William Arnold Sime was born in Wepener, Orange Free State, South Africa on 8 February 1909.

He was educated at Bedford School where he was in the XI for four seasons, being captain in his final year of 1928. In that year he headed the bowling averages with 39 wickets (average 15.33).

He went to Balliol College, Oxford in the autumn of 1928 and, although he appeared in the Freshmen's match of 1929, scoring 60 and also in the Senior's matches of 1930 and 1931, his solitary first-class appearance for the University was against Free Foresters in 1931 when he hit 21 and bowled 0 for 47.

Whilst still at school he had, however, appeared for Bedfordshire. He was a tower of strength for that county for several seasons and was named captain in 1934, but moved to Nottingham the same year.

He played for Notts Amateurs and made his Nottinghamshire first team debut versus Cambridge University at Fenners on 22 May 1935, though his actual First-Class debut had been made back in 1929 when he represented Minor Counties v Lancashire at Old Trafford.

He was not seen again seen in the Nottinghamshire ranks until 1939, when he played in two matches, but he appeared occasionally for Nottinghamshire 2nd XI. In 1942/43 Sime played for a combined RAF. XI versus the Rest of South Africa in Johannesburg, his only First-Class match overseas.

It came as something of a surprise to the cricketing public when it was announced on 2 April 1947 that Sime had been invited to captain Nottinghamshire in succession to George Heane; even as late as March 1947 he was not listed in the amateurs available to play for Nottinghamshire for that year. His first game as captain was on 14 May 1947 against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.

It was his first full season of county cricket and he proved a very useful batsmen, scoring 619 runs. His best score of 1947 was 69 versus Middlesex at Lord's, when it was the highest score for Nottinghamshire in either innings.

In 1948 he increased his run total to 684, but this, and his better average, was due entirely to his 176* versus Sussex. In a very untypical innings at Hove he came in at number 5 and saved Nottinghamshire from collapse after Harris, Winrow and Hardsaff had all failed to reach double figures.

Sime began 1949 by taking 4 wickets for 51 against Middlesex at Lord's in the opening match. In the third game he picked up three wickets in the first innings and a further two in the second, but afterwards his left-arm spin caused few problems for opposing batsmen.

His batting also fell away, but in the run glut of 1949 this mattered little. 1950 was his last season as Nottinghamshire captain and also his final year in First-Class cricket. His last First-Class match was versus Essex on 30 August at Trent Bridge. In 91 matches Sime had scored 2,328 runs at an average of 19.98.

Aside from cricket he was a notable rugby player - initially with Bedford, whom he captained for three years, and then the East Midlands and once for Nottinghamshire. He also played in an England trial match.

A useful golfer, he reached the second round of the English Amateur Championship at Hollinwell in 1935.

Later a barrister with chambers in Nottingham, Sime was made a QC in 1957; in 1972 he was sworn in as a circuit judge on the Midland and Oxford Circuit.

He died on 5 May 1983 in Wymeswold, Leicestershire.

August 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 356

See William Sime's career stats here