Iconic Photos

The creator of Peter Pan, Sir James M. Barrie, was an enthusiastic cricketer and assembled the most extraordinary amateur cricket team ever to have taken the field. Some of the Edwardian England’s most famous authors including Arthur Conan Doyle, A. A. Milne, P. G. Wodehouse, and Jerome K. Jerome, regularly turned out for Barrie’s team from 1890 until 1913, when the team was brought to an end by the First World War.

The team was named Allahakbarries in the mistaken belief that ‘Allah akbar’ meant ‘Heaven help us’ in Arabic (rather than ‘God is great’). Team selection criteria was based more on celebrity status than talent, although in Conan Doyle, both converged. Barrie had to explain rules of the game including which side of the bat to wave at the ball to wooly author Augustine Birrell (later First Secretary for Ireland during the Easter Rising), en route to his first…

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