A gulf between the two sides was created by the two
Australian fast bowlers, Lillee and Thomson. Their fearsome short-pitched
bowling cut through England’s
batting order at Brisbane and Perth,
and enabled Australia to
regain the Ashes by the time of the fourth Test match at Sydney. This was the match in which Denness
stood down, the first MCC tour captain in Australia to miss a Test because
he was out of form - previously, Chapman (1928-29 tour) and Hammond (1946-47)
had done so but were unfit.
As in 1973-74, the selection panel had turned down
Denness's wishto include John Snow in
the team. Geoff Boycott who had been left out of the Test matches during the
summer at his own request, never accepted the invitation to tour. Both
players, the stars of the 1970-71 side, were badly missed.
Opening batsmen:David Lloyd, Brian Luckhurst, John Edrich.
Middle-order batsmenDennis Amiss, Keith
Fletcher, Mike Denness
Wicket-keeper: Alan Knott, Bob Taylor
Slow bowlers:Derek Underwood, Fred Titmus
Fast bowlers: Peter Lever, Geoff Arnold,
Chris Old, Bob Willis, Mike Hendrick
Dy – Derbyshire (2)
La - Lancashire
Mx - Middlesex (1)
Sy - Surrey
Sx - Sussex (1)
Wk - Warwickshire (1)
Yo - Yorkshire
Average age ofteam at time of first Test match
(29 November 1974) :
31 yrs 4 months
Appearances made before the tour
109, Edrich 65,Knott 61, Titmus 49, Underwood 47, Fletcher 39, Amiss 32, Greig 30, Arnold 27, Denness 20, Luckhurst 19, Old 18, Lever 12, Willis 11,Hendrick 5, Lloyd 5, Wood 5, Taylor 1.
Bedser (chairman),Jack Bond,C.G.A.(Cecil) Paris,Mike Denness
(captain), Brian Taylor, Ossie Wheatley andGubby Allen who took a place on the selection
committee becauseDoug Insole was on
The captain and manager were named on 23 August 1974.
Tour party announced : 28 August 1974
Titmus was chosen for the first time since injury to his toes in the West Indies in 1968. The selectors said they debated
taking a batsman who could keep wicket instead of Taylor, and of omitting one of the fast
Not selected:Phil Edmonds.
Boycott.It was announced on 24
September that he had withdrawn from the tour for personal reasons, and that Brian
Luckhurst would go instead. Luckhurst,
relaxing on holiday in Spain,
had to hurry back to England
when he heard the news that he would be touring in his place.
Time between selection and departure from England
(28 August - 21 October)
October the team flew from Heathrow Airport, via Frankfurt and Beirut
to Sydney Airport,
and thence to Adelaide
where they arrived on 23 October. The flight took 36 hours.They stayed in Adelaide until the first match. Denness was
confined to bed with a sore throat, later diagnosed as a virus.
Time spent in Australia
October -14 February)
Time spent in New Zealand
Mike Denness (captain), John Edrich (vice-captain), Alec Bedser, Alan Smith, Alan Knott.
February - 10 March)
41 year-old Colin Cowdrey
was chosen by the tour committee on 4 December because batsmen Dennis Amiss
(thumb) and John Edrich (hand) were unfit.
Barry Wood joined
the New Zealand
part of the tour when Lloyd (neck injury), Willis (knee) and Cowdrey returned
home. Wood joined the tour from West Indies
where he had been with an English counties side.
Owing to injury in New Zealand, manager Alan Smith
played once, and a West Australian colt, Peter
Brondson, turned out for MCC when Hendrick was in hospital with a throat
Denness missed early matches with a virus. Edrich cracked a rib
† Port Lincoln
Won 6 w
Won 46 r
Won 10 w
Lost 120 r
Won 3 w
Won inns 72
Won 187 r
Northern New South
Won 4 w
Lost 66 r
NEW ZEALANDFirst Test
NEW ZEALANDSecond Test
† Hong Kong
Won 84 r
† Hong Kong
Hong Kong XI
Won inns 102
† not first-class
Time spent in Australia before First Test: 37 days
After the Australian tour three players returned to London. Colin Cowdrey had not in any case been
engaged for New Zealand.
David Lloyd arrived on 11 February, Bob
Willis on 17 February.The rest of the tour party reached Wellington on 14
Leaving New Zealand
from Auckland on 10 March, the MCC party
arrived at Kai Tak
Kong, that night. They left again for London on 14 March.Greig went to South Africa to join the
Time away from England
October - 15 March
of the tour
“Assault on the Ashes"Christopher Martin-Jenkins (Macdonald & Janes, 1975)
"Test of Nerve"Frank Tyson(Manark Pty Ltd, Victoria, 1975)
"Swanton in Australia with M.C.C.", dealing with
eight post-War M.C.C. tours of Australia,
includes his remarks on the 1974-75 tour (Fontana, 1977)
Tony Greig was exonerated after making criticisms of the team
selection and explaining his comments to the M.C.C.
Despite the M.C.C. team's relatively
advanced age, and its failure to cope with the Australian batting or bowling,
there was no purge. After the tour the selectors discarded only Lever, Lloyd,
Luckhurst, Cowdrey and Titmus. All the others represented England again. However, all the
selectors except Alec Bedser were replaced.
Test tours in 1974-75
West Indiansto India and Pakistan 1974-75-captain Clive Lloyd
To general reading of The Times newspaper digital archive
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Trove; Papers Past NZ.
From former British Newspaper
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Times, Daily Telegraph, Dawn, Eastern Daily Press, The Hindu, The Independent
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Zealand Auckland Herald, Sri Lanka Daily News, Stabroek News, Straits Times,
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Chandigarh, Trinidad Guardian, The West Australian.
Australian Cricket, B & H West Indies Annual, The Cricketer
International, Cricketer Quarterly, Indian Cricket, Indian Cricket Field
Annual, Playfair Cricket Monthly, Shell Cricket Almanack of New Zealand,
Wisden Cricket Monthly, Wisden Book of Test Cricket, Wisden’s Cricketers’
Men In White, A History of
Australian Cricket (Harte), A History of Indian Cricket (Bose), A History of West Indies Cricket (Manley)
Biography and tour books (own collection and at the M.C.C.
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