Warwickshire legend Dennis Amiss has spoken of his “immense pride” at becoming Club President and how he hopes to oversee many more successful years at Edgbaston.
Amiss MBE – who spent his entire 27-year career with Warwickshire and is the Club’s leading first class run scorer – was appointed President at last month’s Annual General Meeting.
Needless to say, the decision was unanimously and warmly welcomed by Members for whom few former players hold such affection.
It’s the latest milestone in what has been an incredible association with Amiss’ hometown club – he still lives just a 20-minute stroll from the ground – that started in 1953 when young Dennis first joined the pathway system aged 10.
“I first came to trial aged nine but was turned away,” recalled Amiss. “Warwickshire didn’t take on youth players until the age of 10. So my first encounter with the Club was a bit of a disappointment.
“I was back a few months later though, having turned 10, and progressed through the youth system. I was coached by some of the best coaches in cricket, including Derief Taylor, and offered a contract at 15 and made my senior debut aged 17.”
That debut – at the Oval in July 1960 – didn’t quite play out the way young Dennis would have dreamt: he didn’t get to bat as openers Horner and Ibadulla shared an unbroken partnership of 377 for the first wicket.
However, he would go on enjoy a stellar career that saw him play more than 1,000 first class and List A games combined and amass almost 56,000 runs, including 117 centuries, across both formats.
And his international record of 3,612 runs in 50 Tests ranks him among one of the greatest England batters.
Amiss retired from playing in 1987 before taking up the post of Cricket Committee Chair at Warwickshire and later Chief Executive between 1994 and 2006.
“I enjoyed the most wonderful career,” added the 79-year-old, “and count myself very lucky that I was able to play for such a fantastic Club like Warwickshire with its great support.
“I’m a one-club man. I never wanted to play anywhere else. To be associated with the Club for almost 70 years from junior, to professional cricketer, Chief Executive, Board member and now President is a huge honour.
“I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life as a Bear and hopefully I’ll oversee some success on the field, and another Championship title would be nice.”
Amiss replaces outgoing President Charles Finch-Knightley, the 12th Earl of Aylesford and formerly Rt Hon The Lord Guernsey, who had held the position since 1999.
He jokes that he’s the first “commoner” to hold the title but will still be the same old Dennis to members and supporters when he’s on presidential duties at Edgbaston.
“I’m certainly going to enjoy the next two years as President,” added Amiss. “I’m excited for the new season, we’ve got a really strong squad with some exciting players, and can’t wait for that first ball to be bowled.
“Despite my new title I’ll still be the same Dennis that’s always been around the Club. I’m delighted to play my part, welcoming people to the ground and being an ambassador for what is the best cricket club in the country.
“And hopefully the players will welcome having someone looking over them who knows a bit about the game. Though some of the younger players may not know who I am.”
Don’t worry about that Mr President. Trust us, they know.
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