The tour, England's ninth official series in the West Indies, was the first to be sponsored by Cable
& Wireless. Four members of the team - Gooch, Emburey, Taylor and Willey
- were chosen for their first tours with England
since their three-year bans for taking part in the rebel tour matches in South Africa.
these selections might lead to political interference and cause cancellation
of the tour, the Pakistan
and West Indian Boards made contingency plans for Pakistan to stand ready to tour
instead. The T.C.C.B. deplored this arrangement.
Gooch would not at
first accept a place in the England tour party, following demands that he
clarify to the West Indies governments his views on South Africa. When England
arrived, noisy demonstrations had no effect on the matches but the political
pressure upset Gooch. Later, after a statement by the Antiguan Prime
Minister, Lester Bird, he threatened to go home early. Only four days before
the final Test match David Gower and Donald Carr of the TCCB managed to
persuade him to remain with the team and play in the Test.
England lost all five Test matches in a second
“blackwash” against West Indies, as had happened in England in
1984, as well as losing the one-day series.
Opening batsmen:Graham Gooch, David Smith, Tim Robinson,
Middle-order batsmenMike Gatting, David Gower,
Allan Lamb, Peter Willey
Wicket-keeper: Paul Downton, Bruce French
Slow bowlers: Phil Edmonds, John Emburey
bowlers: Neil Foster, Greg Thomas, Les Taylor, Richard Ellison.
Gm - Glamorgan (1)
Le- Leicestershire (3)
Mx - Middlesex (4)
Nth - Northamptonshire (1)
Nt - Nottinghamshire (2)
Sm - Somerset (1)
Wo - Worcestershire (1)
Average age ofteam at time of first Test match
(21 February 1986):
29 yrs 8
Appearances made before the tour
79, Gower 76, Gooch 48, Gatting 41, Lamb 38, Edmonds 33, Emburey 28, Downton 21, Willey 21, Robinson 11, Foster 9, Ellison 7, Taylor 2, French 0, Slack 0, Smith 0, Thomas 0.
Tony Brown was named as manager on 9 August ; and Bob Willis as
assistant manager on 16 September.
Laurie Brown of Lancashire, was formerly
with Manchester United Football Club.
Peter Austin, the
Warwickshire scorer, was injured when he fell down an uncovered manhole in Antigua near the end of the tour. He was immediately
flown back to hospital in England.
who met at Lord's on the morning of 19 September werePeter May (chairman), Alec Bedser, Phil Sharpe, Alan Smith, Tony Brown (manager), David Gower (captain), Charles Palmer (chairman of the TCCB), Douglas Insole (Chairman of Cricket,
Overseas Tours) and Donald Carr (Secretary
David Gower was appointed captain on 15 August 1985, the first
day of the Edgbaston Test against Australia.
Tour party announced :20September 1985.
Official stand-bys : Neil Radford
and Dipak Patel of Worcestershire.
Graham Gooch did not accept his place in the team until 16
Greg Thomas was selected subject to a fitness test because of
ankle, hip and hamstring injuries.
Time between selection and departure from England
(20 September - 26 January)
26 January 1986.
Time spent in the West
January -18 April)
David Gower (captain), Mike Gatting (vice-captain), Bob Willis
(assistant manager), Gooch (senior player).
Wilf Slack arrived
in Trinidad from the England
'B' team tour, to replace Mike Gatting,
who returned home for an operation on his nose after being hit by a Marshall bouncer in the
first one-day international. Gooch was promoted to vice-captain.
The day after Gatting's return to the West Indies on 13 March, his thumb was broken.
Willey returned home after damaging his right knee in training and
missed the fifth Test match.