Thursday 5 June 2014 

Michael Mence 1944-2014


Warwickshire cricket followers will be saddened to hear of the death on May 15th 2014 of their former player, Michael Mence at Newport on the Isle of Wight.

Born in Newbury, Berkshire on April 13th 1944, Michael was educated at Bradfield School and after a very successful schoolboy career, he made his debut for Berkshire in the Minor Counties  Championship in 1961 against Devon, going on to play in all ten Championship matches for the county.

A left-handed batsman and a right arm medium bowler, he was selected in 1962 for the Public Schools XI at Lords, he took 8 for 34 against the Combined Services leading to the following quote in Wisden.

E.M. Wellings said, "For a schoolboy he was an all-rounder quite out of the ordinary, as were his school figures – 846 runs, average 70.5, and 84 wickets, average 10.62, both being records for the School. Of his three centuries one was hit before lunch."

He immediately joined Warwickshire from school, and making his first-class debut in the 1962 season against a County Championship match at Lord’s.

From 1962 to 1965, he represented Warwickshire in 31 first-class matches, the last of which came against Lancashire. In his 31 first-class matches played for the county, he scored 467 runs at an average of 13.34, making his highest Warwickshire score of 53 against Lancashire at Coventry Courtaulds in 1964, Whilst bowling, he took 61 wickets at an average of 32.50, with best figures of 5 for 26 against Derbyshire at Derby in 1964.

He also played in one List A match for the county against Northamptonshire in the 1963 Gillette Cup.

When not representing Warwickshire, he played in the Birmingham League for Smethwick

In 1966, he appeared for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Surrey at Lord's, having joined Gloucestershire. He made his first-class debut for the county against Hampshire. In 1966 and 1967, he represented the county in 22 first-class matches, the last of which came against Middlesex.

 In his 22 first-class matches for the county, he scored 482 runs at an average of 17.21, making his career-high score of 78 against Sussex at Hove in 1967.  He also took 25 wickets at an average of 42.68, with best figures of 4 for 27. He resigned from the county staff after the 1968 season, bringing an end to his first-class career. In his 54 first-class matches he scored 949 runs at an average of 15.06, with four half centuries and a highest score of 78. With the ball he had taken 86 wickets at an average of 35.46, with two five wickets in an innings returns and best figures of 5 for 26.

In 1968, he re-joined Berkshire, where between 1968 and 1982, he represented the county in 49 matches, the last of which came against Oxfordshire in 1982.

 He also represented Berkshire in List-A cricket during this period. His debut List-A match for the county came against Hertfordshire in the 1976 Gillette Cup, with his second and final List-A appearance for the county coming against Durham in the 1979 Gillette Cup. Michael captained Berkshire from 1976 to 1978.

Michael also represented Minor Counties South in six List-A matches in the Benson and Hedges Cup from 1973 to 1975.

His father Joe, who died three days before Michael, also played Minor counties cricket for Berkshire, including playing alongside his son in the 1961 season. He also played a single List-A match for Berkshire, as well as captaining the county from 1954 to 1955.

After retiring from the game, Michael ran the Red Lion Inn at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight

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