Nicholas Felix (seventh from right)
with the 1847 All-England Eleven
|Full name||Nicholas Wanostrocht|
5 October 1804|
Camberwell, London, England
|Died||3 September 1876
Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England
|Bowling style||Slow left arm orthodox (underarm)|
|Domestic team information|
|1834 – 1852||Kent|
|1846 – 1852||Surrey|
|1830||Marylebone Cricket Club|
|Source: CricketArchive, 3 September 1876|
He is one of the few players who - at his request - was routinely known by his nickname, which was in effect a pseudonym. When his father died in 1824 he had inherited the running of his school, aged only nineteen, and he was afraid that the parents of pupils might think that cricket was too frivolous a pastime for a schoolmaster.
He was a specialist left-handed batsman, though he did occasionally bowl underarm slow left-arm orthodox. Felix was a mainstay of the great Kent team of the mid-19th century alongside such players as Alfred Mynn, Fuller Pilch, William Hillyer and Ned Wenman. In the words of the famous elegy, best loved of Bernard Darwin,
- And with five such mighty cricketers 'twas but natural to win
- As Felix, Wenman, Hillyer, Fuller Pilch and Alfred Mynn.
In his overall first-class career, Felix played in 149 matches and had 264 innings including 13 not out. He scored 4,556 runs at 18.15 with a highest score of 113. He made 2 centuries, 15 fifties and took 112 catches. It should be remembered when studying his batting average that he played at a time when prevailing conditions greatly favoured bowlers. Felix was rated very highly by his contemporaries.
He was the author of a famous instruction book: Felix on the Bat, Baily Bros, 1845. He also invented the Catapulta (a bowling machine) as well as India-rubber batting gloves. A man of many talents, he was also a classical scholar, musician, linguist, inventor, writer and artist.
- Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 by Arthur Haygarth (SBnnn)
- Barclay's World of Cricket - 2nd Edition, 1980, Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-00-216349-7, p10.