Bodyline Series / News

A tour diary

Bodyline timeline - July - October 1932

Martin Williamson

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July-October 1932 | November 1932 | December 1932 | January 1933 | February 1933 | March - May 1933



Douglas Jardine speaks to the press on board the Orient Line steamship Orontes at Tilbury © Cricinfo
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July 4, 1932 Douglas Jardine is named as the MCC captain for the Australia tour.

July 15, 1932 The first batch of five players are named for the tour - Wally Hammond, Herbert Sutcliffe, KS Duleepsinhji, Les Ames and George Duckworth. The latter two are wicketkeepers, although Ames could have been chosen on the strength of his batting alone.

July 29, 1932 Seven more players are named - Walter Robins, Freddie Brown, Bob Wyatt, the Nawab of Pataudi, Gubby Allen, Harold Larwood and Bill Voce - taking the total to 13. "Larwood," The Times notes "is not to be compared to the greats of the past but he has his moments."

August 11, 1932 Robins withdraws from the tour for "business reasons".

August 14, 1932 Three more squad members are announced - Maurice Leyland, Hedley Verity and Maurice Tate.

August 19, 1932 Tommy Mitchell is named as the "16th and final" member of the squad, only the third Derbyshire player to tour Australia with England.

August 31 Duleepsinhji withdraws from the side because of ill health and is replaced by Eddie Paynter. The MCC issues a statement hoping that Duleep will still be able to join the tour party at a later date.

September 13, 1932 Duleepsinhji announces he will not be able to tour and that he will be heading to Switzerland immediately on health grounds.

September 13, 1932 Another fast bowler, Bill Bowes, is added to the squad after a superb August in which he helped Yorkshire to the Championship. The selectors explain that his height means he will get more bounce on Australians pitches. Critics worry he bowls too short.

September 13, 1932 At Leeds Central, more than 5000 turn out to see off the four Yorkshire players in the side head south on the train.

September 17, 1932 The Orient Line steamship Orontes leaves Tilbury for the 31-day trip to Australia. Large crowds gather to see the party - less Pataudi and Tate - off. The Australian Davis Cup team are on the same boat.

September 20, 1932 It is announced that Tate, who had been in the original squad, would not be able to join the boat at Toulon. He had been suffering from a nervous disorder and despite reporting fit earlier in the week, had suffered a relapse.

September 22, 1932 The Australian board meets and agrees "in the interests of fairness" that six-ball overs will be used in the Tests.

September 26, 1932 The Orontes passes through the Suez Canal. As temperatures rise, Jardine orders his side to spend "no more than 20 minutes" in the sun.

October 7, 1932 The ship reaches Ceylon where they are joined by Pataudi who has made the four-day journey from his palace in the Punjab. In Australia, Don Bradman scores 105 in a grade match, following a hundred a week earlier. Archie Jackson also makes back-to-back hundreds and there is talk of a Test comeback for him. He is to die within four months.

October 8, 1932 A one-day match between the MCC and All-Ceylon is ended prematurely by a heavy downpour. More than 10,000 turn out at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. All-Ceylon make 125 for 3 before declaring; MCC respond with 186 for 7, Pataudi top scoring with 62.

October 9, 1932 The Orontes leaves Colombo in heavy rain.

October 11, 1932 Tate is passed fit by an MCC doctor and proceeds to Australia by train to Marseilles and by sea on the SS Strathnaver thereafter.

October 18, 1932 The Orontes docks at Freemantle in Western Australia at 8am and the MCC side receives a warm welcome. Jardine later lays a wreath at a war memorial on a hillside overlooking Perth and then most of the team have a gentle net session. Voce aggravates an ankle injury sustained playing deck sports on the outward trip.

October 19, 1932 A formal welcome from the Lord Mayor is followed by another net session at the WACA. Voce sits it out but Hammond, suffering from a stiff knee, does some light practice. Mitchell, described locally as a mystery bowler, attracts attention as does Larwood and Pataudi. Jardine gets off to a bad start with the Australian media. When asked for his side by Sydney's Sun for the tour opener against Western Australia, he replies that "we didn't come here to provide scoops for yours or any other bally paper".

October 22, 1932 Pataudi hits 166 in four-and-a-half hours, including a six and 15 fours, in front of 3000 on a spiteful pitch at the WACA. Sutcliffe scores a dour 54, albeit with a burst of three successive fours, adding 93 for MCC's second wicket before the middle order is cut apart by Ron Halcombe, a fast bowler who the previous season was no-balled six times on the trot for throwing.
England 334 for 8 (Pataudi 166, Sutcliffe 54) v Western Australia Scorecard

October 23, 1932 Heavy overnight rain means the second day's play is abandoned shortly after 12.30pm. The WACA authorities estimate is has cost them £700 in gate money as they had not insured against the loss.

October 24, 1932 The official rest day. Jardine celebrates his 32nd birthday with a quiet party.

October 25, 1932 MCC declare overnight and then Western Australia are spun out for 135. Voce hits Western Australia's No.3 Bill Drew on the shoulder and the 3000 crowd makes clear their displeasure. They avoid the follow-on and England reach 152 for 5 batting a second time. Brown's 28 includes five dropped catches, four off googly bowler Ted Martin. Jardine is reported to the Australian Cricket Board after he turns up late for a pitch inspection. The local press reports he was shopping.
England 334 for 8 dec and 152 for 5 (Leyland 69) drew with Western Australia 135 Scorecard

October 26, 1932 Bowes opens a new cricket ground at York and Jardine and Wyatt plant trees. The MCC team, accompanied by Bradman, attend York races.

October 27, 1932 The first day against a strong Combined Australian XI, including Bradman who has made the five-day journey from the east, sees MCC dominate as they reach 359 for 3. Pataudi makes another hundred in a second-wicket stand of 283 with Sutcliffe, although the pace of their innings disappoints the 10,947 crowd. Sutcliffe falls to a brilliant catch at third man shortly before the close.
MCC 359 for 3 (Sutcliffe 169, Pataudi 129) v Combined Australia XI Scorecard

October 28, 1932 MCC bat on far too long as Jardine and Hammond undertake a prolonged net, and only a breezy 32 from Paynter enlivens the day. The declaration comes late - at almost 5pm - and Allen's first over goes for 15, including eight byes past Duckworth. Heavy rain at 6.30pm brings an end to the day.
Combined Australia XI 59 for 0 trail MCC 583 for 7 dec (Sutcliffe 169, Pataudi 129, Jardine 98, Hammond 77) by 524 runs Scorecard

October 28, 1932 The biggest crowd to date - almost 20,000 - witness Verity exploit a drying pitch as he grabs the first six wickets to fall and the home side are forced to follow on. Bradman makes only 3 and 10 - the only time in his career he was out twice in a day - falling to Allen in the second innings who bowled "inches faster than Larwood" according to local papers. Jack Fingleton toughs it out to ensure there is no MCC win.
Combined Australia XI 159 (Verity 7-37) and 139 for 4 (Fingleton 53) drew with MCC 583 for 7 dec Scorecard

October 29, 1932 The MCC side set off on the two-day trip across the Nullarbor. They stop to buy boomerangs from Aborigines while Tommy Mitchell loses his wallet and his false teeth en route only to find they have been "stolen" by his team-mates. Allen reports that they play ten-hour sessions of bridge to pass time.

October 31, 1932 The team arrives in Port Augusta and undertake a four-hour coach trip to Adelaide where they attend a civic dinner.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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