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In the winter of 1909-10 the M.C.C. sent a team to South Africa under the captaincy of Mr. H.D.G. Leveson-Gower. As regards the amateurs several disappointments were experienced in choosing the team, but in the end a good although by no means representative side was got together, consisting of:
MR. H.D.G LEVESON-GOWER (Surrey) (Captain), MR. M.C. BIRD (Surrey), MR. F.L. FANE (Essex), MR. G.H. SIMPSON-HAYWARD (Worcestershire), MR. N.C. TUFNELL (Cambridge University), CAPTAIN E.G. WYNYARD (Hampshire), W. RHODES (Yorkshire), D. DENTON (Yorkshire), J.B. HOBBS (Surrey), H. STRUDWICK (Surrey), G.J. THOMPSON (Northamptonshire), F.E WOOLLEY (Kent), C. BLYTHE (Kent), C.P. BUCKENHAM (Essex)
The weak point of the team was a lack of class and stability in the batting. Among the fourteen players only Hobbs would at home have been sure of his place in a Test match for batting alone. Inasmuch as the Englishmen lost the rubber in the Test games, being beaten three times and winning twice, the tour was in one sense a failure but in the light of the form shown by the South Africans in England in1907 the results were quite as good as could have been expected. In all the Englishmen took part in eighteen matches, of which they won ten, lost four, and drew four, the only defeat outside the big games being suffered at the hands of the Transvaal- practically a Test Match combination. Beyond everything else from the English point of view the feature of the trip was the superb batting of Hobbs, who easily adapted himself to the matting wickets and scored from the famous googly bowlers with amazing skill and facility. When they came home the other members of the team could not say too much in his praise. He had a splendid average, both for the Test Matches and the whole tour. Next to Hobbs in batting, though at a very long interval, came Denton and Rhodes, Denton owing his position to a couple of hundreds in one match. M.C. Bird's average of 18 in first-class matches does not look much on paper, but more than once he made runs when they were badly wanted. Fane did not repeat his success of four years before and the tour was nearly over when Woolley at last found his batting form. In the bowling Blythe, who only took part in two of the Test Matches, came out first in important fixtures, but the real honours were carried off by G.H. Simpson-Haywayd, the lob bowler finding the matting wickets very much to his liking. Buckenham and Thompson bowled most perseveringly, but were rather expensive. From all accounts it was a very pleasant trip. It was generally thought that the South Africans, although they won the rubber, were not quite as strong as when in England in 1907, Vogler and Faulkner having to do all the serious bowling in the big matches. The two men proved equal to the occasion, but the fact of Schwarz being out of form was very unfortunate. There was never any excitement as to the result of the rubber, the South Africans winning three of the first four games.
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