Tour of South Africa 1914-15 Captain: Warwick Armstrong
Would have been 14th Australian Test tour
Would have been second Test-playing tour of South Africa by Australia
(December 1914 -
The Australians had confirmed in November 1913 they would make the 5½-month tour of South Africa in 1914-15. There would be twenty matches including five Tests. These were scheduled for Durban, Cape Town and, uniquely, three matches in Johannesburg. Travelling arrangements were also in place. (see below).
Jack Hobbs, who had just returned from South Africa with the 1913-14 M C C side, thought the Australians would be unable to cope with matting pitches and would probably lose the series.
However, the tour was put in doubt in August 1914 because of anticipated war conditions.
The South African Cricket Association was of the unanimous opinion that a tour would be impossible and sent a cable on 13 August to Sydney Smith, secretary of the Board of Control, advising that the tour be pushed back. They requested for it to be held in 1915-16 instead, in the hope that the Great War would be quickly over but, as the Australians planned to invite M.C.C. in that summer, this was never likely.
In light of the events of 1912, it may seem surprising that Warwick Armstrong was chosen as captain. "Armstrong’s outstanding form on the 1913-14 tour of New Zealand and the fact that there were few likely candidates for the Australian captaincy would have outweighed whatever prejudice the national selectors had against him" (from “Australian All-rounders” by Marc Fiddian published by Pakenham Gazette 1992.).
Other Australian Tours
Next proposed tour
Next tour of South Africa
Members of the Test tour party (14)
Opening batsmen: Warren Bardsley, Ernie Mayne.
Middle-order batsmen Tommy Andrews, Charles Macartney, Fred Baring, Johnny Moyes, Roy Park.
Wicket-keepers Barlow Carkeek, Gordon Campbell.
All-rounders Charles Kelleway, Jack Ryder.
Slow bowlers Warwick Armstrong
Fast bowlers Bill Whitty, Bert Folkard.
T J E Andrews
W W Armstrong
RHB LBG captain
LHB opener vice-captain
E P Barbour w/d
G C Campbell
B J Folkard added
G R Hazlitt w/d
C G Macartney
E R Mayne
A G Moyes
R L Park added
W J Whitty
Sheffield Shield teams
NSW New South Wales (5)
Qld Queensland (0)
SA South Australia (4)
Tas Tasmania (0)
Vic Victoria (5)
WA Western Australia (0)
Average age of team at time of first Test match
(16 December 1914) :
29 yrs 4 months.
Test Appearances made before the tour
Armstrong 40, Macartney 21, Bardsley 20, Kelleway 15, Whitty 14, Carkeek 6, Mayne 2, Andrews 0, Baring 0, Campbell 0, Folkard 0, Moyes 0, Park 0, Ryder 0.
The South Africans would provide a scorer and a baggageman.
Clem Hill, Ernest Bean, Dr Les Poidevin.
The appointment of Bean, who was known to be antagonistic towards many players, and of Poivedin, who was not a state selector and had been out of the country, made it seem likely that the difficulties of 1912 would occur over again, and a number of players would make themselves unavailable.
Unavailable: Clem Hill (citing his work as a racing steward); R B Minnett (University examinations); ‘Ranji’ Hordern; Jack Massie; Vernon Ransford; Victor Trumper (supposed to be because of the low allowances being paid for the tour). Probably, most of these were unavailable for business reasons.
Tour Party Announced : Saturday 20 June 1914.
In a new arrangement selection of tour parties would precede a full meeting of the Australian Board, which would then consider the names submitted for its approval.
The selectors had invited thirteen cricketers, then Campbell was added as player-manager.
Not selected : Legh Winser (wk), Jim Matthews (leg-spin), Donald Steele (batsman).
Withdrawal : Eric Barbour was unable to go because of his studies at Sydney University and was replaced by Roy Park, also a medical student at Melbourne University; Herbie Collins was in reserve.
Gerry Hazlitt was replaced by Bert Folkard. Macartney was also a doubtful starter.
Time between selection and planned date of departure from Australia:
(20 June - 2 November)
Sydney T Cape Town
The tourists were to leave Sydney on 2 November on the 'Thermistocles', to play a match at Perth, and reach Cape Town on 28 November 1914.
Time planned in South Africa
(28 November - 17 April?)
Warwick Armstrong (captain), Warren Bardsley (vice-captain), Gordon Campbell (player-manager)
The tour arrangements announced at first were for it to take place between 1 December 1914 and 17 April 1915, with travel arrangements as above. However, this proposed programme of fixtures would require the Australians to leave a month earlier.
Published dates for proposed programme
7 - 10 November
14 - 17 November
20 - 23 November
17 - 30 November
South African Colleges
2 - 3 December
4 - 7 December
11 - 14 December
SOUTH AFRICA First Test
16 - 19 December
SOUTH AFRICA Second Test
24 - 29 December
SOUTH AFRICA Third Test
1 - 5 January
ϯ to be decided
A Transvaal XI
8 - 9 January
12 - 13 January
15 - 18 January
30 Jan - 2 February
SOUTH AFRICA Fourth Test
6 - 10 February
13 - 16 February
SOUTH AFRICA Fifth Test
19 - 23 February
27 Feb - 2 March
ϯ Cape Town
South African Colleges
5 - 6 March
� not first-class
Time to be spent in South Africa before First Test:
(28 November - 16 December)
The South Africans would cover all expenses and keep the gate money. Each player would receive £200 for the tour, plus expenses.
It was estimated the tour would cost £6000. The Transvaal Cricket Union would guarantee half of those costs provided the South African Cricket Association let it retain profits made on matches in Transvaal.
Earlier, on 14 November 1913, the Australian Cricket Board of Control had decided, in view of sending a Test team to England in 1916, they could not accept an invitation to send a cricket team to the Olympic Games in Germany.
Subsequently, the 1916 Australian tour of England, as well as a proposed visit to Barbados on the way home, had to be scrapped.