Eighth Test-playing tour of England by West Indies
(April - July 1969)
Sobers expressed his disapproval that the tour party was chosen before his report on the Australia-New Zealand tour could be considered. Sobers had posted his report express on Monday 3 March but it did not reach the selectors' eyes in time for their meeting the following Sunday.As it was, there was a wholesale revamp of the fast bowling with the veterans of West Indian triumphs in the 1960s, fast bowlers Hall and Griffith, discarded but the rest of the old team remained intact. While to English eyes it was a new look team, there was continuity with the previous series, with ten being retained from the Australian tour.
England, led by Illingworth because of Cowdrey's achilles tendon operation, beat West Indies by two matches to nil to retain the Wisden Trophy.The match at Lord's was a close draw.The visitors did not live up to their brilliant reputation and were sometimes disappointing or even dull to watch.Rainy weather continually disrupted the cricket and several days' play were washed out.Sobers had a poor tour and the team was apparently suffering from too much travelling and playing too much cricket.
Embarrassingly, the tourists were dismissed for 25 all out in the match against ireland.
On the journey home the tourists called in at Bermuda and, lacking half of the team, had to call up manager and assistant and a West Indian émigré to fulfil the fixture.
G E Gomez (Chairman), A F Rae, F L Thomas, C L Walcott, E D Weekes.
Walcott and Short were appointed at a West Indies Board meeting on 9 March 1968. Hoyos was appointed general assistant on 5 March 1969 at a meeting which also confirmed Sobers as the captain.On 21 March Gibbs was appointed vice-captain.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, already losing Sobers for much of the season, would not release Murray except for the Test matches, so he was considered unavailable.
Tour Party Announced :9 March 1969.
It was the first time that two players (Findlay and Shillingford) from outside the four main centres of West Indies regional cricket were chosen for a tour.
Not selected :Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Richard Edwards, David Holford.
Three team officials and twelve players flew from Seawell Airport on 20 April, via Antigua where Shillingford joined the flight, and arrived at Heathrow Airport on 21 April.Foster and Hendriks left Palisados Airport, Kingston, also on Sunday 20 April, and flew via New York to London.Shepherd was already in England and met up with the team in London.
On-tour selection panel
Sobers, Gibbs, Butcher and Walcott.
Shillingford was out of action for a month with a pulled muscle
There were no official reinforcements.Short, Walcott and 23 year-old Antiguan-born Albert Donawa (a local player from Bermudan club Somerset CC) played in the match against Bermuda.
•Charlie Davis scored a Test century (104) at Lord's
(excluding Bermuda matches)
Other first-class matches
Return to West Indies
Hendriks and Foster flew direct to Kingston, Jamaica; Foster on 24 July and Hendriks after a few days on business in England.
Manager Walcott and eight other players arrived from Heathrow in Bermuda at 6:45 pm on 24 July to play a match. Butcher arrived the next day from New York.
The team reached Trinidad on 28 July, including the Guyanan players (Blair, Butcher, Camacho) in transit.
Sobers, after participating in a single wicket tournament, played the rest of the summer for Notts. Gibbs (Warwickshire), Lloyd (Lancashire), Holder (Worcestershire) and Shepherd (Kent) remained in England to play for their counties. Fredericks made a last minute decision to play for the International Cavaliers and he also remained in England.
The tour profit was £24 000.
Published accounts of the tour
"Cricket in Three Moods"Henry Blofeld.
* July 26:Bermuda 264, West Indies 19-0 overnight (Reuters)