of West Indies 1977-78
Captain: Bob Simpson
Australian Test tour
Fourth Test-playing tour
of West Indies by Australia
((February to May 1978)
first overseas venture by an Australian side without its Packer stars. They
were outclassed in the first two Test matches by a full-strength West Indian
side. This was a very different prospect from playing India a month before, until a strike by the West Indies' WSC players put the two sides on a more
equal footing for the third Test which was won by a more confident Australian
team. The batsmen could not maintain the form they had found in Georgetown, however,
and collapsed for 94 to lose the fourth Test and concede the series. The
final Test was controversially abandoned as a draw after crowd disturbances
a face-saving victory
was an age barrier between the captain and his young, inexperienced side and
he was not well-liked. They switched off from the 'tirades of the fogeyish
Simpson' ('The Cricket War' Gideon Haigh).
After the tour Simpson declared his candidacy to continue as
Australian skipper but was not required.
tour of West Indies
of the Test tour party (15 + 1)
Opening batsmen: Graeme Wood, Rick Darling
Middle-order batsmen: Gary Cosier, Kim Hughes, Craig Sarjeant,
Bob Simpson, Peter Toohey, Graham Yallop (reinforced
by David Ogilvie) .
Wicket-keeper: Steve Rixon
Spin bowlers: Jim
Higgs, Bruce Yardley
Fast bowlers: Ian Callen, Trevor Laughlin, Wayne Clark, Jeff Thomson
I W Callen
W M Clark
G N Yallop
Sheffield Shield teams
NSW - New
South Wales (3)
Qld - Queensland
SA - South
Tas - Tasmania
Vic - Victoria (4)
WA - Western
age of team at time of first Test
(3 March 1978) :
26 yrs 2
Appearances made before the tour
Simpson 57, Thomson 27,
Cosier 13, Serjeant 7, Clark 5, Rixon 5, Toohey 5, Yallop 4, Hughes 3, Callen
1, Darling 1, Wood 1, Yardley 1, Higgs 0, Laughlin 0. [Ogilvie 3].
F W C 'Fred' Bennett
Neil Harvey (New South Wales), Sam Loxton (Victoria) and Phil Ridings (South Australia)
chose the team.
The manager was appointed
on 22 December 1977.
Bob Simpson notified the
Board on 12 January that he was available and willing to lead and rebuild the
Australian side. Had Simpson not been prepared to take the team to the West Indies, Craig Serjeant would have been captain.
Unavailable: A condition of selection
had been that players were available for Australian Cricket Board-controlled
matches in 1978-79, which effectively ruled out the World Series Cricket (WSC)
players. On 9 January fourteen WSC
players had sent a letter to the Australian Cricket Board expressing their
wish to take part in the tour of West Indies.
Tour Party Announced : 20 January
Not selected : No World Series Cricket players
were in the team. Kerry Packer said on 20 February
that he would release Australian WSC players for the Caribbean
tour but this was ignored.
Having been excused his
WSC contract because he was already contracted to a radio station to continue
playing Test cricket, Jeff Thomson was named vice-captain on 25 January.
Previously, the selectors had named Yallop and Serjeant before him.
Time between selection and departure from Australia
(20 January - 12 February
Sydney Q Antigua
The team flew from Sydney on 12 February and made a stopover in San Francisco before flying on to New York. There was a strike by British West
Indies Airline (BWIA) pilots so they flew to St John's,
Antigua, on a chartered Primair Heron,
landing on 14 February.
Time spent in West Indies
(14 February - 5 May)
Bob Simpson (captain), Fred Bennett (manager), Jeff Thomson (vice-captain).
David Ogilvie joined the tour party because Kim Hughes needed an appendix
operation and Peter Toohey broke his thumb. He arrived on 11 March after a
Graham Yallop's jaw was
broken by a ball from Croft in the Guyana match forcing him to miss the third
Test. Gary Cosier's thumb was broken while playing Windward Islands.
§ St John’s
West Indies (1st ODI)
Port of Spain
PORT OF SPAIN
WEST INDIES First Test
LOST inns 106 r
WEST INDIES Second Test
LOST 9 w
WEST INDIES Third Test
WON 3 w
St George’s, Grenada
§ Castries, St Lucia
West Indies (2nd ODI)
PORT OF SPAIN
WEST INDIES Fourth Test
LOST 198 r
WEST INDIES Fifth Test
Board President’s XI
Isle Cricket League
ϯ St George’s
† not first-class
Time spent in West Indies before First Test:
(14 February - 3 March)
appearances on tour
5 - Rixon, Serjeant, Simpson, Thomson, Wood, Yardley.
4 - Clark, Higgs, Yallop.
3 - Cosier, Darling, Toohey
2 - Laughlin, Ogilvie.
0 - Callen, Hughes.
were set 362 to win the third Test at Bourda and recovered from 22 for 3
thanks to centuries from Wood (126) and Serjeant (124).
Peter Toohey who had missed some of the tour matches through injury
scored 122 and 97 in the fifth Test at Kingston. Australia were unable to press
for victory when the last day's play was disrupted by the crowds.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
Kingston Q Hamilton
Hamilton Q Sydney
Gary Cosier and David Ogilvie flew direct back to Australia.
The team arrived in Hamilton,
Bermuda, late on Friday night 5 May from Kingston.
Though they had not been looking forward much to the short tour, the
Australains said they were pleased to find how much they enjoyed this
extension to the trip. On 13 May the
team left for New York (Ian Callen went to England) and they arrived back in Sydney at 6:30 am on 15
'Cricket Archive shows that
Ogilvie was playing in the 5th match in Bermuda
Time away from Australia
(12 February to 15 May)
of the tour
Bob Simpson was willing to continue as Australian skipper but the
Australian Board, unappreciative as well as unwise, decided not to make use
of his services any longer. Graham
Yallop took over as captain for the Ashes series of 1978-79; he was so
overawed by the task against shrewd opposing skipper Mike Brearley that he