Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/255

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
233
CAPTAINCY.

public to see that the match is played in such a way as the public has a reasonable right to expect. Play should begin punctually at the advertised hour; the luncheon interval, and the interval between the innings, should not exceed the orthodox length of time; and stumps should not be drawn or the match abandoned before the time arranged, unless circumstances make it absolutely necessary.

In all matches the results of which are regarded as important by a large number of people, the captains, as responsible for the conduct of the matches, ought to see that every effort is made to bring the games to a right and proper conclusion. For instance, in a county match it might easily happen that by stretching a point an eleven which had no chance of being champion county might give a much-needed victory to an eleven which had an excellent chance of being top. Before stretching this point, a captain ought to consider very carefully how far he is under an obligation to the other counties interested not to give away a match that could be saved, even though his own sportsmanlike instincts impel him to allow a side which has outplayed his to have an actual instead of a merely moral victory.

A school captain is concerned not only with the conduct of a particular match, as an ordinary club captain is, but with the cricket welfare of the whole school. He has to see that cricket is played properly, and with a view to the production of good cricketers, not only in the upper but in the lower games. He should know exactly what is going on everywhere; and as he cannot possibly be continually on a round of visits, he should be very careful to delegate authority to fit persons. He receives the traditions of the school as a trust for a year, or perhaps two, and his duty is to hand them on brighter than before, or at least unsullied.

A university captain has a similar trust, and is under like obligations to regard himself not only as the captain for the year, but as responsible in certain ways to the past and future members of the university club. He also has the very important duty of selecting the eleven to represent the university in their great match; whereas in most cases a captain is aided by a selection committee, who share with him the responsibility of choosing between rival candidates for places. An ordinary club captain may or may not have various responsibilities, but they are usually confined to winning matches as they come. In country-house cricket a captain's chief duty is to let every one have a bowl and make the match a social success.