Create an account to contribute to this site!
Allahakbarries was an amateur cricket team founded by author J. M. Barrie, and was active from 1890 to 1913. The team was named in the mistaken belief that Allah akbar meant Heaven help us in Arabic (rather than God is great). Notable figures to have featured for the side included Arthur Conan Doyle, Jerome K. Jerome, A. A. Milne, Walter Raleigh, A. E. W. Mason, E. V. Lucas, Maurice Hewlett, E. W. Hornung, P. G. Wodehouse, Owen Seaman, Bernard Partridge, Augustine Birrell, Paul du Chaillu, and George Llewelyn Davies, as well as Alfred Tennyson's son Charles. (G. K. Chesterton and H. G. Wells were invited, but didn't play.)
Barrie wrote a 40 page book on his team, Allahakbarries C.C. (Cricket Club), which was published privately in 1890 and in a revised version in 1899. It was reprinted in 1950 with a forward by Donald Bradman. These rare books are now highly sought by collectors.
Barrie's enthusiasm for the game eclipsed his talent for it, and he treated it as a source of amusement. Asked to describe his bowling, he replied that after delivering the ball he would go and sit on the turf at mid-off and wait for it to reach the other end which 'it sometimes did'. The team played for the love of the game, rather than the results it achieved, and Barrie was generous in his praise for his team mates and opposition alike. He praised one team mate's performance by observing that 'You scored a good single in the first innings but were not so successful in the second' while he lauded the oppositions effort by pointing out how 'You ran up a fine total of 14, and very nearly won'. He instructed Bernard Partridge, an illustrator from Punch magazine who was afflicted with a lazy eye, to 'Keep your eye on square leg' while bowling and told square-leg, 'when Partridge is bowling, keep your eye on him.' He forbade his team to practise on an opponents ground before a match because 'this can only give them confidence'. The book notes that his most calamitous performance was being cleaned bowled by the American actress Mary Anderson in the 1897 "test" against the village of Broadway, in the Midlands.
- Wikipedia: Allahakbarries