English cricket team in Australia in 1920–21

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An England team toured Australia between November 1920 and March 1921. The tour was organised by the Marylebone Cricket Club and matches outside the Tests were played under the MCC name. The tour itinerary consisted of 13 first-class matches, including a series of 5 Test matches against Australia in which The Ashes were at stake.

Tour review[edit]

The tour was the first to have Test status after the First World War. It followed tours by the Australian Imperial Forces cricket team which played a number first-class matches in England, South Africa and Australia immediately after the war. The last Ashes series had been the 1912 Triangular Tournament held in England that year.

Although the tourists were relatively successful in their first-class matches against the Australian state teams, losing only one, the Test series "resulted, as everyone knows, in disaster"[1] and England became the first team ever to lose every match in a five-Test series.

Wisden commented that the chief cause of England's failure was the bowling, because all of the bowlers used were expensive and recorded high averages.[1] Much has been made of Australia's ability to recover from the effects of the war more quickly than England and Wisden commented that "English cricket had not had time to regain its pre-war standard".[1]

Test series summary[edit]

Summary of other first-class matches[edit]

England touring party[edit]

The England touring party consisted of 16 players led by Essex all-rounder Johnny Douglas.

When the party was originally selected, Reggie Spooner was invited to be the team captain but he was obliged to stand down for domestic reasons. Vallance Jupp had been selected too but was unable to travel. Jupp's withdrawal was shortly before departure and meant that his replacement Bill Hitch had to catch a later boat than the main party. There was another withdrawal when Jack Hearne was taken ill during the Second Test and could not play again that season.[1]

There was a controversy over Rockley Wilson who sent match reports by cable to the Daily Express. As a result, MCC resolved at a meeting the following May to bar players from reporting on matches in which they were involved.[1]





Australian players in Test series[edit]

Australia used 14 players in the Test series. Eight players took part in all five matches including the captain Warwick Armstrong.






The English team had a stopover in Colombo en route to Australia and played a one-day single-innings match there against the Ceylon national team, which at that time did not have Test status.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1922
  2. ^ "Ceylon v MCC 1962". CricketArchive. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bill Frindall, The Wisden Book of Test Cricket 1877-1978, Wisden, 1979
  • Chris Harte, A History of Australian Cricket, Andre Deutsch, 1993
  • Ray Robinson, On Top Down Under, Cassell, 1975
  • Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1922

External links[edit]