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“Was the wicket-gate closed?” [HOUN] 

A few seasons ago on the Trifles podcast, we produced a 12-part series on games and sport in the Sherlock Holmes stories. We've added to it since, but one sport did not enter that discussion: cricket.

Since cricket barely warranted a mention in the Canon, you might think such an oversight is understandable. The reality is we've created many more bricks with little straw on other related topics (golf, for example).

There are two explicit instances of cricket being mentioned, and one tangential one. 
1) Do you remember who was "a fine scholar and athlete; plays in the Rugby team and the cricket team for the college" and in which story this occurred? 

2) And in which story do we learn of "a blue cricket-cap, with a white chevron on the peak," and whose was it? 

And now an oblique reference — one that doesn't name the sport itself, but rather equipment used in playing cricket.

3) In one story, we hear of Watson admitting "it seemed rather a piquant thing to us to chevy him about the playground and hit him over the shins with a wicket." Who was the victim? Which story?

For some reason or another, we always imagined Watson and Watson alone whacking the poor child with a cricket bat; but read that again — he says "wicket." This takes things to another level. 

In cricket, a wicket is a set of three stumps (vertical sticks) and two bails (smaller sticks placed atop the stumps). So it's essentially five sticks: two small and three large. Are we to believe that Watson grouped all of these (or at least the three stumps) in his hands and hit his victim with them?

More likely, there were three assailants, each with his own stump, surrounding and attacking the poor boy in question. Wicked is as wicket does.

Join us as Baker Street Elementary takes a field trip today...

1) Mr. Gilchrist in "The Three Students"
2) The hat belonged to Lord Saltire in "The Priory School."
3) Percy "Tadpole" Phelps in "The Naval Treaty"

Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.