Full name Charles King Francis
Born February 3, 1851, Ramsden Hall, Upminster, Essex
Died October 28, 1925, Crichel, Dorset (aged 74 years 267 days)
Major teams Middlesex, Oxford University
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast (roundarm)
Education Rugby; Oxford University
Relation Brother - AS Francis
|First-class span||1870 - 1879|
Though his active days in first-class cricket dated back half a century, Charles King Francis retained to the end a keen interest in the game and was constantly at Lord's. Old cricketers will remember him as one of the best amateur fast bowlers of his day. It cannot be said, however, that he lived up to his early reputation. The work that made him famous was done before he was 20. At Rugby, when Pauncefote and Yardley had raised the school's cricket presige to the highest point, he was in the XI from 1867 to 1869. He wound up with a performance that has perhaps never been surpassed in a public school match, taking in 1869 17 wickets against Marlborough at Lord's--all ten (nine of them bowled) in the second innings.
On the strength of this astonishing form he went up to Oxford with a great flourish of trumpets. In his first year he fulfilled all expectations, taking 12 wickets in the University match - the sensational match that Frank Cobden's hat-trick won for Cambridge by two runs - and being chosen for the Gentlemen. He was in the Oxford XI for three more years but, against Cambridge, though he had one effective little spell in 1873, he never reproduced is form of 1870 or anything like it. Very possibly he was overbowled at school, but on this point I cannot speak with any certainty. He went to Canada in 1872 with R. A. Fitzgerald's famous team played for Middlesex from 1875 to 1877, appearing, however, in few matches after the first year. Called to the Bar in 1876 he was a Metropolitan Police Magistrate from 1896 till the end of his life.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Also: the fastest Indian to 50 wickets, and Yasir Shah's unwanted "double-hundred"