Australia 2 England 3

England in Australia, 1884-85

William Attewell, William Barnes, Wilfrid Flowers, William Henry Scotton, Alfred Shaw, and Arthur Shrewsbury, of Notts; William Bates, John Hunter, Robert Peel, and George Ulyett, of Yorkshire; John Briggs, of Lancashire; James Lillywhite, of Sussex; and John Maurice Read, of Surrey, formed the eighth team of English cricketers who visited the Australian Colonies, and were the second band of Professionals who went out under the management of Shaw, Shrewsbury, and Lillywhite. The team left Plymouth in the S.S. 'Orient' on Friday, September the 18th, 1884, and reached Suez at 11 o'clock on the morning of Thursday, October 2nd. In accordance with a previous arrangement a match was played against twenty-two of the Army, Navy, and residents of Suez. The scene of the contest was a plain of sand, in the centre of which a piece of coconut matting was tightly stretched. Shaw's eleven scored 117, with the highest score being Ulyett's 43, while Evans and Bedford took four wickets for the home team. In reply, the twenty-two made 40 for eleven wickets.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7th, the cricketers reached Aden, and at 11.15 on the same day, sailed for Port Adelaide, where they arrived early on the morning of Wednesday, October the 29th. The voyage had been a very pleasant one, and at Adelaide they were met by the leading members of the South Australian Cricketing Association Committee, who conducted them to the city, where the Mayor accorded them an official reception of a very cordial character, remarking that he was sure their visit would be a very pleasant one. Similar kindly greetings were extended to them wherever they went, but from the moment the members of Murdoch's team landed from the 'Mirzapore,' prior to the commencement of of the third match, it became evident they were animated by a feeling of bitter hostility towards Shaw and his party. As a commencement, the Victoria contingent of the team declined to play for their Colony against the Englishmen, urging as an excuse their want of practice, while it afterwards transpired that Murdoch's eleven had endeavoured to arrange a match with New South Wales on the same days as those fixed for the contest between Shaw's team and Victoria. Next, Murdoch and A. Bannerman refused to take part in the match New South Wales v. Shaw's eleven, and after the South Australian Cricket Association had succeeded in bringing about a meeting betwen Shaw's team and Murdoch's eleven at Adelaide, each side receiving 450 pounds, the climax of the quarrel was reached when Murdoch's men declined to play for Combined Australia against the Englishmen on New Year's Day. This unpatriotic conduct was severely condemned by the public and press of Australia, as the following will show:

"At a luncheon given at Adelaide during a cricket match on New Year's Day the Attorney-General of South Australia (the Hon. C. C. Kingston) said that he could not let the occasion pass, as a lover of the game for itself, without referring to the conduct of the Australian eleven, who appeared to sink everything for monetary considerations. If the cricketing public of Australia were to allow the game to be sacrificed for money it would be a national calamity from a cricket point of view. (Applause.) One of the effects of this was that on that day there was a match proceeding in which the full strength of Australia should have been pitted against a worthy representative team of all England, but Australia was not represented in its full strength because of the existence of the Australian eleven.

It did not matter what was the reason why the Australian eleven refrained from participating in the match - some said it was a difference between their manager and the Englishmen - but the cricketing public of Australia should show their disapproval of this line of conduct when the national cricketing honour was concerned. He hoped that the Australian team would win. (Applause.) He was certain, however that the combined team who took part in the contest would not be disgraced, but the Australian eleven would have the reputation of having sacrificed the cricketing honour of their nation to monetary considerations. He would not have referred to this matter, but as an earnest supporter and upholder of manly sports he conside redit his duty, in common with others, to protest against cricket being reduced to a mere money-making matter. The fourth Australian eleven, had received a large share of Australian sympathy, but he trusted a repetition of their conduct would never be witnessed in any Australian team.

Commenting on the above, the South Australian Register states: - "The pungent criticism of the conduct of the Australian eleven indulged in by the Attorney-General will be endorsed by most of those who are acquainted with the facts. Very hard things indeed have been said of the team in the other colonies. The spirit thay have displayed since their return from their successful and financially profitable trip in the mother country has been most illiberal. Instead of going out of their way to advance the interests of the company of English players now on a visit to Australia thay have assumed an attitude of antagonism towards them which can only be attributed to mercenary motives altogether unworthy of them and Australian cricketers in general. Remembering that they claim to rank as gentlemen players, and not as professional, and that they met with the most liberal treatment in Great Britain, they owed it to themselves as well as to the visiting players to do all in their power to make the tour of the latter successful. At the same time they owed it to Australia to put their services as cricketers at the disposal of the country in order to maintain its cricketing reputation against the formidable team who have come to gather laurels, as well as gate-money, in these colonies.

How little their action has been influenced by a regard for the interests of Australia, and how much by monetary considerations, is illustrated by the nature of the terms they demanded from the South Australian Cricketing Association from all chance of realising any profit out of the match. It cannot be doubted that the grasping policy of the eleven tended to estrange public sympathy here, and caused the victory of the Englishmen to be rather popular than otherwise. The latest grievance against the team is that they have been so tenacious of their financial rights that not one of them has taken part in the match Players v. All Australia now proceeding in Melbourne. In one sense it is an advantage that they should be thus excluded, as it has given an opportunity for the bringing together of an indepepndent eleven not ill-qualified to do battle for Australia, but it is, of course, anomalous that from a match against all Australia the redoubtable members of Murdoch's eleven should all be shut out. It is greatly to be regretted that the Australian team proper should have made such a shabby ending to an otherwis ebrilliant career."

The Cricket Association of Victoria called upon the Victorian section of the team for an explanation of their refusal to play, and at an adjourned meeting, held on the 13th January 1885, the following motion was carried unanimously: -

"That the replies received from the Victorian contingent of the Australian eleven who have been asked for an explanation in refusing to play in the combined match, Australia v. England, are unsatisafactory to this Association, and that the selector of teams be instructed not to selelct any one of this team to play in any match played under the auspicies of the Association."

This ban was not removed until the 11th November of the same year, and one of the results of the antagonism of the fourth Australian team, and of the action of the Victorian Association, was that Shaw's men had to play two matches against New South Wales, and one each against Victoria and a combined eleven at Melbourne without a single member of Murdoch's team being opposed to them. Peace however, was partially restored towards the close of the tour, and in the last three matches against representative elevens of Australia, A. C. Bannerman was opposed to the Egnlish team on each occasion, Bonnor and Giffen appeared in two matches, and Scott, Palmer, McDonnell and Blackham each played once. Spofforth, it must be stated, was not in accord with the other members of the Australian team. He did not arrive in Australia until some time after all the other had landed, and was always favourably disposed towards the Englishmen, playing against them whenever circumstances permitted.

Shaw's team played 33 matches in all, 8 of which were eleven-a-side contests, and the remainder against twenty-twos, eighteens, and fifteens. Of the matches against odds 10 were won, 15 drawn, and not one lost. Of the First-class matches 6 were won and 2 lost. The one victories were over New South Wales (twice), combined Australia (twice), Victoria, and Murdoch's Australian eleven; while the defeats in each case were by the representative teams of Australia, one match being lost by 6 runs, and the other by 8 wickets. In the 8 eleven-a-side matches Shaw's team scored 2,702 runs for the loss of 118 wickets, giving an average of 22.106 runs per wicket, and their opponenets lost 151 wickets for 2,450 runs, or an average of 16.34 runs per wicket. The Englishmen gave away 95 extras, and their opponents 118 in those 8 matches. In the 25 minor matches of the tour Shaw's team scored 5,928 runs for 296 wickets, or an average of 20.8 runs per wicket, their opponents making 4,048 runs for 757 wickets, or an average of 5.263 per wicket.

A perusal of the batting and bowling summaries appended to the last match will show that Barnes was not only at the head of the batsmen both in eleven-a-side matches and those agaionst odds, but that he was also the most successful bowler in the First-class contests of the programme. His average of 43.4 in eleven-a-side matches and 30.14 against odds, coupled with his record of 26 wickets at an average cost of 13.6 was a truly grand performance. Shrewsbury with a splendid average of exactly 40 comes next to Barnes in First-class matches, but unlike that batsman, was very far from successful in the minor matches, as his avarage of 17.7 will testify. Bates showed very fine form all-round. His batting in the big matches was the most consistent of any of the team, as with 68 as his largest contribution, he secured the really capital average of 30.3 without the aid of a not out innings. Against odds his average was 23.14, and his excellent bowling figures suggest the idea that he might have had a larger share with the advantage to the team. The result of Briggs' dashing play and Scotton's steady defensive cricket fully warranted their inclusion in the team. It will be seen that, in contrast to Barnes, Shrewsbury and Bates, they were more successful in the macthes against odds than in the eleven-a-side contests, and is actually at the bottom of the list with the very poor average of 11.4. His bowling, though somewhat expensive, was very useful on occasions. Both Read and Flowers were completely out of form with the bat for a long time, but both, on some few occasions proved of the greatest value to their side. Read played up capitally the last month, and Flowers atoned for his ill-success with the bat by bowling in capital form. Long scores were not expected from Attewell, Peel and Hunter, but all are credited with useful averages, and each at times was able to make a stand of considerable value

Considerably the largest share of the bowling was entrusted to Peel and Attewell, and both acquitted themselves admirably. Peel obtained the enormous number of 321 wickets in the minor matches at an average cost of 4-73 runs per wicket, his performance against Twenty-two of Moss Vale, in which he obtained 18 wickets for 7 runs, eclipsing all previous feats of English bowlers in Australia. Though taking the largest number of wickets credited to any bowler in the eleven-a-side matches, he was, singularly enough, most expensive, his 35 wickets costing 19.8 runs per wicket, and in matches against odds he had an average of 4.148 for 161 wickets.

Hunter kept wicket admirably. He was in brilliant form at times, and always stood up to the fast bowling of Ulyett without a long-stop. In the eleven-a-side matches he stumped 6 and caught out 11.

Shaw, who played in eight matches, but did not bowl a ball, left for England towards the end of February, to fulfil an engagement with the Earl of Sheffield, and Lillywhite only took part in two matches.

Shaw's team left Adelaide, on board the S.S. 'Potosi,' at 9.30 p.m. on the 6th April, homeward bound. On arriving at Naples, Attewell, Barnes, Flowers, SCotton, Lillywhite and Ulyett left the ship to travel the remainder of the journey overland, arriving in England on Tuesday, May 12th. Shrewsbury, Read, Hunter, Peel, Briggs, and Bates landed at Plymouth on the following Friday, after a good passage.

Match reports for

1st Test: Australia v England at Adelaide, Dec 12-16, 1884
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Jan 1-5, 1885
Report | Scorecard

3rd Test: Australia v England at Sydney, Feb 20-24, 1885
Report | Scorecard

4th Test: Australia v England at Sydney, Mar 14-17, 1885
Report | Scorecard

5th Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Mar 21-25, 1885
Report | Scorecard

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