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Test Cricket Tours - Australia to England 1956

 

 

Tour of England 1956             Captain: Ian Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25th Australian Test tour

 

Twenty-first Test-playing tour of  England by Australia

 

 

    (April - October 1956)

 

Their revival against West Indies in 1955 encouraged the Australians to think that, even against England’s strongest combination since the War,  they could regain The Ashes. England’s fast bowling partnership, Tyson and Statham, doubtless persuaded the selectors to choose defensively-minded batsmen like Rutherford, Burke and Mackay who should cope with the pace. In the end the speed merchants played little part in the series.  It was England’s finger spinners Jim Laker, whose skills reached their pinnacle, and Tony Lock who humiliated the fallible Australian batting and decided the series. 

Australia lost their third Ashes series in a row. 

Remorselessly, Laker ….  PAGE  IN  PREPARATION

 

 

Other Australian Tours

 

 

Previous tour

West Indies 1954-55

 

Next tour

Pakistan & India 1956-57

South Africa 1957-58

 

 

Next tour of England 

1961   

 

 

 

 

Members of the Test tour party  (17)

 

 

Opening batsmen:  Jim Burke, Colin McDonald, John Rutherford

Middle-order batsmen: Peter Burge, Ian Craig, Neil Harvey, Ken Mackay

All-rounder: Keith Miller

Wicket-keeper:  Gil Langley, Len Maddocks.

Spin bowlers:  Richie Benaud, Ian Johnson, Jack Wilson

Fast bowlers:  Pat Crawford, Alan Davidson, Ron Archer, Ray Lindwall,

 

 

R G Archer

Q

22

RHB       RFM

 

 

R Benaud

N

25

RHB   LBG

 

 

P J P Burge

Q

23

RHB

 

 

J W Burke

N

25

LHB  opener

 

 

I D Craig

N

20

RHB

 

 

W P A Crawford

N

22

RFM

 

 

A K Davidson

N

26

LFM   LHB

 

 

R N Harvey

V

27

LHB

 

 

I W G Johnson

V

37

OB    captain

 

 

G R A Langley

S

36

WK

 

 

R R Lindwall

Q

34

RF

 

 

C C McDonald

V

27

LHB   opener

 

 

K D Mackay

Q

29

RHB      RM 

 

 

L V Maddocks

V

29

deputy WK

 

 

K R Miller

N

36

RHB      RF     vice-captain

 

 

J W Rutherford

W

26

RHB  opener

 

 

J W Wilson

S

33

SLA

 

 

 

 

 

FLAG_Australia  

  

 

State representation

 Sheffield Shield teams
 

N   New South Wales (6)

Q  Queensland (4)

S   South Australia (2)

T   Tasmania (0)

V   Victoria (4)

W  Western Australia (1)

 

 

 

Average age of  team at time of first Test match

(7 June 1956) :

   yrs   months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Test Appearances made before the tour

 

Miller 49,  Lindwall 47,  Harvey 39,  Johnson 37,  Langley 20,  Benaud 18,  Archer 13,  McDonald 13,  Davidson 8,  Burke 5,  Maddocks 4,  Burge 2,  Craig 1,  Crawford 0,  Mackay 0,  Rutherford 0,  Wilson 0.

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Officials

 

W J Dowling

Manager

W L Rush

Assistant manager

N Gorman

Scorer/Baggage

Arthur E James

Masseur

 

 

 

 

 

Selectors

 

Sir Donald Bradman (South Australia),  Dudley Seddon (New South Wales),   Jack Ryder (Victoria)

 

 

 

 

 

Selection

 

The Australian Board of Control appointed one of its Board members, Mr W J Dowling of Victoria, as manager.

A trial match between I.W.Johnson's XI and R.R.Lindwall's XI took place at Sydney Cricket Ground on 13 January 1956.   Miller and Archer were unfit and did not play. Mackay, Burke, Benaud and Rutherford all scored centuries to help earn them a tour place.

Unavailable:  Bill Johnston (Vic) leg injury;  A.rthur Morris (NSW) retired.

Both K.R.Miller and P.A.Crawford were unavailable to tour at first.  Crawford was offered the chance to play League cricket in England in 1956 but he declined it.  Miller had been troubled by a back injury all summer.

Tour Party Announced :  8 February 1956.

Not selected :  Bill Watson,Les Favell and Bob Simpson.  Instead the selectors opted for more restricted, defensive batsmen like Burke, McDonald, Rutherford and Mackay.

J.D.Bratchford, S.J.Carroll, J.Drennan, J.C.Hill and J.F.Power all appeared in the trial match in January.

 

 

 

Time between selection and departure from Australia   

   x days

(8 February -  March)

 

 

 

 

Travel

Fremantle  T  Tilbury

 

The NSW players left for Melbourne on Friday 16 March. The team played two matches in Tasmania between 17-24 March.  They played a match in Perth 28-31 March, leaving Fremantle on 1 April 1956 on the RMS 'Himalaya',.  A planned match at Colombo was cancelled owing to the general election being held in Ceylon.  Sailing by way of Suez and Port Said, the ship arrived at Tilbury on 24 April.

Pat Crawford's wife was pregnant and unwell but the Board would not allow her to travel with him as she was going to stay with her parents in Manchester. She had to be transferred from the Himalaya at Melbourne and transferred to the Strathaird

 

 

Time spent in England

   152 days

(24 April - 21 September)

 

 

 

On-tour selection

 

 Ian Johnson (captain),  Keith Miller  (vice-captain),  Gil Langley.

The Board's appointment of Langley rather than Ray Lindwall, captain of Queensland and the most experienced Australian player after Miller, caused surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

Reinforcements

 

  None  Davidson tore ligaments and chipped a bone in his foot, missing several weeks of play.

 

 

 

 

 

Fixtures/Results

 

a

Launceston

Tasmania

Won 229 r

b

Hobart

Tasmania

Drawn

c

Perth

Western Australia

Drawn

d

� Colombo

Ceylon (1-day)

cancelled

 

 

 

 

e

Arundel

Duke of Norfolk's XI

 

f

Worcester

Worcestershire

 

g

Leicester

Leicestershire

 

h

Bradford

Yorkshire

 

i

Trent Bridge

Nottinghamshire

 

j

Kennington Oval

Surrey

 

k

Cambridge

Cambridge University

 

l

Old Trafford

Lancashire

 

m

Lord's

M C C

 

n

Oxford

Oxford University

 

o

Hove

Sussex

 

p

TRENT BRIDGE

ENGLAND  First Test

DRAWN

q

Northampton

Northamptonshire

 

r

Canterbury

Kent

 

s

LORD'S

ENGLAND  Second Test

WON 185 r

t

Sheffield

YorkshirE

 

u

Bristol

Gloucestershire

 

v

Taunton

Somerset

 

w

Southampton

Hampshire

 

x

HEADINGLEY

ENGLAND  Third Test

LOST inns 42 r

y

Kennington Oval

Club Cricket Conference

 

z

Lord's

Middlesex

 

a’

OLD TRAFFORD

ENGLAND   Fourth Test

LOST inns 170 r

b’

Kennington Oval

Surrey

 

c’

Swansea

Glamorgan

 

d’

Edgbaston

Warwickshire

 

e’

Derby

Derbyshire

 

f’

Old Trafford

Lancashire

 

g’

Southend

Essex

 

h’

KENNINGTON OVAL

ENGLAND  Fifth Test

DRAWN

I’

Lord's

Gentlemen of England

 

j’

Hastings

An England XI

 

k’

Scarborough

T.N.Pearce's XI

 

l’

Jesmond

Minor Counties

 

m’

Glasgow

Scotland

 

n’

Aberdeen

Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

o’

KARACHI

PAKISTAN (First Test)

LOST 9 w

p’

MADRAS

INDIA (First Test)

WON inns 5

q’

BOMBAY

INDIA (Second Test)

DRAWN

r’

CALCUTTA

INDIA (Third Test)

WON 94 r

 

 

 

� not first-class

 

 

 

Time spent in England before First Test: 

  44 days

(24 April -  7 June)

 

 

 

 

Test appearances on tour

 

(v England 1956)

5 -   Archer,  Benaud,  Burke,  Harvey,  Johnson,  McDonald,  Miller

4 -   Lindwall

3 -   Burge,  Langley,  Mackay.

2 -  Craig,  Davidson,  Maddocks

1 -  Crawford

0 -  Rutherford,  Wilson.

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights

 

   The match against Surrey at The Oval in May was the first time a county side had beaten the Australians since before the first War

 

   

   In the first Test

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Summary

 

 

 P

 W

L

D

Aban

Test Matches In England

5

1

2

2

-

Other first-class matches

29

10

1

18

-

ϯ Minor matches

6

3

1

2

-

All Matches

40

14

4

23

-

    

          Summary excludes matches in India & Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Australia

London  Q  Rome Q  Karachi

Benares   Q  Sydney

 

 

 

After the England tour, most of the team took a holiday in Europe: Johnson, Langley, Maddocks, Archer, Mackay, Burge and Rutherford left London on 21 September for a motoring holiday on the continent. Lindwall, Harvey and Davidson had left earlier. 

Miller, Craig, Benaud and Burke remained in England, leaving on 8 October, and were joined by the rest of the team at Ciampano Airport, Rome, where they were then delayed by seven hours.

Their BOAC plane reached Karachi on 9 October and they were met by A H Kardar and the Australian Trade Commissioner.  Assistant manager Rush arrived in Pakistan ahead of the rest of the touring group on 8 October to finalise preparations. Writer Ray Robinson accompanied the team, which was based at the Hotel Metropole.

Following a shock defeat in the Test match against Pakistan, on 17 October the team flew out of Karachi on an Indian Airlines Corporation flight for Bombay, arriving that evening; then next day flying on to Madras.   Archer and Miller did not play in India.

After three more Test matches, they left Benares on 7 November returning to Australia.

 

 

Time away from Australia 

 224 days   

(1 April  to 10 November)

 

 

 

Finances

 

£42 000.  Each player received £1200 for the English section of the tour.

 

 

 

 

 

Written accounts of the tour

 

"Behind the Australian Tests"  Norman Cutler

"Australian Challenge"  Arthur Gilligan

"Operation Ashes" Arthur Morris

“The Test Matches of 1956"  E.W.Swanton

"The Fight for The Ashes"  Peter West

“Cricket at the Crossroads” (1957)  by Ian Johnson  (pub Cassell)

Part one of  “Cape Summer” (1957)  by Alan Ross (pub Hamish Hamilton)

 

 

 

 

 

Postscript

 

 

 

 



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