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Frank Mitchell (13 August 1872 in Market Weightonmarker, Yorkshiremarker, Englandmarker – 11 October 1935 in Blackheath, Londonmarker, England) was a cricketer and rugby union player.

School, University and Yorkshire

Mitchell was schooled at St Peter's School in Yorkmarker and captained the school side for two years before moving to Brightonmarker, where he took up employment as a schoolmaster for another two years. This meant that when he went up to Cambridge University, where he was admitted to Caius Collegemarker, he was older and more experienced than many of his contemporaries, and he swiftly moved into the University side, where he remained from 1894 to 1897. It was as captain of the University side in 1896 that Mitchell became mired in a little controversy when he instructed his bowler to give away runs so that Oxford University would not be required to follow-on their innings (at the time sides surrendering an 80 run deficit in the first innings were required to follow-on). Protests came from both the Pavilion and in newspapers about this. The tactic itself, however, did not help Cambridge win - they went on to lose the match by four wickets.

In 1894 Mitchell first played for Yorkshire, and in 1898-99 he was selected to tour South Africa with Lord Hawke. It was on this tour that he played two representative matches for England that later became recognized as official Test matches. His performance on that tour helped consolidate his place in the Yorkshire squad for the following season.

South Africa

Mitchell returned to South Africa in the Yorkshire Dragoons, where he fought in the Second Boer War, which saw him miss the entire 1900 English cricket season. In 1901 he was back playing for Yorkshire, making seven centuries in a season that earned him the accolade as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1902. In the 1901-02 winter, Mitchell toured America with Bernard Bosanquet's team, but left early as he had made arrangements to go to Johannesburgmarker. Whilst in Johannesburg he played cricket for the Transvaal, whom he captained to success in the Currie Cup, South Africa's domestic first-class cricket competition, in 1902-03 and 1903-04. When he returned to England in 1904 it was as captain of the South African cricket team, which makes him one of the fourteen players to have played Test cricket for more than one country. Mitchell's first-class cricket career was then at a hiatus, until he returned to captain South Africa in a disastrous campaign in the 1912 Triangular Tournament in England.

Mitchell later returned to England, playing first-class cricket only once more, for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Cambridge University in 1914.

In the First World War he returned to active duty, rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was mentioned in despatches.

Other sports

At Cambridge he also won blues at rugby and at putting the weight. He was also captained at rugby. Mitchell went on to play for Blackheath and won six caps for England at rugby between 1895 and 1896 as a forward in what was recognized as a very strong pack. He also wrote about rugby. He also kept goal for Sussex at soccer.


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