One of the most successful batsmen in English County Cricket ( and not so unsuccessful in test cricket too) was Johnny Tyldsley. He scored 4 test hundreds and 86 first-class hundreds in a career spanning 28 years from 1895 to 1923 was an apostle of humility. Sir Neville Cardus has written a touching tale of his modesty, which I am quoting verbatim below.
“The man is by nature as discreet and modest as few geniuses ever are, and that modesty and discretion, as one tried to show, came out even in his most flashing play. Once, in the days when cricketers were asked by a London newspaper to write reports, Tyldesley was the historian of the Lancashire XI. And he wrote his accounts very much in this style: ‘Yesterday we had the good luck to get Worcestershire out cheaply, thanks to some good bowling by Mr Brearley and Dean. When we went in the wicket was faster, and Mr. Maclaren and Mr. Spooner, batting finely, gave us a good start. Sharp did well too, and Mr. Poidevin had the misfortune to play on after a promising beginning. I also managed to get a few.’ And turning to the scores you would read:
A. C. Maclaren, b Wilson 41
R. H. Spooner, c Arnold, b Wilson 31
Tyldesley, not out 200
L. O. S. Poidevin, b Arnold 16
Sharp, b Burrows 20
Extras : 10
Total (for 4 wickets) 318″
I thought I should share this one, in the era of cricketers who are full of themselves, and do not care about the old virtue of humility. ?