It had been five years since
the last Australian tour of England
in 1956, and this equalled the previous longest gap, War years excepted.
These 22nd Australians were the last touring side to travel to England by
sea there and back.
The tour represented a
centenary of sorts, the first England-Australia tour having been in 1861-62,
when no Tests were played; no ceremony was made to mark this anniversary.
Of those on their first tour, Booth, Misson and Quick had been to
in 1959-60, so only Lawry and McKenzie were really new to touring. Those two went on
to become Australia’s
leading players of the next decade.
Because the tour followed the exhilarating
1960-61 series between the West Indies and Australia, hopes were raised for
an exciting season - and promptly dashed. Test cricket went back to its
normal, cautious way in the first match at Edgbaston. Fortunately, there then
followed three absorbing matches, Australia winning on a sub-standard pitch
at Lord’s and England on another at Headingley, before a classic Test match
at Old Trafford where on a memorable afternoon Benaud spun England to defeat
and retained the Ashes for Australia.
The team left England
on the ‘Strathmore’ on 26 September
The liner sailed from Tilbury, via Gibraltar, Port
and arrived at Fremantle on 24 October;Jarman and O’Neill’s wives had flown from the eastern states to meet
them and show them their children born while they were away.Eight members of the team landed at Sydney on Thursday 3
Time away from Australia
(29 March to 3 November)
The Australian Cricket Board meeting of February 1962 reported
that the tour profit of almost £38000 was about £12000 less than in 1956, and
only half of the profit made in 1953. Income from the gates was £99000 while
the expenditure was £61000.
accounts of the tour
& Ashes” by Bill Bowes (1961)
Fight for the Ashes”by Ron Roberts(1961)
Challenging Tests”by Ray Lindwall
Australians in England” by
On arriving home in Sydney, Benaud announced that he would retire
at the end of the 1963-64 season and that he would not tour again as a player
(but he returned to England as a reporter for every Test series up to 2013).