Tour of England 1912 (The Triangular Tournament)Captain: Frank Mitchell
Third official Test tour
SecondTest-playing tour of England by South Africa
(April - October 1912)
The Triangular Tournament was the brainchild of Sir Abe Bailey, a Test competition to be played in England between England, Australia and South Africa.However, the weather was so poor in 1912, and so many of the leading players were not on show, that the project was a failure.
Percy Sherwell was the original choice as captain but it was a major loss when this world-class wicket-keeper and natural leader withdrew.Schwarz and White had turned down the opportunity to captain the side before Frank Mitchell, an employee of Bailey’s, was awarded the captaincy instead. This caused some astonishment not only because of his age and having not played regularly for six years, but mainly because he was English (he had even played in two Test matches for England), indicating how thin South Africa’s resources were.
Non-selection of the great googly bowler Bert Vogler was the team’s other great loss. He withdrew because his tour fee to Australia was withheld for poor behaviour, and would not accept a compromise
Despite their dismal results in the Triangular Tournament, the South Africans avoided defeat against every county except Lancashire.
Faulkner, the only South African tourist ever to achieve the English ‘double’ of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a season, and Pegler, who took 189 wickets, were the outstanding players in the side.
The five-man selection committee met after three trial matches held at the end of December 1911. Its first proposal for a touring team was given out on 2 January
Withdrawals: On 6 February P W Sherwell withdrew for business reasons (so Mitchell would be captain). A E E Vogler also withdrew because his tour fee from 1910-11 was not yet paid. The selectors met again on 15 February
Unavailable: William Shalders was unfit after pneumonia;batsman Fred Susskind, 21, was attending (and playing for) Cambridge University. Kotze who would have come out of retirement to tour was not fit and Cox came into the side.Deputy wicket-keeper Tommy Ward took the final place in the team.
Then Billy Zulch withdrew and was replaced by Louis Stricker.
Tour Party Announced :13 March 1912.
Not selected : Jimmy Sinclair,Louis Tapscott,Ormy Pearse,Fred le Roux.
C B Llewellyn, engaged by Lancashire League club Accrington, would be unavailable to play on any Saturdays or bank holidays.
Vogler who took ten wickets on his only appearance at the trials and then withdrew from the originally-named team, left Johannesburg on 19 May to take up a coaching post in Ireland.Manager Allsop said he would not be invited to join the team.
Time between selection and departure from South Africa
(13 March to 4 April)
Departure from South Africa started with Nourse, Taylor and Cox boarding the ‘Balmoral Castle’ at Durban on 20 March, picking up Hartigan at East London, and meeting up with the Transvaal men in Cape Town.
The team sailed from Cape Town on 4 April 1912 aboard the ‘Balmoral Castle’ and arrived at Southampton on Saturday 20 April. They were met by Snooke had travelled to England earlier, leaving on the ‘Gloucester Castle’ on 20 March as part of his honeymoon arrangements.
Llewellyn, Faulkner and Schwarz were already in England.Gordon White was allowed to leave South Africa a fortnight after the rest of the team on 24 April. He arrived on board the ‘Walmer Castle’ on 11 May.
Time spent in
(20 April - 21 September)
On-tour selection panel
Frank Mitchell (captain),Louis Tancred(vice-captain),Reggie Schwarz (senior player).
None, although Hartigan was ill in June and then fractured his arm which left him unable to play again on the tour. In July Schwarz dropped out midway through the tour.
Won 7 w
Won 52 r
M C C
Lost 108 r
Won inns 42 r
LOST inns 88 r
Won 10 w
LOST inns 62 r
Won 230 r
Won inns 97 r
Won inns 97 r
Won 6 w
LOST 174 r
LOST 10 w
Woodbrook Club & Ground
Won inns 169 r
Lost 225 r
Won 60 r
LOST 10 w
Won 4 w
Won 2 w
Lionel Robinson’s XI
Lost 191 r
Lord Londesborough’s XI
Gentlemen of England
Won 6 w
Sir Abe Bailey’s XI
† not first-class
Time spent inbefore First Test:37 days
(20 April - 27 May 1912)
Test appearances on tour
•Pegler took 6 wickets in the innings against Australia at Old Trafford and then 7 for 65 against England at Lord’s.
•Faulkner scored a century (122*) in South Africa’s defeat in the first match of the Triangular Tournament.
Other first-class matches
Return to South Africa
Snooke left for Cape Town on 17 August after playing in the Oval Test match.
The touring party left England in two main groups:Cox, Nourse, Pegler, Tancred, Taylor, Ward and White left Waterloo Station on the morning train for Southampton and embarked on the ‘Kildonan Castle’ on Saturday 21 September,They arrived at Cape Town on 8 October.
On the journey the ship passed within hailing distance of the ‘Kinfauns Castle’ and the cricketers yelled greeting to the Springbok rugby team sailing to England.
The second group of tourists (Campbell, Carter, Hartigan, Stricker with the manager Allsop) sailed by way of Madeira on the ‘Walmer Castle’, arriving home on 15 October.
Faulkner, Llewellyn and Schwarz (all now resident in Britain) and Mitchell (whose father was seriously ill) remained in England, as did Beaumont for a holiday.
Time away from South Africa194 days
(4 April to 15 October)
Gate receipts for the tour programme of matches were only £4000, the Tests giving an income of £1878.
Overall, the tour made a loss of £2467.
Published accounts of the tour
“Triangular Cricket”by E H D Sewell(J M Dent & Sons, 1912)
“Before the Lights Went Out”by Patrick Ferriday(Von Krumm Publishing, 2011)