County Championship – 17th (W 3, L 11, D 14)
Gillette Cup (60 overs) – Second Round
Captain – G Millman
In the words of the Committee “The 1965 season, taken as a whole, was one of the most disappointing in the history of Notts Cricket”. Only three championship matches were won and Notts ended at the foot of the table.
The first half of the season was not too disappointing. Notts drew five of the first seven games, the other two matches ending in defeat including a narrow five run loss at Lord’s. In their eighth game, Notts defeated Essex by two wickets in a thrilling finish. Andy Corran hit the very last ball bowled by Barry Knight for six when three were required for victory. A draw at Bramall Lane, Sheffield was followed by a four wicket victory over Sussex at Trent Bridge, Carlton Forbes 8-140 in the match. Notts drew with Warwickshire at Trent Bridge and then suffered heavy defeats against Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the 14th game of the campaign Notts had a resounding 200 run victory at the Recreation Ground in Bath. Somerset were bowled out for 62 in their second innings, Corran with championship best innings figures of 6-31 and Carlton Forbes taking 9-90 in the match. The second half of the summer was one long disaster; with not a single win recorded and a further seven games lost, Notts slid to the bottom of the table. Millman became more and more defensive in his captaincy as each match went by and the batting was dismal. Millman resigned in December with a year of his contract still to go. In a further blow Andy Corran decided to take a teaching appointment in Australia. Norman Hill (1,192 runs @24.83), Ian Moore (1,053 runs @22.89) and Brian Bolus (1,085 runs @22.60) topped 1,000 runs, but each averaged below 25. Mike Smedley, in his first full season of county cricket, finished top of the batting averages with 777 championship runs @27.75. He scored his maiden century (107) in the match versus Derbyshire at Trent Bridge.
Maurice Hill (396 runs @20.84) was dropped from the side for most of the year and left the staff at the end of the season. He, like John Cotton who left for Leicestershire the previous year, had promised so much, yet failed to develop. Two other players to leave the staff were off spinner Bomber Wells (19 wickets @32.89 in 12 matches) and right-hand bat Alan Gill. Barry Whittingham (882 runs @20.04) was the other specialist batsman to play regularly; scoring his maiden ton when he made 126 against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge. Notts players hit only three centuries throughout the whole 28-match campaign.
Corran and Forbes shouldered much of the bowling and both took 100 wickets – Corran 109 wickets @20.30 and Forbes 102 wickets @21.00. Mike Taylor provided the most support with 35 wickets @30.97. He performed the hat-trick versus Kent at Dover.
Frank Shipston resigned as coach, his post being taken by John Clay. The latter had had great success with the Minor Counties Team which came second in the table but lost the Challenge Match to Somerset Seconds at Taunton by eight wickets. Notts also did well in the Second Eleven Competition, finishing 4th. However the relative success of the second team was due to cast-offs from the First Team – Mervyn Winfield, Ian Davison, Maurice Hill and Wells – rather than up and coming youngsters, of whom there were only two of note, Barry Stead and Smedley. Forbes and Moore received their County Caps in 1965. In the match at Coventry versus Warwickshire, Forbes had career best figures of 7-30, taking three wickets in four balls.
1965 saw the first Gillette Cup match at Trent Bridge, unfortunately the date clashed with the FA Cup Final and the crowd was meagre, Notts beating Wiltshire by seven wickets, Three weeks later, Notts lost at Taunton in a match took three days to complete Notts were 162 all out, Bolus making 79. Somerset 166-7, winning with 9.5 overs spare.
In August, Trent Bridge hosted the second Test between England and South Africa. The visitors beat England by 94 runs with a day to spare and large crowds – averaging about 20,000 each day – attended. A sparkling 125 by the 21 year old Springbok left-hander, Graeme Pollock was the abiding memory of an exciting match, though Colin Cowdrey also made a well-judged 100.
Along with the poor playing record, Notts suffered financially having a deficit of £12,544. This despite a large donation from the Supporters’ Association.