Charles Cumberland

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Captain Charles Cumberland (21 May 1764 – 12 May 1835) was an English cricketer of the late 18th century. He was an outstanding bowler, his style being right arm fast underarm; and he was arguably the best amateur bowler of the underarm era. In a contemporary report of a match in 1787 (recorded in WDC), it says that "the excellence of Mr Cumberland's bowling is well known".

His career in major cricket spanned the 1787 to 1804 seasons. His first appearance in a major match was probably the first match at Lord's Cricket Ground when it opened in May 1787. Cumberland played for the White Conduit Club and was almost certainly in the team against Middlesex that is the earliest known match at Lord's.

Cumberland had mixed fortunes a month later when he definitely did play for White Conduit Club in another game against Middlesex. FL18 records that "Cumberland's bowling was much commended but he was badly injured when attempting to leap over a rail (to take a catch?) and is now very lame at his house in Tunbridge Wells".

Cumberland's rank of captain is believed to have been army and it is presumed he fought in the Napoleonic Wars, probably after 1804 when his major cricket career ended as the war escalated.


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