Arthur Conan Doyle.
Arthur Conan Doyle was a keen cricketer and published this tale in 1929.
Conan Doyle’s short story describes how Tom Spedugue, an asthmatic schoolmaster with a strange bowling style, rises from cricketing obscurity to prominence against England’s oldest sporting foe.
Spedegue’s dropper was a peculiar lob that fell from a great height to catch out the unwary batsman. Conan Doyle himself was on the receiving end of such a delivery:
”I have only once felt smaller, and that was when I was bowled by A.P. Lucas, by the most singular ball that I have ever received. He propelled it like a quoit into the air to a height of at least 30 feet, and it fell straight and true on to the top of the bails. I have often wondered what a good batsman would have made of that ball. To play it one would have needed to turn the blade of the bat straight up, and could hardly fail to give a chance. I tried to cut it off my stumps, with the result that I knocked down my wicket and broke my bat, while the ball fell in the midst of this general chaos. I spent the rest of the day wondering gloomily what I ought to have done—and I am wondering yet.”
Also included in this book:
> A Reminiscence of Cricket – a poem by Conan Doyle celebrating his dismissal of England’s greatest cricketer
> The Greatest of Cricketers - an obituary of W.G. Grace
> Retired Hurt - an interesting snippet recalling Conan Doyle and a cricketing injury
> Some Recollections of Cricket - Conan Doyle’s own words on his cricketing life
© Solis Press