Mark Taylor came to England having led Australia to fifteen wins in 27
Tests but as an opening batsman having failed to score a half-century in his
last 20 Test innings. Taylor promised he would
drop himself from the Test side against England unless he rediscovered
his batting form soon. The selectors had already appointed Steve Waugh
vice-captain in preference to Ian Healy, who had been involved in several
disciplinary issues, in case he needed to take over but Taylor saved his career with a century in
the first Test at Edgbaston.
Although Australia lost that match, they showed how
strong a bowling side they had in the next Test at Lord’s (dismissing England for
77 before rain caused the match to be drawn). The tourists then went on to
win the next three Test matches by large margins.
England won the
final Test, which was a small compensation for having failed to regain the
Ashes, but gave hope for the future. England had earlier won the
Texaco Trophy with three straight six-wicket wins in a row.
Steve Waugh took over from Ian Healy as vice-captain.
Tour Party Announced :18 April 1997.
Not selected : Paul Reiffel, Matthew Hayden, Adam Dale, Michael DiVenuto.
Time between selection and departure from Australia
(18 April - 10 May)
On Saturday 10 May 1997 the team flew from Sydney by way of a short stopover in Hong
Kong to play a match.
They flew from Hong Kong's Kai Tek airport to London, touching down at Heathrow Airport
on 12 May.
Time spent in England
(12 May - 28 August)
Mark Taylor (captain),
Geoff Marsh (coach), Steve Waugh (vice-captain).
P R Reiffel
Reiffel arrived to replace Andy Bichel, forced out of the tour by
a back injury, as well as to cover for Jason Gillespie who sustained a hamstring
injury in the first Test.
Darren Berry, who was already in England (playing
in the Cheshire League for Macclesfield), was called in to replace Adam Gilchrist when he was injured
playing football during training (torn medial ligaments on his left knee).
Shaun Young, playing county cricket for Gloucestershire, and Shane
Lee, who was playing in the Lancashire League with
Enfield, joined the tour party from the match against Kent onwards when three
players returned home early: Paul Reiffel(to be present for the birth of his child) Jason Gillespie (who now had a back
injury) and Brendon Julian (broken
ϯ Kowloon CC
Rest of the World XI(40 overs)
Won 4 w
Duke of Norfolk’s XI(50 overs)
Won 113 r
Won 17 r
Lost 5 w
Lost 6 w
Lost 6 w
Lost 6 w
Lost 1 w
LOST 9 w
Won 84 r
Won inns 133 r
WON 268 r
Minor Counties(50 overs)
Won 9 r
J Paul Getty’s XI (1-day
WON inns 61 r
WON 264 r
Won 139 r
Won 6 w
LOST 19 r
ϯ not first-class
§one-day internationals (Texaco Trophy)
spent in England
before First Test:
(12 May - 5 June)
appearances on tour
Elliott, Healy, McGrath, Taylor, Warne, M Waugh, S Waugh.
4 - Gillespie, Reiffel.
Gilchrist, Julian, Langer, Lee,Slater.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
Shane Warne flew back to Melbourne after the third Test for ten days
to see his newly-born baby daughter Brooke and wife Simone.Adam Gilchrist returned home injured
in the middle of July.
Some of the team were involved in a six-a-side
corporate tournament on 27 August.
The next day the team departed from London’s
Time away from Australiax
(10 Mayto x August)
accounts of the tour
Nasser Hussain and Steve Waugh [and Paul Newman] (Collins Willow, 1997)
and Cobbers - The Ashes 1997”by Rob Steen, with Robert Croft and Matthew
Elliott(Andre Deutsch, 1997)
97: Two Views from the Boundary”by Norman Gerasand Ian Holliday (Baseline Books, 1997)
Waugh's 1997 Ashes Diary”by
Steve Waugh(Harper Sports, 1997)
“We’re Right Behind you, Captain”by David Hopps(Robson Books, 1997)
chapter in “Keeping It
Real: The Darren "Chuck" Berry
Story”by Darren Berry(Bas Publishing, 2004)
At the end of August the Australian Cricket Board advised the national
selectors that Test and one-day matches were now to be seen as entirely
separate types of game, and that the panel should pick the best team to win
each match.This spelt the end of Mark
Taylor’s captaincy in one-day matches.