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|Full name||Henry William Russell Bencraft|
4 March 1858|
Southampton, Hampshire, England
|Died||25 December 1943
Compton, Hampshire, England
|Bowling style||Right-arm fast|
|Relations||Ernest Read (nephew)|
|Domestic team information|
|1881–1885||Marylebone Cricket Club|
|Source: Cricinfo, 24 August 2009|
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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.
Educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, Bencraft became a qualified cricket ball examiner, ending his first-class career to pursue this career. 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.