This was the fourth visit to England by a West Indies
team. The three previous (non-Test) tours were in 1900, 1906 and 1923.The 'father' of West Indian cricket, Barbadian
Harold Austin, had set up this tour in 1926
with Sir William Morrison of Kingston,
contention that the playing record of the 1923 side touring England - played 26, won 12 -advanced West Indies' claim to full Test
status and convinced the Imperial Cricket Conference to admit West Indies to senior membership, until then made up of
only three Test-playing nations.Forming
a Board of Control was a necessity for this tour to take place, creating one
authoritative body fully representative of all the West Indian islands with
whom the English cricket authorities could deal.
The new West Indian Board of
Control met in January and June 1927 and on its behalf Englishman Harry
Mallett began to arrange fixtures, transport and accommodation for the first
official Test tour of England.
The Board set up three trial matches in Barbados and then chose a tour
party of sixteen players; seven of these had taken part in the last tour in
1923. However, the original nomination of 50 year-old Austin as captain for the six month tour
was soon seen as a step too far. Now President of the new Board of Control, he
withdrew. 39 year-old George
Challenor, the senior player, also declined the opportunity to lead the side.
Unfortunately, being able to concentrate on his batting did not especially
help him for he was a failure compared with his 1923 form.Captaincy settled upon the Jamaican Karl
The Board sought to play in Australia before making their way to England but the Australian Cricket Board turned
that request down and invited a West Indian team to tour Australia in
The tourists were not as strong
as the 1923 side and their fielding was particularly poor. West
Indies lost each of the three Test matches by an innings'
margin. Learie Constantine shone as an all-rounder, achieving the ‘double’ of
1381 first-class runs and 107 wickets in the season, although he had little success
in the Test matches.
Roach, Freddie Martin, George Challenor.
Middle-order batsmen:Wilton St Hill,
Edward Bartlett, Teddy Hoad, Vibart Wight, Ernest Rae.
Wicket-keepers:Maurice Fernandes, Karl Nunes.
Neblett, Tommy Scott
Brown, Joe Small, Learie Constantine, George Francis, Herman Griffith.
E L Bartlett
L N Constantine
A R Dewhurstw/d
H C Griffith
E L G
F R Martin
W H St Hill
O C Scott
J A Small
C V Wight
Regional representation :
- British Guiana(4) (often then described as Demerera)
Ja -Jamaica (4)
T- Trinidad (4)
of the British Guiana players wer
Barbados-born: Browne and Neblett.
age ofteam at time of first Test
June 1928) :
Test Appearances made before the tour
J E ‘Joe’
Major G S Cox, P A Goodman, J G Kelshall, C V Wight, C Shankland, with H B G Austin (President of WICB).
23 June 1927 when the West Indies Board was constituted and Harold Austin was
made its first President, he was also nominated as captain of the touring
team in England.
10 July 1927 the names of nine players being asked whether they were
available for the tour were announced: H B G Austin, L N Constantine, G A
Dewhurst, G John, V Pascall, C A Roach, W St Hill, B Sealey, J Small.
Withdrawal:H B G Austin.
The captain and
vice-captain were appointed at a meeting of the WI Board on the evening of 6
January 1928.Karl Nunes had led West
Indies regularly in England
in 1923 when Harold Austin was ill and absent most of the time.
Three trial matches were held at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown:
P H Tarilton's XI v C A
Barbados-born X I v Rest of West Indies
Party Announced :11 January 1928.
Five members of the announced
team had not participated in the trials: Browne, Fernandes, Martin, Nunes, Scott.
WithdrawalGeorge Dewhurst ( T).Tommy Scott and Maurice Fernandes were then
added to the touring party.Nunes would
now share wicket-keeping duties with Fernandes.
Not selected : The following sixteen were
not selected following the trial matches: H B G Austin, L S Birkett, E
Cherubin, C Durant, V Hardy, L G Hylton, H W Ince, C Innis, G John, C Jones,
N N Nethersole, V Pascall, B J Sealey, P H Tarilton, O S Wight, C A Wiles.
Time between selection
and departure from West Indies
(11 January - 2 April)
The Jamaican and 'Demerera'
(ie British Guiana) cricketers assembled at Port of Spain
and, with the Trinidadians, left Port of Spain
on 2 April sailing to Barbados.
The completed team (less Ernest Rae and assistant manager Joe Seheult, who
travelled from New York) sailed from Bridgetown across the Atlantic
on the R M S 'Camito'. The original
plan had been that the team should use ss 'Inanda'.
The 'Camito' arrived at Avonmouth (Bristol Docks) in a bitterly cold
wind on Monday 16 April and the team was met at Paddington Station (London) by their English manager, R H Mallett.
Time spent in England
(16 April - 28 September)
On-tour selection panel
Karl Nunes (captain), Vibart Wight (vice-captain), Harry Mallett
There were no official reinforcements though G C ‘Jackie’ Grant was co-opted to
help out in the final matches.
Reigate Priory XII
inns 45 r
LOST inns 58 r
inns 126 r
LOST inns 30 r
LOST inns 71 r
inns 87 r
inns 105 r
An England XI
Julien Cahn's XI
H D G
Hampstead (Fri 13th)
League team (see ¯ below)
† not first-class
Time spent in England
before First Test:
(16 April - 23 June)
Time from end of final Test until departure from England45 days
Constantine achieved “the double” of 100 first-class wickets and 1000 runs
during the season.
other batsmen – Roach, Martin and Challenor – also scored 1000 first-class runs
in the season
most successful bowlers were Griffith
(76 wickets), Francis (56) and Small (50).
scored a century (107) and did the hat-trick
Griffith's six wickets for 103 runs at The Oval was West
Indies' first five-wicket haul in a Test match.
Roach scored fifties in each of the last two Tests.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
Return to West Indies
On Friday 28 September the bulk of the team sailed
home from West India Docks, London,
on HLS 'Ingoma'.Mallett saw them off at the quayside.
Challenor and Wight stayed in England for a few weeks and left in early
November, while Seheult spent a month with friends in France where
his family were originally from.The
Jamaicans (Martin, Nunes, Rae and Scott) had earlier left Paddington Station
for Bristol on 27 September and sailed from
Avonmouth on the 'Bayano', reaching
anchored in Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown,
at 3 pm on 13 October and the Barbadians disembarked. Constantine, Roach, St Hill and Small left
the ship at Port of Spain on 16 October, while Browne, Fernandes and Neblett
pressed on to Georgetown, arriving two days later.
Time away from West Indies194 days
(2 April to 13 October)
West India Club in England
held a sum of £250 in hand from the 1923 tour which was used for preliminary
expenses. The West Indian Cricket Board of Control received £820 in advances
from the colonies while Mr A C O'Dowd advanced £1,000
towards the initial expenses of the tour.
surplus of £2197 from the tour the Board was able to refund those advances,
as well as refund £250 clerical and other expenses to manager R H Mallett and
grant an honorarium to him of £250, and £100 to assistant manager J E Seheult..
accounts of the tour
"The West Indies
Cricket Guide"F S Ashley-Cooper.
"A Nation Imagined"(2003) by Hilary M Beckles(Barnes & Noble).
The Sporting Chronicle of Trinidad, looking forward to West Indies’
captain in its next series against MCC in 1929-30, urged that it should not
again be Nunes, writing: “If the Board flies in the face of public opinion
and the opinions of the players who were under him in 1928, then they will be
solely to blame for whatever failures such a move might bring in its train.
The players do not want him under any circumstances.”
Indians v Bolton League
Park, FarnworthSaturday 22 September 1928
Bolton League Team94and86-2 decWest Indians111and 102-4
scored 65 in 18 minutes with 8 fours, 5 sixes, three singles)
Match arranged by Dr V S Lucas in aid of the Social
Circle Club funds. Roscoe and Stones were players from the Social Circle
Dull day and bad light so a disappointing crowd of
less than 2000.
along [Guidepost Road]
was, later, built a house and surgery for Dr Vincent St Claire Lucas. He was
a very large West Indian doctor who was later to become the first Freeman of
the Borough of Farnworth. A memorial window dedicated to this very well
respected doctor is in All Saints Church Farnworth. (Also Lucas Road was named in his memory)”from http://www.boltonrevisited.org.uk/a-pigott-st.htmlby Arthur Clough.
SEE also newsletter 20 (January 1998) of the Black
& Asian Studies Association
down Piggott Street
on the other side of Barton Road
was and still is, Piggott
Park, home of the Social Circle
cricket club. (I often wonder how this name came about. The playing area is
circular, but what about Social?)”