Peter Watts played county cricket for a decade but only spent his final season, 1967, with Nottinghamshire. The bulk of his career was spent with Northamptonshire, where he was joined by his younger brother Jim, who stayed with the county and became a successful captain in the 1970s.

Peter David Watts was born in Henlow, Bedfordshire on 31 March 1938 and educated at Bedford School; his first senior cricket was played in the Minor Counties for Beds in 1955 and at the end of his First-Class days he returned to that league and played for Shropshire.

An all-rounder who batted left-hand but bowled right-arm leg breaks and googlies, Watts was also a fine fielder, with 174 career catches.  In the early 1960s, Northants were well served by spin bowlers, and leg spin was somewhat out of fashion, thus Watts was more often played as a useful batsman who could chip in with a few overs than as an attacking spinner. His best bowling performance for the County came against Hampshire at Bournemouth in 1962, 6-63 and 7-77 for a match haul of 13-140, joining forces with brother Jim, who scored 145, to earn Keith Andrew’s side victory.

His form dipped as his bowling was used less often and, after nine seasons with Northants, he made the move to Trent Bridge in 1967 but both his batting and his bowling were less successful. He left Notts after a single season and did not play First-Class or limited-overs cricket again.  For Nottinghamshire he took 30 First-Class wickets 48.86 with a best return of 4-39 and made 436 runs in the 23 matches that he played for the first team.  His best score in 1967 was 50no, his only half-century that season, he averaged 16.76 but did contribute in the field, with 21 catches. 

There were far fewer List-A opportunities in that era and Watts played in only two Gillette Cup games whilst with Notts, having one significant innings of 40no against his old county of Northamptonshire.

In all First-Class cricket he scored 4,567 runs at 21.04 and a highest score of 91; he took 307 wickets at 32.90, once taking ten wickets in a match and with 12 ‘five-fers’.

Peter Watts is thought to be currently living in Huntingdonshire.


June 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 447

See Peter Watts's career stats here