Born On This Day: 20th January

A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers

Keith Wheatley was born in Guildford in 1946. He was an off-break bowler and useful batsman who played at Lord Wandsworth College, and in his first match for Hampshire’s 2nd XI in September 1962, age 16.

He played regularly for the 2nd XI from 1963, and in July 1965 made his first-class debut in a week at Bournemouth. He played quite regularly in 1966 when the authorities introduced a limit in a number of matches of 65 overs in each first innings. The consequence for Wheatley was that while playing in 10 of the 12 restricted matches, he batted just five times and never bowled in a first innings.

Some games had ludicrous conclusions – for example, Hampshire dismissed Glamorgan for 167, had their innings closed at 191-5, yet lost by 45 runs (Wheatley 3-30). He played in 20 matches in 1967, scoring his first two (of six) half-centuries and while there were fewer matches in 1968, he took 4-1 v Glamorgan at Southampton. This was one of six occasions, when he took four wickets in an innings, but never five, while his highest score of 79* came in 1969 v Kent at Maidstone.

He played in ten limited-overs matches, seven in 1970, but never bowled, and at the end of that season he left the club. Many years later, he succeeded Mike Barnard, in organising the annual reunion of Hampshire’s players.

Also: William Baldock (1877-1883); Cecil Bodington (1901-1902); Charles Brutton (1921-1930), Rev Albert Porter (1895)


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