Gerard John Denton
August 07, 1975, Mount Isa, Queensland
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
The fast bowler Gerard Denton continued the theme of his career during 2007-08: consistently dangerous but often sidelined. After the first half of the Pura Cup campaign he was the competition's leading wicket-taker with 28 victims at 16.10 from five games. His 6 for 40 for Victoria against his former side Tasmania was the standout effort but ankle problems prevented him repeating the dose and he missed the second half of the season. The story had been similar the previous summer. Two Pura Cup hauls of six wickets were the highlights of that injury-interrupted season, when he again sat out half the matches due to shin splints. That campaign brought his career-best 6 for 31 against South Australia in Adelaide, when his last three wickets came within seven deliveries and Victoria won with nine balls to spare. He followed up a month later with 6 for 62 against Queensland before the injury struck. Victoria missed him in their 2007-08 Pura Cup final loss and during the off-season they discovered they would be without him permanently as he decided to return to Tasmania. Denton had also been absent in the 2005-06 decider, this time due to appendicitis, when Queensland posted 6 for 900 declared. It was a disappointing end to his best Pura Cup campaign - he topped the state's wicket list with 33 at 28.15, proving himself a worthy addition to the squad after a first year that was disrupted by a foot stress fracture.
An exciting prospect when fit, Denton hit the headlines by removing Stuart Law, Allan Border and Jimmy Maher in the space of six deliveries on debut during a brief taste of first-class action in the mid-1990s. Denton opted out of the Tasmanian domestic scene to maintain a life away from the spotlight and when he returned in 1998-99 he became a major weapon in an otherwise inconsistent attack and earned Australia A selection. Quick and capable of moving the ball both ways, Denton suffered significant setbacks in 1999-2000 and 2000-01 with back stress fractures, but recovered through a meticulously planned program. After 15 months away he reappeared for Tasmania in 2001-02 and showed he retained the qualities that had made him so fearsome at his best. After taking 30 wickets at 33.13 in 2003-04, he disappointed local supporters by flying north to Victoria, where he suffered hip and foot injuries and played only one ING Cup game in his first season. However, he made an early mark in 2005-06 by breaking one of Justin Langer's ribs, forcing him out of the Test side to face West Indies.
Cricinfo staff August 2008
Batting & Fielding