CURIOSITIES OF CRICKET.
Punch, June 26, 1907
[From the report of the Yorkshire v. Sussex match:—“Denton was out in a curious manner, hitting the top of the middle stump and bringing it forward to a sharp angle without disturbing the other two, in so strange a manner that Fry had the wicket photographed—doubtless for a forthcoming number of his magazine.”]
From The Sporting Man of the day after to-morrow:—While stealing a short run in the Middlesex v. Surrey match last week, Mr. P. F. Warner was so unfortunate as to lose his balance, and fall. Before the game was restarted, Mr. Warner dictated an article for The Westminster Gazette on “Hard v. Soft Wickets: why I prefer the latter.” The time thus occupied undoubtedly went far towards enabling Middlesex to draw the game.
An interesting ceremony delayed the progress of the second day’s cricket between Leicester and Warwick. Coming in ninth wicket Sir A. Hazelrigg, playing a fine, forcing game, speedily hit up three before falling a victim to an insidious long-hop from Hargreave. A magnificent display of fireworks and an impromptu country dance were given to celebrate the popular skipper’s triumph. This is one of the Leicester Captain’s highest scores in first-class cricket. Possibly the faster ground suits him. Yet even on a slow pitch, versus Lancashire, he made two in excellent style before he was run out.
Old-fashioned sportsmen are complaining that it was unnecessary for the match between Northants and Notts to be interrupted for a protracted period while the Northants team were photographed singly and collectively in characteristic attitudes. For ourselves we yield to none in our respect for the rigour of the game; but it must be remembered that this was the second time in one month that Northants had reached double figures in a single innings, and we think that latitude may be allowed to the natural excitement consequent on the success of the plucky little county.
Playing for Bampstead Wanderers v. Army and Navy Stores “A” at Acton last Saturday, B. W. Bulger, who heads the Wanderers’ averages this year with 8.03, remarked to the umpire who gave him out l.b.w., “I think your decision quite just. The ball pitched on the off-stump, and would have taken the middle but for my leg being in the way. If all umpires had your honesty and judgment, cricket would be a different game.” At the umpire’s request the match was stopped while Mr. Bulger repeated his remark into a gramophone. Batsman and official then shook hands, and after three ringing cheers had been given by the fieldsmen Mr. Bulger retired to the scoring-bench.
In the Chickenham v. Pigbury annual match on the latter’s ground, Farmer Jenkins, umpiring for the former team, twice gave Sam Giles, the Pigbury crack, not out, on appeals for “caught at the wicket” and “run out.” It was only after the hat had been sent round and its contents and an illuminated address presented to Mr. Jenkins by the spectators and the rest of the home team that the match could be resumed.
Unsigned article as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 132 of Punch.
David Denton (1874–1950) played for Yorkshire from 1894 and for England from 1905.
C. B. Fry (1872–1956), multi-talented British athlete, author, publisher, politician, diplomat, and more.
P. F. Warner (1873–1963), a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1904 and 1921. The P. stood for Pelham and he was popularly known as “Plum Warner.”
Sir A. Hazelrigg (properly spelled Sir Arthur Hazlerigg (1878–1949), a baronet at this time, later 1st Baron Hazlerigg) was chosen in 1907 as captain of the Leicestershire county team more for his social status than his cricket experience, according to Wray Vamplew in Pay Up and Play the Game.
Sam Hargreave (1875–1929), slow left-arm bowler for Warwickshire [1899–1909]
Northants and Notts: Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire respectively
The Bampstead Wanderers is a spoof on the name of the Hampstead Wanderers, a rugby football club established in 1895. The name B. W. Bulger comes up several times in an internet search, but as these results found are apparently all Americans and mostly of recent years, I assume the present instance is a coinage by Wodehouse, to be taken as fictional.
The cricket matches between Chickenham and Pigbury are described in narrative verse in three poems published in Pearson’s magazine in the UK in 1906–07: “The Old Cricketer’s Story”, “Joe”, and “The Traitor”.