DateLine: 20th March 2006
Arguably Northamptonshire's finest batsman along with Allan Lamb, Yorkshire-born Dennis Brookes, who died on March 9th, 2006 at the age of 90, had a long and fruitful career with the County.
At the time of his death he was the second-oldest England Test player after Norman Mitchell-Innes (b September 7, 1914), who played one Test in 1935.
He was a fine driver of the ball and was perhaps unlucky to be at his best when openers Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Jack Robertson and Reg Simpson were chosen for England.
Brookes represented England in only one Test match at Bridgetown, Barbados on the West Indies tour in 1947-48, but he chipped a finger bone in the opening match of the series and was never selected for England again.
He scored 10 and 7 and held a catch in the drawn match against an emerging West Indian side that toured England two years later with much success.
With so many injuries on the tour England were later forced to call for Len Hutton to bolster the batting line-up.
He played for Northants from 1934-59, captaining them from 1954.
In 1959 he captained the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's and he was one of the few batsmen to achieve the rare feat of scoring a century against all the other counties.
In all first-class cricket he scored 30, 874 runs with a highest of 257 and at an average of 36.10, with 71 centuries. In addition he took three wickets with his medium-pacers.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 Peter Martin)
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