Almost each one of us has read Sherlock Holmes at some point in time. But have you wondered how Sherlock got his name, here I give a short note on how Sherlock got his name and connection between the authors of Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes, Winnie the Pooh?

Arthur Conan Doyle, very few people know Conan Doyle played first-class cricket too, during one such instance while playing for MCC he took seven Cambridgeshire wicket,1899 at Lords. The documents suggest that the former Nottinghamshire player Shacklock inspired Doyle with the name of his famous character Sherlock Holmes(an amalgam of Mordecai Sherwin and Frank Shacklock ). He penned down one of the funniest cricket stories “The Story of Spedegue’s Dropper.”(original title The Story of Pedegue’s Dropper).Tom Spedegue was an asthmatic schoolmaster and an avid cricket fan suffering from a weak heart. Sprague develops an underhand delivery to counter the Aussies, he eventually led England to a famous victory against their oldest rival. 

Sir Arthur’s other contribution to cricket was the depiction of a French officer during a prisoner of war in his classic book “Brigadier Gerard stories”.

He did it a-purpose! He did it a-purpose!

Doyle gave a vivid description of the game in the 38th volume of Strand Magazine. In his own words”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 thirty 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.”

He also wrote a 19-verse poem after dismissing the legendary player W.G.Grace, his only first-class victim. On 25th August 1900, he took the prized wicket of W.G. Grace when the doctor skied/mistimed one of Doyle’s delivery only to be caught by wicketkeeper during a match against London County at Crystal Palace.

Strand Magazine 1927

Doyle and Peter Pan writer JM Barrie played for the same team Allahakbarries C.C.(African word for ‘Heaven Help Us’)founded by Barrie. The club would play against the various villages in the Home Counties. The other celebrated author to play for the club was Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, P. G. Wodehouse, G. K. Chesterton, Jerome K. Jerome, A. A. Milne, E. W. Hornung, A. E. W. Mason, Walter Raleigh, E. V. Lucas, Maurice Hewlett, Owen Seaman, Bernard Partridge, Augustine Birrell, Paul Du Chaillu, Henry Herbert La Thangue, George Cecil Ives, and George Llewelyn Davies.

The Authors XI featured P.G. Wodehouse (back row, third from left) and Arthur Conan Doyle (sixth from left)

Wisden wrote in Doyle’s obituary that “while never a famous cricketer, he could hit hard and bowl slows with puzzling flight. For MCC v Cambridgeshire at Lord’s, in 1899, he took seven wickets for 61 runs, and on the same ground two years later carried out his bat for 32 against Leicestershire, who had Woodcock, Geeson, and King to bowl for them.”

By Staff

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