Arthur Bradley Wheat

Born on 13 May 1898 at Halam near Southwell, Arthur Wheat moved as a young boy to Selston and his early cricket was for Selston Town, with whom he played for three seasons and he had five seasons with Jacksdale. He joined the Notts ground staff in 1923 and from 1924 was regular Second XI wicket-keeper. In addition he was a moderate left-hand batsman and a right-arm bowler.

His debut in first-class cricket came in June 1927 against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge, coming in for Ben Lilley who was playing in the Test Trial. The consistency of Lilley, allied to his superior batting capabilities reduced Wheat’s chances of first team cricket. He made a solitary appearance in 1928, none at all in 1929, one in 1930, but in 1931 he was chosen for five matches, when Lilley damaged a finger versus Middlesex. Against Sussex at Horsham he permitted only one bye in the Sussex total of 309 and one more in the second innings when the total was 310. Wheat was immediately awarded his cap. Lilley recovered in early July and Wheat was not seen again until 1933. This time Lilley’s lack of form caused him to be dropped in mid-June and Wheat played against Hampshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

Lilley was an ever present in 1934 and 1935 and when at last it appeared that Lilley was losing his touch in 1936, Wheat found he had another rival in Cecil Maxwell. Wheat was the regular Notts keeper in the three seasons preceding the Second World War, but again he had to make way when Maxwell was available for selection.

In 1937 he hit 52* versus Glamorgan at Cardiff adding an unbroken 87 for the ninth wicket with Bill Voce. He also made 52 versus Essex at Chelmsford in 1938 and helped Heane add 106 for the eighth wicket. His final first-class match was v Worcestershire at New Road on 30 and 31 August 1939. In 91 matches for Notts he scored 1,127 runs @13.41 with 152 catches and 22 stumpings.   

During the Second World War he umpired in various games at Trent Bridge and played for the Collieries XI, In 1947 Wheat was appointed first-team scorer to the County Club, a post he retained to his death on 20 May 1973 in Kirkby in Ashfield. In the winter he followed the occupation of a miner. He was small standing at just 5 foot 3 inches.

Wheat was a useful soccer player and part-time professional in the Central Alliance League.

April 2020.