Twelfth Test-playing tour of England by Australia.
(March - November 1909)
Following a series of trial matches, this was the first side to be selected by a committee of the Australian Board of Control.The panel was chaired by Percy McAlister. The Board thencontroversially voted that McAlister would hold four roles: vice-captain; tour selector; the Board's representative to the new ICC; and he would act as Treasurer which would ensure that the management of money would be according to the Board's wishes.
The Australians were invited as part of a Triangular Tournament but declined to take part and their invitation to tour was at risk of being cancelled. Then on 29 July 1908 the resolution was withdrawn by MCC and the counties.
The Australian Board also resisted a request to stop and play a match in South Africa on the way to England but did play matches in Colombo on the way home (the team had sailed in two separate groups and each played a match). The Australians triumphed in the Test series winning two matches before batting England out of the two remaining drawn Tests.
At the end of the tour player-manager Frank Laver declined to submit a tour report to the Board of Control, which the Board used as grounds for excluding him from the 1912 tour.
Monty Noble and Victor Trumper had put themselves forward for election as selectors but were unsuccessful.
The Board of Control meeting held on 18 February appointed Frank Laver as manager, Monty Noble as captain and Percy McAlister as vice-captain (by 6 votes to 5)
Unavailable:Clem Hill said he would not go because of the new financial arrangements (see Finances below), while at first Trumper, Noble and Armstrong refused to sign their tour contracts
McAlister and Carkeek were the last two to be selected. McAlister, as the Board's representative, would act as Treasurer.
The Board then considered the selectors' recommendation that A J Hopkins be taken as a 15th player. The Board would pay only £200 towards his costs and it was left to the other players to decide whether to afford his place from their share, which they did.
The Orient liner 'Orontes'leftSydney Harbour on 17 March and docked at Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle on its way to Ceylon, Suez and Naples (23 April) where Bardsley and McAlister disembarked. Six of the team (Noble, Carkeek, Cotter, Hartigan, Hopkins and O'Connor) disembarked at Plymouth on Friday 30 April after a rough passage through the Bay of Biscay and took the train to London. Gregory proceeded in the 'Orontes' reaching London the next day.Armstrong had arrived at the team's headquarters, the Inns of Court Hotel, London, the day before.Bardsley and McAlister had already arrived overland and had even played a match at Esher on 1 May.
The team practiced at Lord's Ground between 3 and 5 May then travelled by railway (not Carkeek, Hopkins or McAlister) to Nottingham for their first match.
Noble (captain),McAlister (vice-captain),Gregory(whom the Board preferred to Trumper as third selector)
•Armstrong was the star all-rounder, taking 5-27 in the first Test and 6-35 in the second. He was the only bowler to take more than a hundred first-class wickets on tour (133), as well as scoring 1451 runs
•Ransford, on his first tour of England, scored a century (135) at Lord's though he was dropped three times.
•Macartney took 11 wickets in the match at Headingley (7-58 and 4-27)
•Laver took 8-31 with his medium-pacers at Old Trafford - the best bowling by an Australian in England.
•Warren Bardsley, also on his first tour of England, scored a hundred in each innings (136 and 130) at The Oval, becoming the first person in Test cricket to do so.
excluding Ceylon matches
Other first-class matches
Return to Australia
After the final match the tourists took a fortnight's holiday in the Scottish Highlands and returned to Glasgow to play a match on 5 October but rain prevented any play so they caught the train for London.
The tour party split in two to return home.Noble, Armstrong, Cotter and Hopkins left London’s Charing Cross Station by boat train on 13 October to catch the ss 'Orsova'(which left port on15 October) arriving at Marseilles one week later.
On 30 October a one-day match was played against Ceylon (involving Armstrong, Cotter, Hopkins, McAlister, Noble)
The rest of the team had sailed on 8 October 1909 on ss'Mongolia' which sailed to Sydney, via Singapore. There was another match against Ceylon, starting on 8 November (involving McAlister, Bardsley, Carter, Carkeek, Ransford, Whitty).
The Board would take a share of the income and distribute the rest of it to the players, whereas before 1905 the players and their chosen manager would take the risks and keep all the profits they could make.