Philip Wilkinson joined Notts in 1971 alongside another seam bowling recruit, Bill Taylor. In that same season, four batsmen were added to the staff – ‘Dusty’ Hare, who found greater fame on the Rugby pitch, Trent Bridge favourite Derek Randall, and two West Indians, Nirmal Nanan and Boya Sahadeo. If Wilkinson did not reach the heights of one or two of his fellow newcomers, he did enough to remain with the county until 1977.
Philip Alan Wilkinson was born on 23 August 1951 in Hucknall and had played some junior and league matches before joining the Notts playing staff; he played in only one First-Class game in his inaugural season, against Oxford University at The Parks, in which he bowled only five wicketless overs.
He fared better in the following seasons without ever quite doing enough to secure a regular first-team spot or to persuade Notts that he could be the opening bowler they so desperately needed. Indeed, they were still actively recruiting and had approached three bowlers with international experience in the 1971-2 close season, though none had joined.
By 1975, he had not managed more than 38 wickets in a season, that in 1973, and the view was that overall ‘the bowling department was not satisfactory, Wilkinson, aside from his outstanding 5-20 v Northants, was disappointing’; that good return was one of two five-wicket hauls in his time at Trent Bridge, the other coming in his final season when he took 6-81 against Middlesex. In August 1977, concerned about his future, Wilkinson announced his retirement from the First-Class game.
He finished with 175 wickets from 92 games, with that Middlesex return his best figures and at an average of 36.20; his batting had amassed 949 runs at 12.01 with a highest score of 38. In 90 List-A matches, Wilkinson took 101 wickets at 26.55 with bets figures of 4-24; he made 291 runs at 12.65 and a top score of 18. He played a couple of games for Notts Second XI in 1978 and does not appear to have played competitive cricket thereafter.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 461