Ossie Wheatley was Wilf Wooller`s successor as Glamorgan`s captain. Between 1961 and 1966, the former Warwickshire and Cambridge Blue led the Welsh county with a mix of good humour and debonair authority, and proudly led them to victory over the 1964 Australians.. His fast medium bowling also added an extra dimension to Glamorgan`s attack, and he developed a most effective partnership with Jeff Jones, taking over 100 wickets in both of his first two seasons with Glamorgan, His best performances for Glamorgan came in 1968, when he took 9/60 against Sussex, and finished on top of the county`s averages with 82 victims at 12 apiece, to become one of Wisden`s Cricketers of the Year.
Even though he was in semi-retirement when the county won the Championship in 1969, Wheatley played a key role in the county`s success. None more so than in the match against Essex at Swansea, where his fielding helped Glamorgan win a crucial game in a nerve-tingling situation. Essex`s last pair were at the crease, needing three to win off the final ball, when Ray East played a deft late cut. The ball sped towards the third man boundary, but Wheatley ran around the ropes, deftly picked up the ball and returned the ball over the top of the stumps to run out John Lever. This give Glamorgan a well deserved victory by one run, and put them in a virtually unassailable position at the top of the Championship table.
Wheatley retired in 1970 to pursue his business interests, but he has remained closely involved with cricket, serving as a Test selector and at various times, Chairman of both Glamorgan and the T.C.C.B.`s Cricket Committee, as well as Chairman of the Sports Council of Wales.
(Article: Copyright © 2000 Dr.A.K.Hignell)
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