Friday, July 18, 2008

Boy's Own

Years ago I read a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called 'Spedegue's Dropper'.

Time clouds the memory, and I can't recall every detail, but it basically told the story of a young club cricketer who perfected a bowling technique which involved launching the ball over 50 feet in the air so that its trajectory meant it landed on top of the stumps.

He was discovered perfecting the technique by the chairman of selectors in a clearing in the middle of the New Forest.

To cut a short story even shorter, he was drafted from total obscurity, having never played any first class cricket, into the England squad for the final test against Australia. He then took fifteen wickets, and promptly retired from the game on medical advice because of a congenital heart defect which meant too much excitement of the kind generated by beating Australia in a test match would kill him.

For some reason, I was reminded of this story at about 11 o'clock this morning...

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