Douglas Ward Carr
March 17, 1872, Cranbrook, Kent
March 23, 1950, Salcombe Hill, Sidmouth, Devon, (aged 78y 6d)
Right hand bat
Sutton Valence; Brasenose College, Oxford
Douglas Carr's brief career was one of cricket's more remarkable stories. He played as a right-arm medium-pace bowler at Oxford - a football-related knee injury meant he didn't make any first-class appearances - and thereafter meandered his way through very average club cricket around Maidstone. In 1908 he decided to experiment with the fairly new googly, and the following May he made such an impact in club games that Kent offered him a trial - he was by then 37. He took 5 for 65 against his old University on debut, and followed with eight wickets for Players against Gentlemen. His success brought him an England call-up, and in the final Test at The Oval against Australia he took 7 for 282. He took 60 wickets the following season as Kent won the title, and his career ended with the outbreak of the war in 1914.
Named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in 1910, he said: ""I was always a legbreak bowler of sorts, but often used to bowl medium-fast stuff. I started trying to acquire the 'googly' about four years ago, and practised hard all that winter and the following spring, only to find that directly I had got the offspin I lost the old legbreak entirely - in fact for that season I hardly made the ball turn at all either way. In the following year I got a bit better, and in August 1908 I really got the thing going, and met with some success in club cricket. I am quite certain of one thing, and that is that in a very short time everybody will be quite able to distinguish between the two breaks."
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