Ossie Wheatley was a member of the Glamorgan squad which won the 1969 County Championship besides leading Glamorgan to a famous victory over the 1964 Australians at Swansea.
Ossie led Glamorgan between 1961 and 1966 with his fast-medium bowling adding an extra dimension to the Welsh county`s attack throughout the 1960`s. In 1968 he took 82 wickets at just 12 apiece, and he was rightfully one of Wisden`s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1969.
He also played a key role in Glamorgan`s Championship winning year of 1969, as in the match against Essex at Swansea, where in the unlikely role as a star fielder, he 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 Ossie ran along the ropes, before deftly picking up the ball and returning an arrow-like throw over the top of the stumps to run out John Lever. Not only did this give Glamorgan victory by one run, but it also put the county in a virtually unassailable position at the top of the Championship table.
Ossie Wheatley had won Blues at Cambridge in 1957 and also 1958, when he amassed a record 80 wickets for the University. After coming down, he had a brief, but successful, career with Warwickshire for whom he took 110 wickets in 1960. In 1961 Ossie was appointed as Wilf Wooller`s replacement to lead Glamorgan, and over the next few years he also proved to be a most effective partnership with Jeff Jones.
He took over 100 wickets in both of his first two seasons with Glamorgan, and proudly led a youthful team to victory over the 1964 Australians by 37 runs at St. Helen’s. The victory coincided with the National Eisteddfod a mile or so down the road and as the champagne corks popped , followed by speeches from Ossie and his jubilant team, the songs in the Pavilion grew louder by the minute, as it became clear to any doubters that it wasn’t just Glamorgan who had beaten the Australians, it was Wales too!
After retiring in 1970, Ossie has served as a Test selector and at various times, Chairman of Glamorgan CCC, the TCCB`s Cricket Committee, as well as the Sports Council of Wales.
WHEATLEY, Oswald Stephen
Born – Low Fell, 28th May 1935.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In First-class cricket – 30 v Oxford University at The Parks, 1961; 9/60 v Sussex at Ebbw Vale, 1968.
In List A cricket – 4* v Lancashire at Southport, 1969; 3/30 v Northamptonshire at Northampton, 1969.