The Australian Cricket Board voted in October 1945 to invite
M.C.C. to tour Australia
next season, and represented by their government's United Nations spokesman,
Dr H.V.Evatt, pressed M C C very hard to make the tour in the interests of
Anglo-Australian relations. While M.C.C. could agree that an Ashes Test
series would symbolise the return to post-War normality, the club undertook
its twelfth tour of Australia
against its better judgement, sensing that English cricket needed another
year or two to recover from six years of War.
Walter Hammond on his eighth and final Test tour was the captain.
“Past his best physically at 43, he did not have the properties for leadership
of a touring party but he might have made a better job of it if not dogged by
such consistent ill-luck.” [Swanton in Australia] In the first Test Bradman
won a crucial toss and, surviving a fair catch when 28 and going on to score
187, shifted the whole psychological advantage of the series, which was
compounded when a unimaginable storm changed the Brisbane pitch into a
unplayable surface when England came to bat.
Australia went on to inflict a heavy three-nil defeat in the
Tests, and M C C ended up with the worst playing record by some measures of
any English Test side in Australia since Stoddart's team in 1894-95.
Sir Stanley Jackson (chairman),
Lord Cobham (M.C.C), A J ‘Jack’ Holmes, Walter Robins,Brian Sellers, Pelham Warner and Walter Hammond
Jackson was knocked down by a taxi in London on 31 July and did not attend later
Sellers and Warner were journalists and later reported on
the team they had themselves selected.
had originally expressed some doubt whether he could go.
Tour Party Announced : The first twelve tourists were named on 19 July.Smith and Pollard were added on 1 August,
and the last three (Edrich, Fishlock, Langridge) on 11 August.
Tour party completed : 11 August 1946
Not selected:John Clay, Eric Hollies or Tom Goddard might have been considered.
There were too few specialist bowlers available for selection, and too many all-rounders
who were really batting specialists.
Time between selection and departure from England
(11 August - 31 August)
sailing for Australia,
the players were busy hunting round for spare clothing coupons. On 31 August
1946 the team took a train from Waterloo Station, London,
to Southampton Docks and sailed on the Union
Castle ship‘Stirling Castle’’.
made only one stop at Port Said,
to Fremantle, landing on 24 September 1946.
The ship called at Colombo, but for the
first time since 1903-04 did not play
a match.“Nearly a month at sea on a
crowded ship run on austerity lines by the Government - no classes and no
The team arrived at Perth much earlier than
anticipated so an extra minor match was arranged.
Time spent in Australia
Walter Hammond (captain),Norman Yardley (vice-captain), Bill Edrich.
had turned amateur at the beginning of the tour)
After the Australian section of the tour, the bulk of the
team flew by seaplane from Sydney to Auckland, then by road to Wellington
for the first match in New
Hutton flew home for a throat operation, arriving in England
on 17 March.
Langridge (groin injury) had been unable to play for six
weeks. With Gibb, Hardstaff, Eric Bedser (not an official member of the team)
and Ferguson, he returned home in the ‘Largs Castle’,
on 18 March.
The main team returned by air in four groups, completed by
the arrival of Hammond and Major Howard on 8 April.
Ikin had to remain in hospital at Rangoon for treatment to a septic arm