Born on 16 July 1952 in Lenton Abbey, Nottingham, Peter John Hacker was a left-arm pace bowler who batted right-handed. He did not take up cricket seriously until the age of 17 and initially played his club cricket as a batsman, only taking up bowling when a team-mate was injured. Performances for Plessey Cricket Club earned him a county trial and Hacker was taken onto the Notts staff, making his First-Class and List-A debuts in July 1974.
For several seasons, he was a regular in the Second Eleven and played for Retford in the Bassetlaw League. In 1977, Hacker appeared more regularly for the senior side, with 15 First-Class and seven List-A starts but it was not until 1980 that he was able to win a regular place in the First Eleven, when he reduced his run-up and his pace to concentrate more on accuracy and movement.
Hacker started in 17 First-Class matches in 1980 and took 52 wickets, helping Nottinghamshire to a third-place finish in the County Championship, the best since winning the title in 1929. He added 26 wickets in 14 List-A starts and his overall performances saw him awarded his County Cap.
In a remarkable seven days from late June 1980, Hacker produced some of the best bowling of his career. On Sunday 29 June, he returned figures of 6-16 from 7.3 overs in the John Player League against Essex at Chelmsford. This was the first time a Notts bowler had taken six wickets in a limited overs match and is an analysis that has only since been bettered three times in List-A cricket for Notts. On the following Wednesday, he took 4-30 against the then minor county Durham in the 60-over Gillette Cup and on the Saturday in the Championship, his figures were 5-46 in a Championship match against Gloucestershire at Bristol. In just three days of cricket, he had taken 15 wickets and posted his best figures in three competitions. Later that year, he produced an even better return in the County Championship of 6-35 as Hacker, Hadlee and Rice dismissed Hampshire for 100.
He was part of Nottinghamshire’s Championship winning squad of 1981, taking 17 wickets in his six starts in the Championship, but opportunities were limited as Hadlee, Rice and Cooper were the leading seamers. With Mike Hendrick signed in the closed season, Hacker was released and joined Derbyshire for 1982.
In eight seasons with Nottinghamshire, Peter Hacker played 61 First-Class matches, taking 126 wickets plus a further 40 wickets in 38 List-A starts. With the bat, he was always a tail-ender, amassing just over 400 runs for the County.
Hacker spent one season with Derbyshire, where he played in eight First-Class and six List-A matches. This was his last year in First-Class cricket. In 1984, he joined Cheshire and helped the County to the runners-up spot in the Minor Counties Championship. He later joined Lincolnshire, playing his final match in 1994.
Now a Director at E-Sports UK, Peter Hacker is still an important figure at Trent Bridge. He has been a member of the Club’s General Committee since first being elected in 2004 and is a Director of the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board, the governing body for all recreational cricket in the county.
Read Peter's own reminiscences about his time at Trent Bridge here: https://www.trentbridge.co.uk/logincms/harticles/add/1097
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 471