An M.C.C. tour
for 1906-07 was finally called off in September 1906 because an Australian
Board of Control was not yet fully agreed and the state associations were not
ready to manage tours to or from Australia on a unified basis. M.C.C. insisted that governance by a single
representative body was essential to deal with the administrative side of fixtures, finances
On 23 April 1907
the Marylebone Cricket Club announced they would send a team to Australia. Even
at the eleventh hour in August 1907 the tour was not quite certain: “Nothing
in Australian cricket is quite assured now except difficulty and dissension.”
O Jones was M.C.C’s third-choice captain after F S Jackson (England’s 1905
captain) and R E Foster (England captain in 1907) turned it down.
Arnold's invitation to tour was withdrawn. M.C.C. wrote to him twice but he
did not reply within the required time.Speculation that George Gunn was in the original selection was not
true but, once it was known that he would be in Australia for his health, he
was looked upon as the tour reserve.
programme of matches virtually ignored the country districts in order to
avoid losses at the gates but as the tour progressed even in first-class
matches the crowds fell to the lowest since the 1887-88 double tour. The
tourists left with a substantial loss.
England won a thrilling victory at Melbourne when the last wicket pair scored
39 runs required for victory. But Australia won all of the other
four Test matches.
Middle-order batsmenFrancis Fane, Joe
Hardstaff (senior), Ted Hayes, Kenneth Hutchings.
All-rounders:Len Braund, Jack Crawford, Wilfred
Slow bowlers:Colin Blythe
MrJ N Crawford
Mr F L Fane
RHB opener vice-captain
MrK L Hutchings
MrA O Jones
RHB opener captain
MrR A Young
Dy – Derbyshire (1)
Ex –Essex (1)
Nt - Nottinghamshire (2)
Sm - Somerset (1)
Sx - Sussex (1)
Average age of team at time of first Test match
years 11 months
Appearances made before the tour
Braund 18, Rhodes 17, Blythe 14, Crawford 7, Fane 5, Barnes 4, Hayes 3, Fielder 2, Jones 8, Gunn 0, Hardstaff 0, Hobbs 0, Humphries 0, Hutchings 0, Young 0.
Trevor, a cricket writer and member of M.C.C., was appointed in August.
Lord Hawke (chairman),
Captaincy:Hon F S Jackson turned down an invitation by
M.C.C. in June to lead the side. R E Foster (who was captain in the 1907
Tests against South Africa)
also declined and P F Warner, J R Mason and even Lord Hawke were all unable
to go as captain for private or business reasons.
On 30 July it was
announced that A O Jones had accepted the captaincy.
Perrin; Gilbert Jessop; the professionals Johnny Tyldesley, Dick Lilley, Tom Hayward
and George Hirst rejected the terms offered.
(Hirst had also said after the rough sea
voyage in 1903-04 that nothing would make him tour abroad again) .
Tour Party Completed :18 August 1907.
Time between selection and departure from England
(18 August - 20 September)
On 20 September 1907 the team left
Tilbury on the 'Ophir'. George Gunn
and Frank Tarrant were also on board. Mr Young joined the ship at Plymouth. Mr Fane, Mr
Hutchings and Rhodes went overland and boarded at Marseilles.
The ship reached Colombo at 9am on 14 October, and the team
played a match but only five of the tourists took part.
The 'Ophir' berthed at Fremantle on 24 October. Only eleven of the
team landed, Hobbs, Hutchings, Fielder and
Gunn going on with the boat to Adelaide.After the initial match against Western Australia, the M.C.C. party reached Adelaide on the 'Himalaya'
one week before their South
Time spent in Australia
October - 16 March)
The captain, Mr A O Jones, fell ill
with pneumonia and Mr Fane took over as skipper until Jones was fit to
George Gunn who had
travelled out on the 'Ophir',
reinforced the tour party and played in all five Test matches. It was always
understood that he could be used in an emergency.
The Test matches were timeless. Major Philip Trevor, the
manager, speculated in “The Sportsman” whether
this was to ensure a fight to the finish or to squeeze six days’ gate money
out of a match that in England
would end in three.
A draft programme of matches was submitted to MCC in April
•The reinforcement George Gunn made
119 and 74 on his debut at Brisbane.
He scored another century (122) in the last Test at Sydney.
•Arthur Fielder took 6-82 and 3-88 in the opening Test.
Crawford returned figures of 5-79 in the 2nd Test, which England won, 5-79
in 4th, and 5-141 in 5th Test.
Hutchings’ innings of 126
Hardstaff (61 in the first innings) defied Australia
with 72 as England were
bowled out for 183 at Adelaide.
Barnes took seven wickets for 60 as Australia collapsed to 137 at Sydney conceding
a lead of 144 but Australia fought back to win the match
Other first-class matches
Joe Humphries, recovered from his operation, sailed from Melbourne
on 10 March to rejoin the team in Western
Australia. M.C.C. were playing the state for the
first time on a full Australian tour but, because the team had to board the 'Ophir'
in the evening, the match was left drawn when stumps had to be pulled at tea
'Ophir' left Fremantle at 7 pm on 16 March.
ship reached Naples
on 10 April. Hardstaff, Hobbs and Gunn
travelled from here by train, arriving in London
on the evening of 13 April, while the remainder came overland from Marseilles the next day.
They arrived at London’s
Victoria Station, Blythe and Fielder having left the train at Tonbridge.
Time away from England
September - 13 April)
M.C.C. asked the new Australian
Board for a guarantee of £10,000 against the expenses of the tour. The tour
lost £2600 because of low attendances and this had to be made good by Victoria, Queensland
and New South Wales.
The professionals’ retainer was
£300 with all expenses covered and a £2/week allowance, with further
remuneration if the profits allowed.The professionals did not regard this as sufficient compared with the
Australians, as “amateurs”, receiving £600-800.
of the tour
“Trip to Kangaroo
Land"by Jack Crawford,illustrated by ‘Rip’[R P Hill](pub Cricket Offices, London,
"With the M.C.C. in Australia
1907-08"byP C W Trevor[A Rivers, 1908](facsimile reprint published by J W