This was England’s first tour of South Africa since Mike Smith’s
M.C.C. side thirty years before. With the World Cup in India and Pakistan to follow, it was “an
absurdly punishing schedule”, lasting five months
As England manager as well as coach
and chief selector, Ray Illingworth stamped his authority firmly on all
aspects of the tour, but his generation appeared detached from the modern
player’s attitudes. With old-school coaches Edrich and Lever in tow, the manner
in which they were trying to get the best out of England’s only fast bowler Devon
Malcolm was only the worst example of an outmoded approach. Malcolm was
subsequently fined for a newspaper column for expressing his point of view.
With two Tests ruined by rain
and two others drawn, England
arrived at Cape Town
for the final match with a chance of gaining a series victory.But a last-wicket partnership of 73 runs by
South Africa in a
low-scoring match condemned England
to defeat within three days.
The tour highlight was England’s rearguard at Johannesburg.From before lunch on the fourth day of the
second Test Mike Atherton withstood the South African bowlers, with Jack
Russell his companion for five hours, was one of the greatest defensive
actions seen in Test cricket to save a match.
(hamstring) and Mark Ilott (strained thigh) went home early injured.
Jason Gallian and Devon Malcolm flew home from Cape Town after the Fifth Test on 8 January.
team returned to England
on 22 January before flying out to Pakistan to practise for the 1996
World Cup tournament.
Time away from England
(18 October - 22 January)
of the tour
“England Tour of South Africa 1995 - 96 Official
Tour Brochure”by Susan Doull (United Cricket Board)
Ray Illingworth blamed the presence of wives and children for distracting
his players and contributing to bringing about defeat against South Africa in 1995-96 and the following
winter they were banned from the tour of Zimbabwe
and New Zealand.
Illingworth’s contract ended in the spring partly because he was not prepared
to spend another winter touring
Test tours in 1995-96
To general reading of The Times newspaper digital archive
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