Not many sportspersons can boast of representing a country in more than two sports at the highest level. The professionalism needed to devote time to one sport itself is a major task. One such individual who managed to do this was David Acfield, an English first-class cricketer and fencer who represented his country at the Olympics and played professionally for the Essex County Club.
Born in 1947, David Acfield completed his higher education at Cambridge. He excelled at sports during his school days and took it a notch higher in his college. It was here that he had his first professional interaction with his two sporting passions, cricket, and fencing.
At the age of 21, he represented England at 1968 Olympics where the fencing team finished 7th in the sabre event. He did manage to find success when he went on to win a Commonwealth Games Gold medal at the 1970 Commonwealth Games. The podium alluded him again at the 1972 Munich Olympics when England bowed out in the early rounds of the sabre team event again.
Post the age of 25, David began narrowing his interests towards cricket. He first represented Cambridge University for two years between 1966-1968. He picked up towards the end of the 1970s and signed professionally with Essex County Club. The right-handed batsmen and more notable right arm off-break bowler went on to play for a total of 20 years for Essex. During his entire career, he managed to rack up a total of 420 first-class appearances. He was not known for his batting prowess and this is also one of the reasons why he was not selected to represent England. However, his deadly off-break bowling was one of the reasons why Essex became a feared County Club during his time. He had four 10 wicket hauls and thirty-four 5 wicket hauls during his career. The total number of wickets he took in his first-class career was 950 and his bowling average stood at 28.21.
Post Retirement, David Acfield has served on the ECB along with other management committees. His contribution as a professional sportsperson should be cherished for all that he has managed to achieve in a relatively short span of time.