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Russell Bencraft
Personal information
Full nameHenry William Russell Bencraft
Born(1858-03-04)4 March 1858
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Died25 December 1943(1943-12-25) (aged 85)
Compton, Hampshire, England
BowlingRight-arm fast
RelationsErnest Read (nephew)
Domestic team information
1881–1885Marylebone Cricket Club
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 46
Runs scored 932
Batting average 15.53
100s/50s –/2
Top score 62*
Balls bowled 363
Wickets 5
Bowling average 39.40
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 2/15
Catches/stumpings 32/–
Source: Cricinfo, 24 August 2009

Sir Henry William Russell Bencraft CBE MRCS, LRCP (4 March 1858 – 25 December 1943) was an English first-class cricketer, cricket administrator and medical practitioner. He was born at Southampton, Hampshire.

Early life

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Hampshire County Cricket Club

When Bencraft was 21, Hampshire were threatened with extinction. He became club secretary, and during a period of sixty years he occupied every office at Hampshire, including that of President, which he held until when retiring from close participation in the game in 1936. In the 1895 County Championship he succeeded Sir Francis Lacey as Hampshire captain.

At the age of 37 Bencraft retired from first-class cricket due to his commitments as a medical doctor.

Bencraft was also President of Southampton St. Mary's F.C. and his connections helped them secure the use of the County Ground, at an annual rental of £200, when the Antelope Ground was sold for re-development in 1896.[1]

Later life

Educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, Bencraft became a qualified cricket ball examiner, ending his first-class career to pursue this occupation. Bencraft later served on the Marylebone Cricket Club Committee and was also actively involved in several local companies, including as the chairman of directors for the Southern Daily Echo. As well as business interests, Bencraft was actively involved in other sports besides cricket. Bencraft played for the Trojans Rugby Club, then one of the best Rugby clubs in Hampshire. A keen footballer, Bencraft was the first President of the Southern Football League, and held similar positions with the Hampshire Rugby Union and the Southampton Civil Service Sports Association.

In 1924, Bencraft was knighted at Buckingham Palace. During the Second World War, Bencraft's house was destroyed in a German air raid.

The cricketer Ernest Read was his nephew. Six months after having his left leg amputated, Bencraft died at Compton and Shawford, near Winchester, aged 85.[2]


  1. ^ Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. p. 216. ISBN 0-907969-22-4.
  2. ^ "Sir Russell Bencraft". Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 June 2019.