This article was sent to me forever ago by Neil. Thanks Neil, and I apologize for sucking at doing things in a timely fashion.
So, I know nothing about sports, and I know even less about sports that are not popular in my country. But this cricket player, C.B. Fry, was one cool cat.
First, allow me to take a moment and marvel at the sentences in this article that are written in my native tongue, but convey little or no information to me:
"A highly effective right-handed batsman, Fry captained both Sussex and England, and scored over 30,000 first-class runs at an average of over 50 (a particularly high figure for an era when scores were generally lower than today)."
"In his early career Fry was an enthusiastic and successful fast bowler. This was unusual amongst gentleman amateurs and he regularly opened the bowling for University sides and the Gentlemen. The late 1890's saw a re emergence of the throwing controversy. Several professional bowlers including Arthur Mold and Ernie Jones were no balled and forced to retire. Fry's bowling action was criticised by opponents and team mates alike and it was only a matter of time before he too was no balled (by Jim Phillips), despite his status as a gentleman."
HE SURE DID! That throwing controversy will get you every damn time.
On top of cricket, he played football, rugby, tied for the world long jump record, and "was able, from a stationary position on the floor, to leap backwards onto a mantelpiece." Whichever servant got stuck cleaning footprints off the mantel must have loved that particular party trick.
Outside of sport, Fry was an Oxford alum, wrote several books (a good number of which are, unsurprisingly, about cricket), was an adviser to the Indian delegation at the League of Nations (for those of you even more history illiterate than I, the League of Nations was the even more useless precursor to the UN), started two magazines, ran for some kind of crazy British political office, had a career in radio, and was a teacher at a prep school.
And, not only was he a well-rounded intellectual and accomplished athlete, but he was also... um... colorful. Fry was given to telling wild stories, like being offered the throne of Albania, went for naked runs on Brighton Beach, and tried to develop an interest for cricket in Nazi Germany. Presumably he changed his mind on the last bit after the Germans started bombing the hell out of his homeland.
Enthusiasm for the sporting culture of fascist regimes aside, a rather interesting fellow.