Cult Cricketers – CB Fry

5 Apr

 

What can you possibly not say about Fry. I don’t know if he is related to the chocolate Quakers? Stephen says they are related but that may be a joke.

In an era where sportsmen seem devoid of character, where they create their own media lives, possibly commentate or coach, Fry was something else. Herculean perhaps, Olympian certainly.
He wrote a novel, published a magazine, played in the FA cup final , captained the national cricket side, played football for England, scored a blistering 144 against Australia. He held the world long jump record for 21 years, held a first class classics degree, ran in three UK elections, met Hitler, stood in for India at the league of nations, ran a youth training ship and considered becoming the King of Albania. In short he was busy. Shane Warne he was not.

As a cricketer he scored over 30,000 runs for Oxford Uni,England, Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey. He averaged over 50 with the bat. Not bad for a player who said he only had one stroke…but that it went to 10 different places. Fry developed a more conservative batting style, one that didn’t involve going forward to everything. In 1901 he hit 6 centuries in consecutive innings over a fortnight, a record he shares with Bradman. Fry could also bowl and took a hat-trick at Lords… twice.

His life story seems almost cartoonish, yet is often overlooked. He put down his cigar to take his world record long jump. Unwittingly he ended WG Graces test career. Sadly he suffered from a variety of mental health issues all of which were probably overlooked in the times he lived. In 1923 he came within a whisker of being elected MP for Banbury. There have been few more accomplished sportsmen and few with such well-rounded lives. he got everywhere and should be seen as more than a novelty. Often noted as an amateur it is his love of what he did that has been remembered.

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