In the autumn of 1929 the M.C.C. sent a team to Australia and New Zealand. The main purpose of the undertaking was the visit to New Zealand where the side, arriving in the middle of December and remaining until the end of February, fulfilled a programme of seventeen matches of which nine were won and the other eight drawn. The list of fixtures, according to the original arrangement, included three three-day Test matches but, with play in the representative game at Auckland restricted through rain to a single day, a further contest of this description was brought off at Auckland. Thus altogether the team engaged in four Test matches of which the first was won by eight wickets and the other three left unfinished. Of the eight victories registered in other encounters, seven were gained in a single innings and one by ten wickets. Prior to their arrival in New Zealand, the team visited Australia and there decided matches with the five different States. The tourists beat Western Australia and South Australia, drew a very heavy scoring game with New South Wales and lost to Victoria and Queensland. In connection with these two reverses it is only right to mention that the Englishmen were greatly handicapped by injuries to players. At Melbourne, when Victoria proved victorious by seven wickets, Bowley could take no part in the game, Worthington in the first innings was prevented from batting and Cornford was disabled in the second and from the match at Brisbane which Queensland won by five wickets, Woolley and Cornford, as well as Bowley, were absentees. The big performance of the tour was the triumph over South Australia at Adelaide by 239 runs, after the home side had led by 91 on the first innings. At Sydney where six three-figure innings - four for New South Wales and two for M.C.C. - were played, the twenty-two wickets which fell averaged 73 runs apiece.
Eight amateurs and six professionals formed the touring side, which thus numbered fourteen, as follow:
- MR. A. H. H. Gilligan ( Sussex) captain.
- K. S. Duleepsinhji ( Sussex),
- MR. E. W. Dawson ( Leicestershire),
- MR. G. B. Legge ( Kent),
- MR. M. J. Turnbull ( Glamorgan),
- MR. M. J. C. Allom ( Surrey),
- MR. G. F. EARLE ( Somerset),
- MR. E. T. BENSON ( Oxford University),
- F. E. WOOLLEY ( Kent)
- E. H. Bowley ( Sussex),
- M. S. Nichols ( Essex),
- S. WORTHINGTON ( Derbyshire),
- F. Barratt ( Notts),
- W. CORNFORD ( Sussex).
Frank Woolley showed himself the great all-rounder of the side, making four separate hundreds, including 216 against New South Wales and 146 against South Australia, averaging 51 runs an innings and getting 68 wickets for 18 runs apiece. Nichols not only bowled to fine purpose, taking 60 wickets for less than 16 runs each, but scored more than eight hundred runs. Worthington also rendered useful service with both bat and ball, but Bowley unhappily broke down in Australia and, although he recovered sufficiently to participate in three of the Test matches, he played no more than eleven innings during the tour. Allom bowled in capital form and Barratt had days of effectiveness with the ball while Legge and Dawson attained a considerable measure of batting success. The great run-getter of the team was Duleepsinhji who, playing a lot of delightful cricket, registered 1,421 runs with an average of 59, had 242 at Hawkes Bay as his highest score and, with an innings of 117 in the Auckland Test match, obtained 358 runs in those games. Curiously enough he was just beaten for top average in the leading contests by Nichols who, not out on four occasions, came out with the remarkable figure of 92.