July 28, 2013

England cricket

The inspiration behind Reginald Jeeves

PG Wodehouse was a noted cricket aficionado and one of his most famous creations, Reginald Jeeves, the gentleman's gentleman, owes his name to a Warwickshire all-rounder whose life could give one of the author's novels a run for its money. Simon Briggs in the Telegraph explores the life of Percy Jeeves, who was tipped to play for England by former Test captain Sir Pelham Warner.

Having failed to impress the talent-spotters at Yorkshire CCC, Jeeves struck lucky when Rowland Ryder, the Warwickshire secretary, happened to stay a night in the village. In a very Wodehousian twist, Ryder went on to mistime a shaving stroke with his cut-throat razor, causing himself a painful injury. "The doctor, having dealt with the cut, prescribed a visit to the afternoon's cricket match," wrote Ryder's son, also called Rowland, in his book Cricket Calling. "And here my father saw a young cricketer whose effortless grace as a bowler told something of his potential."

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