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On Wednesday, February 28, 1951, at Melbourne, Australia's record of twenty-six post-war Tests without defeat came to an end. That was a day for F. R. Brown and his England colleagues to rejoice. Australia had not been beaten since the Kennington Oval Test of 1938, and rightly the victory was acclaimed as a fillip to English cricket. In a match played under equal conditions to both, the better side triumphed and Australia, as a whole, applauded the victors generously. Most Australians, in fact, were as delighted at England's success as were the players.
Yet, in the midst of their jubilation, many of the England team must have experienced the pangs of regret at opportunities wasted. In slightly changed circumstances the Fifth, and final, Test could easily have opened with the countries level at two wins each.
That it did not was only partly the outcome of England's undue proportion of bad luck. England could not complain of lack of chances, but the way these were squandered was most disappointing. True, Australia held a slight superiority but the difference between the teams was markedly less than revealed by statistics--and infinitely narrower than expected by those who, up to the First Test, allowed England almost no prospect of anything but overwhelming defeats. No clearer illustration of this was required than the manner of England's win by eight wickets at Melbourne after losing the toss.
No one could have envied the M. C. C. Selection Committee their task in gathering a side for Australia in the same season as the West Indies were dominating England in the home Test series.
One big worry was the fitness of Denis Compton who, in June, underwent a third operation to his right knee. Another concerned the leadership, since N. W. D. Yardley, captain in the first three Tests against West Indies, and F. G. Mann, captain in South Africa in 1948-49, indicated that their business commitments would not allow them to be regarded as available. Yet another came when Washbrook, an original choice, announced his inability to go. Added to these problems, the Committee faced the knowledge that, with the standard of county cricket low and so many players almost level in skill, scarcely more than three or four picked themselves compared with former days when probably three-quarters of the party could be regarded as automatic selections.
As events shaped themselves, solution to the first three problems became fairly easy. The surgeons attending Compton were so satisfied with his operation that M. C. C. chose him even before he resumed first-class cricket. Any doubts held about the ability of F. R. Brown to withstand the rigours of an exacting tour at the age of 39 apparently disappeared when he played a glorious innings of 122 for Gentlemen against the Players; and the offer of an air passage gave Washbrook sufficient time to settle his affairs and join the rest of the team after the opening few matches.
In the light of subsequent happenings it should be said that, apart from the omission of W. J. Edrich of Middlesex, the final seventeen invitations received little criticism. Generally the Committee of eleven were considered to have met a difficult situation well but no doubt, had they been able to begin their task again at the end of the season, the results would have been slightly different at least. As it was, the party consisted of:--
Brigadier M. A. Green (Worcestershire) and Mr. J. A. Nash (Yorkshire) were appointed joint-managers, and W. Ferguson fulfilled his usual touring team role of scorer and baggage-master.
On previous tours to Australia usually one or two players had been taken to gain experience for the future. This time no fewer than six could be regarded as immature. The number increased midway through the tour when, in response to an appeal from the captain for reinforcements to his injury-weakened team, R. Tattersall and J. B. Statham, the two Lancashire bowlers, were flown out. With such a large proportion of young cricketers in the side, most had to be considered as Test candidates. M. C. C. could be said to have gambled on youth. Unfortunately, results proved that youth, in general, was not ripe for such onerous duties. England's Test defeats could not be attributed solely to the failures of the younger members but these were a contributory cause.
An interesting comparison could be drawn between the side taken to Australia by D. R. Jardine in 1932-33 and that of F. R. Brown. Brown himself, at 21, was one of the only two members of Jardine's successful team under 26, but he did not play in any Test. Tate and Sutcliffe were 37, Jardine, Pataudi and Leyland 32, Wyatt and Duckworth 31, Allen, Paynter and Mitchell 30, Hammond 29, Larwood 28, Ames and Verity 27, Bowes 26, and Voce 23. All these players, including the youngest, could look back upon several years of first-class cricket which had smoothed their edges and ripened their judgment.
In 1950-51 seven of the full complement of nineteen were below 26. They were Parkhouse and Berry 24, Dewes, Sheppard and Warr 23, Statham 20, and Close 19. None of them could be termed fully experienced and at times the impression could not be avoided that they had been thrown into the ring too quickly. Results might not have justified the argument but, repeatedly, people in Australia with England's cause very near to heart regretted the absence of the stability in batting which might have been provided by such men as Robertson and Edrich of Middlesex, Ikin (Lancashire), Hardstaff (Nottinghamshire), Dollery (Warwickshire), Emmett (Gloucestershire) and Brooks (Northamptonshire). Few would dispute the theory that most players do not reach the summit of their powers until they are around 30. This applies not only to batting. A pertinent point is that A. V. Bedser firmly concurred with the almost unanimous view that he was a better bowler in 1950-51 than when he went to Australia four years earlier--simply through greater experience. The names of bowlers such as his Surrey comrade, Laker, could be cited without necessarily implying criticism of the policy embarked upon in Committee. If the selectors had been able to foresee the close struggles ahead, possibly they would have been less ready to experiment.
The early matches of the tour gave no indication of the excitement in store. In the main, M. C. C. struggled to hold their own against the State sides. The blackest period occurred a fortnight before the First Test when New South Wales scored 509 for three and 140 for two, and a N.S.W. country team followed with 169 against M. C. C.'s 142 in a match reduced by rain to one day. Indeed, when England went to Brisbane, the consensus of opinion in Australia was that the playing of the Tests would be little more than a formality. The most satisfactory feature of the ten preliminary matches was the batting form of Compton, whose first-class average for seven innings stood at 100.50, and Washbrook, second with 54.66. No other batsman had made runs consistently, the bowling and fielding had been moderate and the catching poor. Small wonder that fantastic odds were laid against England.
In one day the entire story changed. On the first day at Brisbane England surprised even themselves by dismissing Australia for 228 on a good pitch. By catching Moroney off Bailey from the fourth ball, Hutton set England off to a racing start and to the end of the innings the fielding touched the heights, with Evans behind the wicket in his inspired mood. Bedser bowled magnificently, Bailey and the desperately unlucky Wright nearly as well, and Brown lent valuable aid. This was England's answer to their detractors. That evening, as the England team sat in a theatre, they heard that a storm had broken. Virtually the news proclaimed that all their fine work had been fruitless. They were caught on a Brisbane sticky and, in spite of a masterly innings by Hutton, suffered the fate of many previous teams, English, Australian and Indian, similarly plagued by a Brisbane storm.
To be told that in every department they had outpointed Australia offered small consolation. Certainly, if Brown had won the toss, which he did only in the Third Test, victory for England would have been as certain as anything in cricket. That notwithstanding, England could not complain about lack of chances. The improvement in the pitch and Hutton's grandeur on the last day only accentuated the wanton loss of the second innings wickets in the last ten minutes overnight and the dismissal of Evans and Compton to successive balls soon after the resumption.
Thus, to regain the ground lost, England were compelled to do all the chasing. In the Second Test, at Melbourne, admittedly on a pitch more helpful than in any other Test except the Brisbane sticky dog, the bowlers again exceeded expectations. As a result England required only 179, the lowest total of the match, to win. They failed to do so by 29. Without withholding credit from the Australian bowlers and fielders, so astutely led by Hassett, England could not be complimented on their tactics in trying to creep to victory. One bold, imaginative fling surely must have carried the issue. In view of Compton's dismal Test record, none could say that if he had been able to play the game would have gone otherwise, but it was another might-have-been.
At Sydney, Australia survived shocks and won handsomely against a side deprived of the bowling of Wright and Bailey. An enthralling all-round feat, including one devastating over in which he dismissed Hutton and Compton, by Miller, and highly proficient spin bowling by Iverson determined England's defeat. Australia won the Fourth Test at Adelaide on merit also, but even then England came nearer to holding them than the score-book showed.
Australia went to Melbourne for the Fifth Test four up. Instead, the destiny of the Ashes might, indeed should, have depended on the last game. The efforts of Hutton, Bedser, Brown, Bailey, Evans and, in some degree, Simpson warranted more reward, but they could not compensate for the deficiencies of the others.
One of the most ironic features of the series was that England possessed the best batsman in Hutton, the best bowler in Bedser, and the better wicket-keeper in Evans. With Hutton, figures did not lie. He stood head and shoulders above every other batsman and, taking all factors into consideration, worthily earned the description of the finest present-day batsman in the world. At a distance of several months my most vivid tour memory is of Hutton thrashing Miller and Lindwall through the covers on the last day at Brisbane. The supremacy over pace he then showed continued to the end. Probably because of the slower-paced pitches, the Australian fast bowlers did not test him with as many bumpers as had been visualized, but, when the short fast ball bounced, Hutton rode it almost disdainfully. Once only he held out his bat tentatively. That time the ball fell safe.
In theory the advantages of entrusting the opening partnership to Washbrook and Simpson to keep Hutton in reserve looked to outweigh the disadvantages. In practice they did not. In preliminary discussions the team selectors argued that if Simpson, with his rich talent against fast bowling, and Washbrook could strike a profitable understanding, Hutton's presence later in the innings would give the middle batting the stiffening so obviously required. Unfortunately for England, speculation on the effect on Australia of Hutton and Compton beginning a partnership at 200 or over for three wickets took no more shape than a pipe-dream, and from the Third Test onwards Hutton returned to his normal place. The fact that when going in late at Brisbane Hutton twice remained not out afforded grounds for debate on the wisdom of holding him back but, conceivably, if he had been called upon to face the devilries of the pitch overnight in the second innings, he might not have survived to the last day when improved turf enabled him to make his memorable onslaught. The Test averages tell the sorry tale of the meagre help afforded England's premier batsman.
Valuable as was Hutton's batting to England, Bedser's bowling was equally so but Bedser would be the first to acknowledge his indebtedness to the two former Cambridge all-rounders, Brown and Bailey. Not only did Brown keep Bedser fresh for the Tests, but, with Bailey, he provided the essential backing from the other end without which few bowlers give of their best. Bedser must have been astonished to find that conditions in three of the Tests helped his swing so much more than in 1946-47 and, with this encouragement, throughout the rubber he kept an almost irreproachable attacking length and direction. Not even the slow-paced pitches could prevent his extracting whip from the turf, he dipped the new ball into the bat at the last fraction of a second, so creating much work for his short-leg fieldsmen, and when the shine had departed he cut the old ball sharply away off the seam with his large, powerful fingers. Occasionally also Bedser bowled a genuine out-swinger. Of his thirty Test wickets, ten were against the left-handers, Morris and Harvey, both of whom he dismissed five of the eight times they fell to bowlers. Bedser twice sent back Morris for nought, once for two, and once for four. Altogether his was a performance worthy to induce the illustrious S. F. Barnes and M. Tate, with whom he was often compared, to nod approval.
Hutton and Bedser must be acclaimed the champions of the rubber. Close behind them for England followed Evans, Brown, Bailey and, in the Fifth Test, Simpson. As far as could be seen or discovered, Evans did not miss one Test catch, but he caught some which became chances only through lightning mental reaction plus acrobatic agility. In the Brisbane Test, when standing up, Evans held Harvey from a perfect leg-glance--and instantly was ready for a possible stumping--and in the Fifth, again when close to the stumps, he clutched a snick by Harvey from the bottom edge of the bat. This time the ball was travelling downwards at speed. Not once did relish for the spectacular impair his skill or concentration, and his alertness and cheerfulness did much to help others in the field find renewed energy towards the end of the most tiring day. Evans played one praiseworthy innings in the Second Test but in others inability to curb his natural ebullience caused him to do less than justice to his talents. Still, he must be judged as a wicket-keeper. As such, he stood supreme.
Alongside Evans on the honours list went the captain, a man with the prized gift for rising to the big occasion. Several years in a P.O.W. camp must have heightened Brown's appreciation of the value of team-spirit and, with their leader so corporate-minded, the comradeship existing between all members and types was wholly admirable. Australian spectators delighted in Brown's bravery against injuries and odds and his John Bull approach to every phase of the game. His two innings of scientific aggression in the Second and Third Tests, his long and tiring spell of bowling at Sydney when injuries robbed his attack of Wright and Bailey, and his two caught-and-bowled ensnarings of Miller in the Fifth fired the imagination of the public; he became akin to a public hero.
Ably as Brown filled his other roles, he will be remembered chiefly in Australia for his Test bowling. As occupant of the 79th position in the English first-class bowling figures for 1950, Brown himself would have been the last to prophesy that he would take as many as 18 Australian wickets for under 22 runs each. His record could be used as evidence both of the changed nature of Australian Test pitches and the character of the cricket.
At Brisbane, Brown bowled his normal leg-breaks but, apart from the closing stages of Australia's innings at Sydney when the pitch helped spin, on every other occasion he relied on medium-pace swingers, with a leg-break thrown in at intervals-to provide variation. Before a ball was bowled in the Second Test, Brown decided that conditions would favour seam bowlers and that scoring was likely to be low with each run precious. Accordingly he resorted to the war of attrition which became the constant strategy of both sides. So rich were the dividends from the tactics of bowling tight that scoring was lower than in any rubber in the present century. Unhappily for spectators it was also slower. Neither side averaged 45 runs an hour over the five Tests. One proof of the bowling ascendancy was that the 74 of Hutton and Washbrook at Adelaide constituted the biggest of the nineteen Test opening partnerships.
Brown, having embarked upon a plan of giving nothing away, ran into his biggest obstacle--the waywardness of Wright, the one remaining leg-break bowler used by either country. In the low-scoring Second Test, Wright's 17 overs for 105 runs and only one wicket were revealed as an ill-afforded luxury. Contrast those with Iverson's 38 overs for 73 runs and four wickets
Behind Brown's apparently effortless switch to medium-pace bowling was a little-known story of his early days. When at Leys School, Brown regularly opened the attack at medium pace, but, on advancing to Cambridge, he was advised by the late Aubrey Faulkner that his best prospect of gaining a cricket Blue would be to turn to leg-breaks. Faulkner, who knew that Brown could make the ball turn from leg, coached him to this end at his London indoor school. Results justified the change. Apart from occasions in the last three years when his county opening bowlers were injured or resting, Brown subsequently bowled only leg-breaks until the Australian tour.
Credit for England's bowling feats in the first two Tests was due also to Bailey. Before the tour Bailey was far from being everybody's choice. His stamina appeared suspect and some believed that, through inconsistencies of length and direction, he would suffer punishment. At first Bailey did little to dispel such fears but suddenly, in the first State game at Melbourne, he effected a vast improvement. Thereafter Bailey bowled most intelligently. He attacked every batsman on his weakest spot, usually the leg stump, and not once in the Tests did he become expensive. His thirteen wickets in the first two Tests were thoroughly earned. As a broken thumb kept him from bowling in the Third and Fourth, in which good batting surfaces enabled Australia to make their biggest totals, his record could not fairly be regarded as comparable with Bedser's, but all the same his determination won him many new friends.
The only other partial Test success in the England ranks was Simpson. One day Simpson would be a hesitant, uncertain player clamped to defence and his crease. The next, he would give free rein to his feet and his packed repertoire of strokes. Then he was fitted for any company. Twice in early State matches he played innings which set the crowd buzzing but in Tests not until Adelaide did he approach this batsmanship. His hour of glory came on the last day of the Fifth, when, supported by Tattersall, he treated Lindwall, Iverson and the rest so much as net bowlers offering him hitting practice. In doing so he raised his score from 80 to 156 not out, the same as by Hutton when carrying his bat in the previous Test. Anxiety not to let down his side by throwing away his wicket possibly accounted for Simpson's ultra-care in most earlier innings, but England grievously needed a stroke-maker who could take the initiative.
If Compton had produced his normal form, he would have been the best-equipped for this duty, but Compton experienced probably a worse series than any Test batsman of such repute. Scores of 3, 0, 0, 23, 5, 0, 11 and 11 not out gave him an aggregate of 53, average 7.57. Compton was bitterly upset at his failures, particularly as he made runs from all the Australian Test bowlers--except in Tests. Despite the Tests, he finished the tour second in the averages to Hutton.
To present a straightforward explanation of Compton's misfortunes is extremely hard. An admitted umpiring mistake and a poor stroke cost him his wicket in the two innings at Brisbane, where he was one of many unhappy batsmen. Knee trouble kept him out of the Second Test. Compton approached the Third with England two down in the rubber and himself having played only four balls. So much was at stake that he determined to allow nothing to pass until his eye was in. In attempting this he dragged a ball on to his wicket from well outside his off stump. Next innings he sliced a square-drive which struck Tallon's instep before lobbing to slip. That was enough to worry even the most philosophical. With criticisms, some most unkind, and other worries crowding him, he lost his nerve. The more he tried the more taut his muscles and bat became. Compton refused to proffer the knee as an excuse, but to the onlooker his mental outlook, as well as the physical restriction imposed by his leg, rendered him only 90 per cent of his former self. Against an attack of such concentrated power, with every bowler possibly 105 per cent fit and efficient, the balance was sufficient to sway the contest, more especially with the ball running badly for him. Medical experts who knew the full history and state of his knee did not lightly tolerate disparagement of Compton. They preferred to praise his courage against adversity. They should be allowed the final word.
From the outset the three front-line batsmen, with previous experience of Australian conditions, knew that, because of the percentage of youth carried in the ranks, much depended on them, but, as with Compton, Washbrook could look back on his Test scores only with frustration. In England, Washbrook obtained most runs by hooks and cuts but on Australian pitches, from which the ball usually kept low, these were charged with risk and he had to look for runs by other means. Although Washbrook played numerous delightful glides and deflection from the faster bowlers, his frailties when facing a top-class spin bowler made him vulnerable against such a bowler as Iverson, whose spin he did not consistently detect. In State and other matches Washbrook played some notable innings, and, when he went to Dunedin and found the ball bouncing higher than in Australia, he showed his appreciation by hitting one of the most cultured centuries of the tour. The Test atmosphere brought the best out of Washbrook as a fieldsman.
Even when in the middle of a lean spell Sheppard revealed himself as a potentially class batsman. At first a high back-lift caused him to be late against bowling faster than he had been accustomed to meet. He corrected this tendency in the Adelaide Test and there added soundness to style. Sheppard was one of the few batsmen to shape confidently against Iverson. In his intentness on playing his part Sheppard, at times, seemed to become over-concerned with theory, a remark which applied also to his Cambridge colleague, the left-hander Dewes. When making strokes Dewes, like Simpson, looked a much better player than when indulging in defensive prods and stabs. Neither of the two remaining batsmen, Parkhouse and Close, did much.
For all the polish of some of his off-side play, Parkhouse did not impress against fast bowlers and he was susceptible to the short bouncer. He shared an all-too-common fault of not putting his body right behind the ball when facing a pace attack. In his defence it must be said that illness and injuries kept him out of several key games and restricted the so valuable match practice in a country where net pitches were moderate in quality.
As a natural all-rounder who may become a top-grade left-hand batsman, Close might have been a vital link in the Test team chain but his bowling suffered from lack of accuracy and his batting from want of discretion. He tried, and failed, so often to sweep to fine-leg from the middle and leg stumps, sometimes against the spin, that most opposing captains placed a man midway to the boundary specially for a catch. In view of his extreme youth, Close should escape harsh criticism. Rather should the hope be expressed that if ultimately he learned the lessons that were available, his tour would have been worth while.
Due praise has been paid to Bedser, Brown and Bailey, but little satisfaction could be felt with the remainder of the M. C. C. attack. Wright bowled well but without luck in the First Test, badly in the Second, not at all in the Third after pulling a muscle while batting, superbly on one day of the Fourth and, in the Fifth, atoned for loose bowling in the first innings by dismissing Harvey and Hassett when both were well set in the second innings. The ball which beat Hassett was as good as any in the five Tests. Morris and Hassett alone appeared untroubled by his googly but, principally through Wright's inaccuracies of length, this ball did not bring the harvest it might otherwise have done.
Unluckily for Warr, his Test appearances were confined to Sydney and Adelaide, on the two truest batting pitches of the series. From first to last, Warr tried hard and cheerfully but he could not be regarded as Test class. Hollies did not enjoy bowling on Australian pitches on which pronounced spin was essential to make the ball turn. Usually he pitched his English length and direction which, in Australia, meant short of length on the leg stump. The best batsmen found time to play him off the back foot and they exposed the many gaps in his leg-side field. Few people could have hidden disappointment better than Hollies and his ground-staff companion, Berry, who seldom looked likely to fulfil his mission as a left-arm stock bowler to pin down the opposition. Berry did not command control of flight or sufficient accuracy to bowl to his field inexpensively but, on pitches so unsuited, possibly no other English bowler of his type would have fared better.
Both Tattersall and Statham, who flew from the middle of a severe English winter into intense heat and humidity, took time to acclimatise themselves to the changed weather and, to them, strange playing conditions. Tattersall did not find his top form until New Zealand where his off-breaks did much useful work. Statham who, like Tattersall, deserved pity for having to make his first-class debut in torrid atmosphere and on a bowler's most dreaded pitch in Australia, Adelaide, at first found difficulty in breathing as he ran up to bowl. Gradually he settled to his job and, without ever looking venomous, was by no means a failure.
Such a useful all-rounder was McIntyre, taken primarily as deputy wicket-keeper to Evans, that he was picked for the First Test for batting and fielding. McIntyre never forgave himself for being run out on the fourth run at a critical period of England's second innings at Brisbane, but no chance occurred for him to redeem the error. As second-string wicket-keeper, he accomplished all that was needed of him efficiently and without fuss.
By no stretch of imagination could Australia be described as being as strong as on the 1948 tour of England. The retirement of Bradman and the temporary disappearance of Barnes from the first-class game left spacious gaps. Whereas their fielding seldom fell below the customary high standard and the variety of their all-round attack brought the desired ends, the batting lacked solidity. Apart from the Fourth Test, Morris was almost as big a failure as Compton, Harvey's habit of playing at the pitch of the ball led him into mistakes when it turned or moved and, though Burke, who hit a century on Test debut, and Archer did reasonably well, neither could hope so quickly to fill the shoes of so talented an opening batsman as Barnes. Australia owed most to their captain, Hassett, who again accepted the defensive role which in recent years he has reserved for Test cricket, and to vivacious Miller. Good as they were, figures could not indicate Miller's worth to Australia. The matches he turned with vital wickets or dazzling slip catches were too many to enumerate. Withal, his batting at Sydney and Adelaide were models of unselfishness. As a natural stroke-player, he found the slow-paced pitches and England's leg-stump attack a distinct bar to indulging in the full punishing swing of the bat which gives him, as well as spectators, so much enjoyment.
One advantage over Brown which Hassett held was that he could call upon four bowlers, Iverson, Miller, Johnston and Lindwall, both to take wickets and to make the batsmen struggle for every run. Brown possessed only three. No England batsman, for instance, who survived the new-ball attack of Lindwall and Miller would imagine that he had passed the main crisis. The next two bowlers would be just as worrying. Although Lindwall did not present the same menace as three years earlier, he remained capable of bursts of bowling too speedy for some middle and tail batsmen. Johnston, who as usual varied his left-arm bowling from medium-paced to slow, showed little sign of deterioration and in the second line of attack Iverson made him a fitting foil and partner. Before a ball was delivered in the Tests, England discovered that the skill of Iverson had not been exaggerated. This six-feet-one sixteen-stone bowler who doubles back his middle finger under the ball and imparts sharp spin, mostly off-break, maintained a precise length. His flight and pace were not such as to allow batsmen to leap out to him easily and his direction, at the leg stump, and carefully-planned field-setting permitted few liberties. Behind this quartette stood Johnson, the off-break bowler who fitted well into Hassett's general strategy by conceding an average of less than three runs an over.
On the whole the standard of cricket in the Tests was moderate, and through various reasons the profits from the tour amounted to little more than £5,000 compared with the £50,000 that W. R. Hammond's side brought home four years earlier, but no series could have been played in a happier atmosphere. The friendship between the captains, Hassett and Brown, extended throughout both teams. The keenest rivalry on the field was not allowed to interfere with sincere good-fellowship.
To cricketers that happy blend is the essence of the game.
Match reports for
Tour Match: Auckland v Marylebone Cricket Club at Auckland, Mar 6-8, 1951
Tour Match: Otago v Marylebone Cricket Club at Dunedin, Mar 10-12, 1951
Match reports for
Tour Match: Western Australia v Marylebone Cricket Club at Perth, Oct 20-24, 1950
Tour Match: South Australia v Marylebone Cricket Club at Adelaide, Oct 27-31, 1950
Tour Match: Victoria v Marylebone Cricket Club at Melbourne, Nov 3-8, 1950
Tour Match: New South Wales v Marylebone Cricket Club at Sydney, Nov 10-14, 1950
Tour Match: Queensland v Marylebone Cricket Club at Brisbane, Nov 24-28, 1950
Tour Match: Australian XI v Marylebone Cricket Club at Sydney, Dec 15-19, 1950
Tour Match: New South Wales v Marylebone Cricket Club at Sydney, Dec 30, 1950 - Jan 3, 1951
Tour Match: Tasmania v Marylebone Cricket Club at Hobart, Jan 13-16, 1951
Tour Match: Tasmania Combined XI v Marylebone Cricket Club at Launceston, Jan 19-22, 1951
Tour Match: South Australia v Marylebone Cricket Club at Adelaide, Jan 27-31, 1951
Tour Match: Victoria v Marylebone Cricket Club at Melbourne, Feb 10-14, 1951