Born 2 January 1904 in Worksop, Heane was a good left hand bat and a useful right-arm medium-pace bowler.

Educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Retford, he was in the school XI for five seasons, being captain in 1921, his final year.

His early club cricket was for Worksop, but from 1926 he was associated with Sir Julien Cahn's XI. He played once for Nottinghamshire Second XI in 1924, six times in 1925 and 1926, but without great success, then in 1927 he took 21 wickets and hit 149 runs.

This form with the 2nd team saw him make his First-Class debut for Nottinghamshire v New Zealand in July 1927. In 1928 he continued to do well for the Seconds and appeared twice in the county side; in the second game, versus Middlesex in August, he captained the side in Arthur Carr's absence.

In 1929 and 1930 he was seen neither in the Nottinghamshire First nor Second XI, his cricket being confined to games with Sir Julien Cahn's XI; in the winter of 1929/30 he toured the Argentine with Cahn's XI.

In 1932 he visited Denmark with the same side and in 1933 toured North America. In these years he made a solitary appearance for Nottinghamshire, coming into the side versus Gloucestershire in 1931 when both Staples and Voce were injured. In the second innings he bowled very well, taking 4 for 71.

On 21 December 1934, when he was working as a veterinary surgeon in Louth, Heane was informed that he had been selected as joint captain of Nottinghamshire for 1935 with Stuart Rhodes. This followed the furore over Bill Voce's non-appearance against the touring Australians and the subsequent removal of Arthur Carr as skipper. Although the timing of the announcement was a surprise to Heane, he had in fact been spoken of as Carr's successor for some seasons.

Heane's career in county cricket therefore began in 1935 and his all-round ability soon was in evidence. In the second game against Sussex he took the valuable wickets of Langridge, Melville and Holmes at a cost of 33 runs; in the following game he hit his first hundred with the aid of some excellent cover drives, though he batted as low as No 8. It was more as a batsmen that he made his mark in the first year; perhaps like many captains he found it difficult to judge when he should bowl himself.

In 1936 Heane took over sole command. The county made the running in the championship until mid-season, being top of the table in July, but the loss of two vital matches in August - versus Essex and Gloucestershire - deprived them of the title. Heane's main contribution was his captaincy and fielding, as his batting and bowling produced moderate results.

With both Larwood and Voce injured in 1937 the Nottinghamshire attack was a very modest affair. Heane bowled over 400 overs (doubling the number of 1936) but his wickets were expensive. He struggled with the bat so he came in for some criticism, but the team's results were really beyond his control.

In the winter of 1938/39 he made his final tour with Sir Julien Cahn's XI - to New Zealand - playing in one First-Class game.

1939 was Heane's best year with the bat and he was chosen to represent the Gentlemen v Players at Lord's; his innings of 25 was described as the best in the Gentlemen's second attempt. His bowling for Nottinghamshire was very infrequent and not until August did he have much effect on the opposition; he took seven wickets against Hampshire and six in the next game against Derbyshire, these 13 accounting for more than half his season's total. His captaincy again came in for adverse comment, especially in relationship to his own lack of bowling.

During the war, Heane played fairly often for Nottinghamshire and with the resumption for the Championship in 1946 he was re-appointed captain. He was not particularly successful and his main contribution was really as a fielder, since his batting average of 26.79 depended very much on his two hundreds. His bowling proved expensive.

In the spring of 1947 the Notts Committee decided to relieve him of the captaincy and his career in First-Class cricket was virtually at an end. In 1947 he began to play for Lincolnshire but in 1951, when Nottinghamshire were very weakened through injury, he re-appeared briefly for his native county.

His final First-Class game was against Derbyshire at Trent Bridge in August 1951. In the period from 1936 to 1946 he had played for Nottinghamshire in every single match, making 145 consecutive appearances for the county.

For Sir Julien Cahn's XI he hit 6,746 runs (with six hundreds) and took 425 wickets.

Apart from cricket he was a useful soccer player and represented Nottinghamshire. In his later years he was a farmer at Spilsby in Lincolnshire and died at Skendleby on 24 October 1969.

His brother E S Heane was a noted club cricketer who also played for Cahn's XI and for Nottinghamshire in wartime games, but never in First-Class matches.

November 2023

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 337

See George Heane's career stats here