Born 25 December 1862 in Keyworth, Arthur Pike was a right-hand bat and wicket-keeper. He made his debut Notts in a non-First-Class match versus Warwickshire at Edgbaston in May 1894; the following week he made his First-Class debut v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge. In total, he played in 18 first-class matches in 1894, amassing 39 dismissals including four stumpings. Wisden for 1895 commented:

“It is not easy to understand why the Notts Committee should have thought fit to dispense entirely with Sherwin but in Pike they were fortunate in finding quite an adequate successor to the veteran wicket-keeper. Pike played in the Colts match on Easter Monday and both behind the stumps and as a batsman made a very favourable impression, but the authorities seemed for some reason or other reluctant to give him a full opportunity and the season was well advanced before his position as wicket-keeper to the XI could be regarded as secure. In many matches he kept wicket extremely well and at the Oval on the August Bank Holiday his display against Surrey was brilliant.”

Having such high praise for his 1894 performances, Pike’s future in county cricket seemed assured, but after five games in 1895 he damaged a finger so badly that he missed the rest of the season. During 1896 and 1897 he played in almost every Notts match, but in 1898 only appeared six times, thereafter Tom Oates was preferred. Pike’s last first-class appearance for Notts followed a season later v Surrey at the Oval in August 1899. In 65 first-class games for Notts he scored 1,127 runs @14.26 with 99 catches and 28 stumpings. He hit three half-centuries with his highest score being 66 versus Middlesex at Trent Bridge in 1896. In May 1901 he made a First-Class appearance for the MCC v Kent at Lord’s, scoring 1 and 0 with 3 catches and 2 stumpings. Arthur Pike became a first-class umpire officiating in 85 first-class matches between 1901 and 1905.

Starting off at Keyworth CC, he later joined Nottingham Commercial CC and Notts Manufacturing CC in the 1880s. He was engaged by Leyland CC in Lancashire for four seasons.  From 1895 to 1906 he was on the Lord’s groundstaff. In the summer of 1906 Pike was taken seriously ill and on 5 September a benefit match was played for him at Trent Bridge between AO Jones’ XI and George Robey’s XI. George Robey was an English comedian, singer and actor who was a member of MCC and arranged charity matches. Arthur Pike died 15 November 1907 in Keyworth aged 44 years. After his death, Keyworth CC arranged a benefit match for his widow which raised £18.5s.3d.

In his early days he was fine footballer starting off at Keyworth FC, and then appearing as full-back and centre half for Nottingham Forest FC between 1887 and 1890; playing three FA Cup games between 1887 and 1889 and one game in the old Football Alliance in 1889/90, at home to Sheffield Wednesday. An injury to his right knee forced him to retire from the game.

June 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 230

See Arthur Pike's career stats here