Having gained Test status in 1992 Zimbabwe
was granted its first tour by an England side, which brought much
needed revenue from television rights. England were set back by losing
two of the warm-up matches and then a one-day international. They later lost
the other two ODIs, too, a further humilation coming when farmer Eddo Brandes
took a hat-trick and ended with figures of 5-28.
snatched a draw from the Bulawayo Test with the scores level. With England
needing 13 runs from the final over, Nick Knight hit a six but was thwarted
by Streak bowling wide of the stumps and was then run out off the last ball
going for the winning run. David Lloyd’s outburst that "We flippin’
murdered them" caused offence as Zimbabwe had been competitive
throughout the match.
In New Zealand England’s frustrations continued. New Zealand were 105-8 at lunch and facing
defeat on the last day of the opening Test at Auckland
but Danny Morrison held out for four hours to prevent England
winning. As the batting became more consistent and the bowling steadier,
England’s fortunes changed and the remaining two Tests were won decisively
before faltering again to share the one-day series. The tour was marked by
criticism of some aloof or rude off-field behaviour and Tufnell was accused
of smoking cannabis in a bar in Christchurch.
But the last two Tests had put England back on winning ways in
readiness for an Ashes series in the summer.
Wives and families were not allowed to accompany the players on
this tour, after it was decided that they had been a distraction in South Africa
the previous winter. Back in England Dominic Cork had been allowed to join
the team late in New
Zealand in order to sort out his marriage
The tour selection panel - David Graveney (chairman),
David Lloyd (coach) and Mike Atherton (captain) – met at Lord’s
and picked both the Test touring team and an ‘A’ team to Australia .
Tour Party Announced : September 1996
Withdrawn:Dominic Cork (for personal reasons) withdrew from the Zimbabwe section
of the tour.
Time between selection and departure from England
(September - 25 November)
The team had fitness training in Portugal before the tour.
Departure for Zimbabwe
was from London’s Gatwick
Airport on 25 November 1996,
arriving at Harare
Airport at 9 am next
For the second leg of the tour the team left Harare Airport
on 4 January. After a delay the team was able to fly from Johannesburg
to Perth, and on to Sydney
where there was another six hour delay before embarkataion to Auckland.The journey from Harare
took nearly 40 hours.
Cork did not
join the tour party until after the Zimbabwe
section, and met up with the team in New Zealand.
Time spent in Zimbabwe
November -4 January)
Time spent in New Zealand
January - 5 March)
Irani had back problems so Craig White
was summoned to Zimbabwe
from the England
A tour as cover but Irani remained in the tour party and was soon playing
“Out of the Rough: England
in Zimbabwe and New Zealand”by Peter Baxter, Jonathan Agnew and David Lloyd
the income from television rights that the tour brought to help put the game
on a professional basis.
Jack Russell was a peripheral player throughout the winter tour,
marginalised by Alec Stewart being preferred behind the stumps and taking the
role of all-rounder, but Russell returned for one more tour a year later and
played the whole series against West Indies 1997-98.
Test tours in 1996-97
To general reading of The Times newspaper digital archive
(Gale Group);Jamaica Gleanor
archive;National Library of Australia
Trove; Papers Past NZ.
From former British Newspaper
Library, Colindale and online:The
Age, Melbourne Argus, Bangladesh Daily Star, Barbados Advocate, Canberra
Times, Daily Telegraph, Dawn, Eastern Daily Press, The Hindu, The Independent
(Dhaka), Indian Express, The Island (Lanka), Lahore Times, New Nation, New
Zealand Auckland Herald, Sri Lanka Daily News, Stabroek News, Straits Times,
Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Times of India , The Tribune
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.
Library at Lord’s Ground)ALL CONTENTS OF THE