In 1881-82 three prominent English professionals - James Lillywhite, Arthur Shrewsbury and Alfred Shaw - arranged the most ambitious cricket tour to that date, including 30 matches in America, Australia and New Zealand.
The tour included four matches against a full Australian side, and these have come to be regarded as Test matches. The fact that this was a privately arranged trip probably explains the absence of a tour report in the Wisden Almanack, although there are reports of the individual Test matches.
Australia won two of the matches, and two were drawn. It was a strongish England side, although none of the leading amateur players of the day (such as WG Grace) were there. The side did include Billy Midwinter, who had played for Australia in the first Test of all, and remains the only player to appear on both sides in England-Australia Tests.
The Australian stars were Tom Horan and Percy McDonnell, who both made centuries, and GE "Joey" Palmer, who took 24 wickets in the four Tests, including 11 for 165 in the second match (which Australia won), the first Test to be played at Sydney. For England, George Ulyett hit 149 in the fourth match - but in vain, as rain washed out the final day's play.
In all the English side played 18 matches in Australia, winning eight, losing three (two Tests and a two-day match against Sydney's Cumberland club) and drawing seven, seven in New Zealand (won five, drew two), and five in America (won two, drew three). Billy Bates and Edmund Peate both took 30 wickets in the first-class matches, while George Ulyett topped the batting averages with 549 runs at 39.21
Match reports for