Once Johnny Wardle had been sacked by Yorkshire C.C.C.
for publishing critical newspaper articles, M.C.C. then dropped him from
their team to Australia.
The selectors discussed making a replacement on 24 August but three days
later announced their decision to do without one and took only sixteen
players.But within a month of
the tour committee called for Mortimore and Dexter to be sent out.
M.C.C.'s twelfth tour of Australia was the first with a
curtailed programme, following complaints after 1954-55 that the tour had
been excessively long for the players.M.C.C. stated that the tour would have to be shortened by two weeks.
Two-day country games were cut from the Australian itinerary which angered
Australian officials who felt the M.C.C. visits fostered cricket in country districts.
The formidable England team of the 1950's was
breaking up. Since 1951 England
had played in 66 Test matches and lost only eight. Now they lost four of the
five matches in this Ashes series.
announced the names of the manager and assistant manager on 10 July.
Gubby Allen (chairman), Les Ames, Freddie Brown, H.E.’Tom’ Dollery, Doug Insole, Billy Griffith, Brian Sellers, Wilf Wooller and Peter May (captain) chose the team from the 25 names (announced on 14 July)
asked whether available.
Unavailable : Rev David Sheppard stated on 24 February
that his work at The Mayflower Centre in East London
prevented him from touring.
Johnny Wardle and Jim Laker were not available at first for
family reasons, but changed their minds.
Tour party announced : 27 July 1958.
Not selected: Of those asked whether they could tour, Keith
Andrew,Ted Dexter, Ray Illingworth, Doug
Insole, Alan Moss, Don Smith and Mike Smith were not picked.
M.C.C. Committee met at Lord's on 19 August and dropped Johnny Wardle from
the selected tour party and a week later announced that he would not be
replaced in the side.
Time between selection and departure from England
(27 July - 27 September)
The team sailed out of Tilbury on the 'Iberia' on
27 September. By disembarking at Bombay, and
flying to Colombo they made time to fit in two
matches in Ceylon,
where they landed on 5 October. On the way from the airport to a reception at
the home of a former Prime Minister, Bailey and Tyson's car was involved in a
The team left Colombo
on the 'Iberia'on Tuesday 7 October. Watson, who had
injured a knee, flew on to Perth.
The ship reached Fremantle on 13 October.
players flew to Harewood Airport, Christchurch,
NZ, on 20 February
Time spent in Australia
October -20 February)
in New Zealand:30 days
February - 22 ? March)
Peter May (captain),
Freddie Brown (manager), Colin Cowdrey (vice-captain), Trevor Bailey.
Willie Watson had a recurrence of a knee injury which required an
operation and he could not play until Brisbane.
Ted Dexter and John Mortimore were summoned to cover
for injuries to Subba Row (fractured wrist), Watson (knee) and Milton (hand
injury). Mortimore was called for on 17 November.
Dexter was in Paris when the call came and he withdrew from an
M.C.C. cricket tour of South America in order ro take up the offer.
returned early due to a hand injury, and a road accident prevented Statham
and Loader from participating in the final Australian matches. Bailey, Evans,
Laker, Loader, Milton and Statham did not tour
Twelve players flew to Harewood
Airport, Christchurch, NZ, on 20 February. Freddie
Brown (despite declaring his dislike of fielding) and Desmond Eager were
ready to play if necessary.
The tour ended at Auckland.May, Watson, Graveney, Mortimore, Trueman,
Duckworth and Montague flew by way of the United
States and reached London on 23 March.Dexter, Eager, Cowdrey, Swetman and Subba
Row flew via Sydney and Singapore.
Their plane lost power in an engine approaching Thailand
and had to go back to Singapore
for another day - a six-hour flight for nothing.This group of players returned via Beirut on 25 March.
Richardson returned via Singapore on 15 April ; his arm was slightly
burned when the plane made an emergency landing at Beirut Airport.Tyson remained in Australia. Brown returned by sea.
Time away from England
October - 25 March)
M.C.C. had tour expenses of £A 55000 in Australia and
made £A 35 000 profit (£16 500).
In New Zealand
all expenses were met and profits retained by the NZ Cricket Council..
of the tour
"May's Men in Australia"by Alec
Bedser (Stanley Paul, 1959)
the Wicket”by Bill Edrich (Muller,
Down Under: the M.C.C. tour of Australia"by John Kay (Sporting Handbooks, 1959)
"Four Chukkas to Australia"by Jack Fingleton (Heinemann, 1960)
"Cricket from the Grandstand"by Keith Miller (Oldbourne, 1959)