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.
Sir Donald Bradman (South Australia), Dudley Seddon (New South Wales), Jack Ryder (Victoria)
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
(8 February - March)
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
(24 April - 21 September)
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.
NoneDavidson tore ligaments and chipped a bone in his foot, missing several weeks of play.
Won 229 r
Duke of Norfolk's XI
M C C
WON 185 r
LOST inns 42 r
Club Cricket Conference
LOST inns 170 r
Gentlemen of England
An England XI
PAKISTAN (First Test)
LOST 9 w
INDIA (First Test)
WON inns 5
INDIA (Second Test)
INDIA (Third Test)
WON 94 r
� not first-class
Time spent in England before First Test:
(24 April - 7 June)
Test appearances on tour
(v England 1956)
5 -Archer, Benaud, Burke, Harvey, Johnson, McDonald, Miller
3 -Burge, Langley, Mackay.
2 -Craig, Davidson,Maddocks
0 -Rutherford, Wilson.
•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
Test Matches In England
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
Summary excludes matches in India & Pakistan
Return to Australia
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
(1 April to 10 November)
£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)