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How to write poetically about sport

The challenge of writing about sport is that you have to adapt its language, which has become increasingly technical, jargony and numbers-driven

An image of CB Fry, taken form an 1896 book called Famous Cricketers (Wikimedia Commons)

Inspector Morse thought that the saddest lines in the English language were Thomas Hardy’s “Not a line of her writing have I, Not a thread of her hair…”—about the death of his pretty cousin Tryphena Sparks. But these come pretty close, from Betjeman’s “Cheltenham”:

And we were seventy-six for seven

And they had CB Fry.

Fry, of course, was the great turn-of-the-century cricketer, once described as the “handsomest man in England”; he was…

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