Benkenstein declares on 40

Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein    Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein Picture: Neil Marshall
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CRICKET: Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein has officially announced his retirement from playing all forms of cricket.

The 40-year-old, who enjoyed a hugely-successful career out in the middle spanning 21 years, made 23 ODI appearances for South-Africa.

The all-rounder plied his trade for Natal in South African domestic cricket and made his debut in English county cricket for Durham in April 2005.

Benkenstein was quickly made Durham captain ahead of the 2006 season, before leading the club to Friends Provident Trophy glory and a maiden County Championship title in consecutive seasons.

Scoring over 9,000 first-class runs for Durham, he is currently the club’s all-time highest runs-scorer.

‘I would like to thank my father for all the hours he spent teaching and coaching the game with me when I was younger and the many inspirational coaches that helped me mould my game – Graham Ford, Phil Russell, Geoff Cook, Bob Woolmer and my school coach at Michaelhouse, Andy Cook,’ said Benkenstein, who led Hampshire to the division two title last month.

‘I am fortunate to be with Hampshire and I am looking forward to the challenges that the first division will throw at us next year.

‘It’s been an amazing 21 years and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life.’

As well as Championship division two glory, Benkenstein helped Hampshire to a record fifth consecutive T20 Finals Day in his first season.