After the financial success of the tour in 1909-10,
the South African Cricket Union (S.A.C.U.) was eager to bring across another
English team.M.C.C. agreed to make
the tour subject to all their costs being covered, for which the South
Africans quickly raised more than the £5000 necessary. No manager was appointed, these arrangements
being left in the hands of the S.A.C.U., who chose Ivor Difford.
The tour was a triumph for Sydney Barnes who was
virtually unplayable on matting pitches by all except Herbie Taylor.Barnes took 49 wickets in the first four
Tests, declining to appear in the fifth Test because the South African authorities
had provided poor accommodation for him and his wife.
The home selectors introduced sixteen new caps, of
whom nine were immediately dropped again, in trying to match the strongest
team yet sent here from England.
The visitors won the series by four matches to nil. Hobbs was outstanding with a batting
average of 63 and Johnny Douglas, the third-choice captain, made a full
contribution with bat and ball.
It was the last cricket tour on which Test matches
were played anywhere for seven years.
Gilbert Jessop was unavailable when offered the captaincy, so F L
Fane was invited to lead the side. When Fane in turn decided he was unable to
go, Johnny Douglas was appointed as captain.
Also asked to tour but unavailable:C B Fry;F R Foster (business); Frank Tarrant, who would be coaching in India.
Tour Party Announced :Booth,
Hearne, Hobbs, Rhodes, Woolley (on 6 July
1913); Mead and Strudwick (23 July); Bird and Relf (14 August); Robinson (21
August); Barnes (26 August);
WithdrawalsFrancis Fane (Essex) was asked to go as
captain when Jessop declined but himself withdrew later; Johnny Douglas would
take over (as announced 1 September);P R ‘Randall’ Johnson
(Somerset) was given the last place in the team but changed his mind; so Tennyson
would take the last place (announced 5 September).
Gunn offered to join the team but the South African Cricket Union declined,
owing to the expense.
Time between selection and departure from England
(26 August - 18 October)
Southampton TCape Town
Departure from England was on18 October
1913.The team sailed from Southampton on RMS 'Saxon'
The ship berthed at Cape
Town on Tuesday 4 November.
Barnes travelled separately on the 'Braemar Castle' with his wife.
Time spent in South Africa
Douglas Robinson returned home on 6 December without playing a match. He was
unwell with ulceration of the stomach. ‘Tiger’ Smith arrived in his place
soon afterwards.Booth missed games
after being involved in a motor accident.
The following each played in one match: the manager, Ivor
Difford; baggageman Bill Creese; Albert Relf's brother Robert; and Henry Harrison
Douglas, Relf, Tennyson and Woolley appeared in every
Rhodesia's cricket authorities were unable to give the
required financial guarantees and their matches were eliminated from the