key was appointed captain in 2006.

This is a list of Kent County Cricket Club captains. Kent County Cricket Club was formed in 1842 and has played in the County Championship since its inception in 1890 and in List A cricket and Twenty20 cricket. The first match in which Kent have a named captain indicated on scorecards available occurred on 26–27 June 1856 when the county played MCC at Gravesend.[1] South Norton captained the county on that occasion and throughout the period until 1870. The first official captain of the club was Lord Harris, an influential figure in the development of Kent and English cricket, who was appointed to the role in 1875.[2][A] As of 2018 the current club captain is batsman Sam Billings who was appointed in January 2018, replacing Sam Northeast.[3]

In total 33 men have been officially appointed as the captain of the club. Colin Cowdrey captained the side a total of 250 times in first-class cricket and held the position for 15 years, the most of any player since the establishment of the County Championship.[2] At times there have been multiple captains during a season or joint captains appointed. William Patterson, for example, captained the side five times during the 1891 and 1892 seasons towards the end of each season, the only times he was able to play regularly for the county during those seasons. For the majority of both seasons the official club captain was Frank Marchant. Similarly, Ian Akers-Douglas was the club captain for five games in the 1936 season. Akers-Douglas only captained Kent for seven matches in total, the fewest of any of the official club captains.[4]

Other players have captained the county in matches without being appointed the club captain. Peter Richardson has done so the most times in first-class matches, captaining Kent in 45 games, including 21 games in the 1963 season in place of official club captain Colin Cowdrey.[5] In 2015 Sam Northeast captained the side on a number of occasions, including in all one-day matches, despite the club captain being Rob Key. Northeast captained the side after the beginning of the season even when Key was playing and succeeded him at the end of the season.[6][7]

Kent won their first County Championship title in 1906, under the captaincy of Cloudesley Marsham, and have won the title on a further six occasions, including one shared title in 1977. Sides captained by Ted Dillon won the Championship three times in the period immediately before World War I. Mike Denness captained Kent to six one-day titles in the early 1970s.


Below is a list of club captains appointed by Kent County Cricket Club or players who have been the sole known captain when no other has been appointed. Captains are listed in order of appointment.

Name First Last Notes
William South Norton 1856 1870 No captain is recorded in a match for Kent before 1856 or between the end of the 1870 season and the start of the 1875 season. Norton played for Kent between 1849 and 1870 and was honorary secretary of the county club formed at Maidstone in 1859 until the merger of the two Kent clubs in 1870.[2][8]
Lord Harris 1875 1889 Harris went on to be an influential administrator of both Kent and MCC.[2] He was appointed captain in 1875 and held the role for 15 years, having been on the committee at the club since 1870. Resigned the captaincy after the 1889 season to take up an appointment as Governor of Bombay, a post he held until 1895.[9] Played his final match for Kent in 1911 aged 60.
Frank Marchant with William Patterson at times 1890 1897 Marchant was captain for eight seasons between 1890 and 1897.[10] William Patterson, a solicitor, was often unavailable to play in the first half of the season and was "elected captain" in the second part of four seasons.[11] He captained most frequently in the 1891 and 1892 seasons in which he was captain five times in each August.[12]
Jack Mason 1898 1902 Resigned the captaincy after five seasons due to his time commitments as a solicitor.[13] Temporarily captained the side in the last month of the 1909 County Championship winning season when Ted Dillon "stopped playing for business reasons".[14]
Cuthbert Burnup 1903 Made 102 consecutive County Championship appearances for Kent between 1899 and the end of his captaincy in 1903.[15]
C. H. B. Marsham 1904 1908 County Championship winners 1906. Became an England Test selector in 1908.[16]
Ted Dillon 1909 1913 County Championship winners 1909, 1910 and 1913.[14]
Lionel Troughton 1914 1923 Became Kent's General Manager after 1923.[17]
Stanley Cornwallis 1924 1926 A fast bowler who bowled only 560 overs during his three seasons as captain, mainly due to injury.[18]
John Evans 1927 Played his only full season whilst captain.[19]
Geoffrey Legge 1928 1930 Died in 1940 in a flying accident whilst serving in the Fleet Air Arm.[20]
Percy Chapman and Bryan Valentine 1931 1935 Chapman had captained England between 1926 and 1931 before becoming Kent captain.[21] He played less regularly from 1936 onwards and the captaincy was shared at various times, with Valentine generally captaining in his absence, although Chapman retained the official club captaincy until the end of the 1936 season and other players were nominated as "deputy captains" in his place.[4][22]
Percy Chapman, Ian Akers-Douglas and Bryan Valentine 1936 Akers-Douglass captained the side five times in 1936.[23]
Ronnie Bryan and Bryan Valentine 1937 Bryan was limited to playing for Kent when not working but was granted a three-month leave of absence in 1937 when he shared the captaincy with Valentine.[24]
Gerry Chalk 1938 1939 Killed in action in World War II. Scored over 1,000 runs in both his seasons as captain.[25]
Bryan Valentine 1946 1948 Had previously been joint captain between 1931 and 1937 and had been injured in World War II.[22]
David Clark 1949 1951 Later became an administrator of Kent, MCC and the ICC.[26]
William Murray-Wood 1952 1953 Only an occasional player before being appointed as captain in October 1951, having captained the side in the last five matches of the 1951 season. Replaced, against his will, as captain during Canterbury Cricket Week in August 1953 by Doug Wright.[27][28]
Doug Wright 1953 1956 First professional captain.[2] Until this point every captain of the county had been an amateur. Wright replaced William Murray-Wood in August 1953 as captain and was appointed formally after amateur Tony Pawson, the Kent Committee's preferred choice, declined the position.[27][28]
Colin Cowdrey 1957 1971 County Championship winners 1970 and Gillette Cup winners 1967. Longest span as county captain, captaining the county in 250 first-class games over 15 seasons.[2][29] Captained England 27 times between 1959 and 1969 and was the first man to play 100 Test matches.[29] His son, Chris Cowdrey captained the county between 1985 and 1990 and another son, Graham Cowdrey, and grandson Fabian Cowdrey have both played for the county.[30]
Mike Denness 1972 1976 Had stood in as captain when Colin Cowdrey was on England duty[31] and took over full-time at the start of the 1972 season. Won six one-day trophies as captain before being replaced as captain and leaving the county at the end of the 1976 season.[32] Denness captained England 19 times and later was chairman and president of Kent.[33]
Asif Iqbal 1977 First overseas player to captain Kent.[34] Joint County Championship winners 1977,[35] Asif also captained the Pakistan side.[34]
Alan Ealham 1978 1980 County Championship winners 1978. Ealham was appointed shortly before the start of the 1978 season amid controversy over the role of Asif and other senior players in the establishment of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket competition.[36][37][38][39]
Asif Iqbal 1981 1982 Previously captain in 1977.[39]
Chris Tavaré 1983 1984 England Test batsman who later captained Somerset.[40]
Chris Cowdrey 1985 1990 Son of Colin Cowdrey, Kent captain from 1957 to 1971. Captained England on one occasion in 1988.[41]
Mark Benson 1991 1996 Benson was injured in 1996 and did not play, retiring in mid-season. He had been appointed captain at the start of the season although Steve Marsh captain the side throughout the season.[4][42] Later became an umpire, standing in Test matches.[43]
Steve Marsh 1996 1998 Captained the county to the 1995 National League title when Mark Benson was injured in the latter half of the season.[44] Took over as club captain at the end of the 1996 season following Benson's retirement.[4][42]
Matthew Fleming 1999 2002 Replaced Marsh at the end of the 1998 season, having previously captained the British Army cricket team.[45][46] Was the Chairman of the Professional Cricketers Association from 1998 to 2001 and later became the MCC Chairman of Cricket in 2013 and President in 2016.[47][48]
David Fulton 2003 2005 Matthew Fleming retained the club captaincy in 2002 with Fulton captaining the side in the County Championship before being appointed sole captain in October 2002.[4][49][50] Matthew Walker acted as official List A captain for the second half of 2005 after Fulton lost his place in the one-day side.[51] Fulton stepped down after Kent failed to win the 2005 County Championship.[51]
Robert Key 2006 2012 Won the Twenty20 Cup in 2007 and the Second Division County Championship title in 2009.[52][53] Key resigned the captaincy at the end of the 2012 season.[53]
James Tredwell 2013 Resigned after one season to focus on his role within the England team, having missed several matches during 2013 whilst on England duty.[54]
Robert Key 2014 2015 Previously captain 2006 to 2012.[55] Sam Northeast acted as County Championship captain for much of 2015 and was the one-day captain throughout the year.[6][4]
Sam Northeast 2016 2017 Appointed in September 2016 after captaining the team on the field for most of the 2016 season.[6] Reappointed for the 2017 season in September 2016[56] and replaced by the county in January 2018 after declining the offer of a contract extension which would have kept him at Kent beyond the end of the 2018 season.[3] Northeast left Kent to join Hampshire in February 2018, having been given permission to speak to other counties.[57][58][59]
Sam Billings 2018 Present Appointed in January 2018.[3] Joe Denly captained the team at the beginning of the 2018 season whilst Billings was playing for England cricket team and in the 2018 Indian Premier League.[60] Both Billings and Denly are playing in the 2019 IPL and Heino Kuhn captained the team for the start of the 2019 season.[61]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ A list produced by Kent County Cricket Club in October 2014 has a slightly different set of dates, including Harris as captain from 1871. This contradicts the club history, scorecards and other sources


  1. ^ Scorecard - Kent v Marylebone Cricket Club in 1856, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kent County Cricket Club Timeline, Kent County Cricket Club. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  3. ^ a b c Sam Billings: England limited-overs player replaces Sam Northeast as Kent captain, BBC Sport, 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Reid J (ed) (2016) "Captains of Kent" in 2016 Kent County Cricket Club Annual, p.232. Canterbury: Kent County Cricket Club.
  5. ^ PE Richardson as captain in first-class matches where team is Kent, Player Oracle search results, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  6. ^ a b c Sam Northeast: Kent appoint batsman as club captain, BBC sport website, 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  7. ^ Sam Northeast rising to the challenge of being Kent captain after Rob Key decided to take a short break, Kent Online, 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  8. ^ Other deaths in 1916 - Mr William South Norton, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1917. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  9. ^ Lord Harris - Obituary Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1933. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  10. ^ Obituaries in 1946 - Marchant, Mr Francis, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1947. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  11. ^ Obituary - William Patterson, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1947. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  12. ^ WH Patterson as captain in first-class matches where team is Kent, Player Oracle search result, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  13. ^ Obituaries in 1958 - Mason, Mr John Richard, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1959. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  14. ^ a b Edward Dillon - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1942. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  15. ^ Geraint Jones reaches impressive County Championship milestone, Kent County Cricket Club, 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  16. ^ Lewis P (2013) For Kent and Country, pp.253–256. Brighton: Reveille Press.
  17. ^ Obituaries in 1933 - Troughton, Lieut.-Colonel Lional Holmes Wood, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1934. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  18. ^ Obituaries in 1982 - Cornwallis, The Right Hon. Wykeham Stanley, 2nd Baron, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1983. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  19. ^ Lewis P (2014) For Kent and Country, pp.165–169. Brighton: Reveille Press.
  20. ^ Legge, Lieut Geoffrey Bevington, Obituaries during the war, 1940, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1941. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  21. ^ Percy Chapman - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1962. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  22. ^ a b Bryan Valentine - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1984. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  23. ^ Obituaries in 1952 Akers-Douglass, Captain Ian Stanley, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1953. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  24. ^ Obituaries in 1970 - Bryan, Ronald Thurston, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1971. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  25. ^ Frederick Chalk - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1945. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  26. ^ Obituaries in 2013 - Clark, David Graham, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 2014. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  27. ^ a b Ruygrok P (2017) 'Bill Murray-Wood: the sacked captain' in Kent County Cricket Club Annual 2017, pp.233–236. Canterbury: Kent County Cricket Club.
  28. ^ a b Obituaries in 1968 - Murray-Wood, William, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1969. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  29. ^ a b Colin Cowdrey - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 2001. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  30. ^ Mavor A (2013) The next Cowdrey off the rank, CricInfo, 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  31. ^ Mike Denness - Cricketer of the Year 1975, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1976. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  32. ^ Pennell M (2013) Gracious captain; Kent legend, CricInfo, 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  33. ^ Mike Denness - Obituary, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 2014. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  34. ^ a b Kent’s Pakistan connections, Kent County Cricket Club, 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  35. ^ Moore D (1978) '1978 - Joint champions' in Moss S (ed) (2006) Wisden Anthology 1978-2006: Cricket's Age of Revolution pp.1414. (Available online).
  36. ^ Alan Ealham - CricInfo profile, CricInfo. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  37. ^ Where are they now? Kent – B&H winners and Sunday League champions 1973, The Cricket Paper, 2015-07-21. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  38. ^ Moore D (1979) '1978 - Outright champions' in Moss S (ed) (2006) op. cit. pp.1415. (Available online).
  39. ^ a b Moore D (1981) '1980 - A team in decline' in Moss S (ed) (2006) op. cit. pp.1417. (Available online).
  40. ^ Where are they now? Chris Tavaré, The Guardian, 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  41. ^ Chris Cowdrey on mend after heart attack, BBC Sport, 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  42. ^ a b Ellis C, Pennell M (2010) Trophies and Tribulations, pp.186–187. London: Greenwich Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9564081-0-5.
  43. ^ Hopps D (2016) Mark Benson - the umpire who made history - calls time on career, CricInfo, 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  44. ^ Former Kent Captain Steve Marsh joins PCA Management Ltd, CricInfo, 2001-01-16. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  45. ^ Fleming receives Kent call, CricInfo, 1998-10-28. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  46. ^ County game loses Jazz, BBC Sport, 2002-09-20. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  47. ^ Matthew Fleming to be next MCC President, Lord's, 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  48. ^ Matthew Fleming named as new MCC president, CricInfo, 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  49. ^ Fleming and Fulton to share Kent captaincy in 2002, CricInfo, 2001-12-14. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  50. ^ David Fulton to lead Kent in 2003, CricInfo, 2002-10-25. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  51. ^ a b Fulton steps down as Kent skipper, BBC Sport, 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  52. ^ Key reappointed as Kent captain, CricInfo, 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  53. ^ a b Kent: James Tredwell replaces Rob Key as Kent captain, BBC Sport, 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  54. ^ Rob Key returns to role as Kent Captain as James Tredwell steps down to focus on England career while Sam Northeast is new vice-captain, Kent Online, 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  55. ^ Rob Key re-appointed captain for 2015 season, Kent County Cricket Club, 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  56. ^ Hoad A (2016) Kent Cricket confirm Sam Northeast will continue as captain in 2017, Kent Online, 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  57. ^ Tennant I (2018) Sam Northeast signs for Hampshire, CricInfo, 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  58. ^ Sam Northeast: Hampshire sign Kent batsman on a four-year contract, BBC Sport, 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  59. ^ Fordham J (2018) Sam Northeast signs for Hampshire on four-year contract, Kent Online, 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  60. ^ Fordham J Joe Denly speaks about his unbeaten hundred against Pakistan, Kent Online, 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  61. ^ Baynes V (2019) Heino Kuhn to stand in as Kent captain in absence of Sam Billings and Joe Denly, CricInfo, 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-03-24.

External linksEdit