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Leo Bennett
Personal information
Full name Alfred Charles Leopold Bennett
Born 31 December 1914(1914-12-31)
West Norwood, London, England
Died 24 September 1971 (aged 56)
Thames Ditton, Surrey, England
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Role Middle order batsman
Domestic team information
Years Team
1947-1949 Northamptonshire
First-class debut 4 June 1947
Northamptonshire v South Africans
Last First-class 19 July 1949 Northamptonshire v Essex
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 16
Runs scored 586
Batting average 20.20
100s/50s –/3
Top score 68
Balls bowled
Wickets
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 8/–
Source: CricketArchive, 6 September 2008

Major Alfred Charles Leopold (Leo) Bennett, MBE born at West Norwood in London on December 31, 1914, and died at Thames Ditton, Surrey, on September 24, 1971, was a first-class cricketer who played for Northamptonshire for three seasons after the Second World War.

Bennett was a right-handed middle-order batsman who played for Surrey's second eleven in 1937, and might have played more for Surrey but for an unintended mistake at the start of the 1946 season. According to a published history of the county club, Surrey, casting around for an amateur captain to lead the side in the hastily-arranged first season of first-class cricket after the war, alighted on the name "Major Bennett". The intention appears to have been to offer the job to Leo Bennett, but instead, another club cricketer, Major Nigel Harvie Bennett, who had also played a few second eleven matches pre-war, was asked and he accepted the job.[1][2]

Most of Leo Bennett's cricket was at club level, where he was a prominent player over many seasons and a frequent player and captain in the minor warm-up matches for the Club Cricket Conference against touring sides; he was also the captain for the BBC cricket team. During the Second World War, however, Bennett played alongside some bigger cricketing names in matches for, among others, the British Empire XI, although these games were not first-class.[3][2]

In 1947 and the following two seasons, he turned out in a total of 16 first-class matches for Northamptonshire, making useful runs in his first and last seasons.[4] His best match came against Nottinghamshire at Northampton in August 1947, when he scored 56 in the first innings and 68 in the second, his two highest first-class scores. Northamptonshire still lost the match by a large margin.[5]

His obituary in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack credits him with a book on club cricket, and he appears to have moved in exalted cricketing circles in his latter life.[6] As late as 1962 and 1963, he was captaining Lord's Taverners teams in less-than-serious matches at Lord's: players who turned out under his captaincy included Keith Miller, David Sheppard and Norman Wisdom.[7]

References

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