Robert “Bob” Elliott Storey Wyatt (2 May 1901, Milford Heath House, Surrey, England – 20 April 1995, Treliske, Truro, Cornwall) was an English cricket player. He played for Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and the English cricket team.
A determined batsman and handy medium pace bowler, Wyatt made his first-class cricket debut in 1923. He played his first Test match against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1927. He was appointed captain for England’s last Test against the dominant Australian touring team in 1930, but lost the role to Douglas Jardine for the next few years. Nevertheless, he was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1930.
Serving as Jardine’s vice-captain on the 1932-33 tour of Australia, Wyatt was in charge of an early tour match that Jardine sat out of, and became the first captain to employ the controversial Bodyline tactic against the Australian team. After Jardine resigned following the political and administrative fallout caused by Bodyline, Wyatt was made captain again, and led England a further 15 times.
Wyatt was noted for sustaining several injuries during his career. Most famously, a ball bowled by West Indian bowler Manny Martindale hit him in the jaw during a match in Jamaica in 1935. He was carried unconscious from the field with his jaw broken in four places. When he regained consciousness in the dressing room, his first action was to signal for a pencil and paper – when these were supplied he wrote down an amended batting order for his team.
He played his last Test against Australia in Melbourne in 1937. He continued with a vigorous career in County cricket on both sides of World War II (in which he served in the Royal Air Force), playing his last first-class game in 1957, aged 56.
He lived to be 93 years old, and was England’s oldest living Test cricketer before his death. He has a stand named after him at Warwickshire’s home ground of Edgbaston.
Wyatt played 40 Tests for England, scoring 1,839 at an average of 31.70, and taking 18 wickets at an average of 35.66. In his first-class career he played 739 matches, scoring 39,405 runs at an average of 40.04, and taking 901 wickets at an average of 32.84.
He was the cousin of politician and broadcaster Woodrow Wyatt.