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Full name Cyril Mowbray Wells
Born March 21, 1871, St Pancras, London
Died August 22, 1963, St John's Wood, London (aged 92 years 154 days)
Major teams Cambridge University, Middlesex, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak, Legbreak
Education Dulwich College; Cambridge University
Cyril Wells, a former Cambridge cricket and Rugby football Blue, died on August 22, aged 92. A member of the Dulwich XI from 1886 to 1890, inclusive, he was captain in the last year and when going up to Cambridge got his Blue as a Freshman. He played three times against Oxford and though achieving little in batting, he bore a big part in victory by 266 runs in 1893 when taking seven wickets for 66 runs. In that game he was concerned in a memorable incident that in all probability led to an alteration a few years later in the law governing the follow-on.
At that time the side 80 runs behind on first innings had to follow on and in this match Oxford, in reply to a total of 182, lost nine wickets for 95 when T. S. B. Wilson and W. H. Brain became associated. Three more runs were added, taking Oxford to within 84 of the Cambridge score, when a consultation between the batsmen suggested that the Dark Blues, in order that Cambridge might bat last on a pitch likely to crumble, intended to throw away their remaining wicket. Sensing the drift of the conversation, Wells decided to frustrate the plan. He immediately bowled a no-ball wide to the boundary and followed a little later with a round-arm delivery that also reached the ring, thus destroying Oxford's chance of following on. This action led to M.C.C. increasing the deficit which meant a follow-on from 80 to 120, but when, three years later, E. B. Shine, in very similar circumstances, gave away 12 runs to prevent Oxford from following their innings, further consideration of the question became necessary. So in 1900 the Law was amended, leaving the side leading by 150 with the option of enforcing the follow-on.
Wells assisted Surrey as an amateur from 1890 to 1893 but appeared for Middlesex, the county of his birth, from 1895 to 1909. He represented Gentlemen v. Players in 1892, 1893 and 1901. A free-hitting batsman, he also bowled right-arm slow-medium with a deceptive delivery. He generally bowled off-breaks, but sometimes employed the leg-break and took many wickets with a ball which went straight through.
Wells played for Cambridge in the University Rugby matches of 1891 and 1892, first as full-back and then as half-back, and was half-back for England in six matches between 1893 and 1897. He also appeared for the Harlequins and Middlesex.
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