Rest of the World cricket team in England in 1970

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A Rest of the World cricket team was assembled to play five-day cricket matches against the full England team in 1970 after the cancellation of the scheduled tour by the South African cricket team. At the time the matches were deemed to be Test matches, but that was later revoked.

The background to the matches[edit]

South Africa were due to tour England in 1970. As South Africa had just whitewashed the unofficial world champions, Australia, four-nil at home, the series was eagerly awaited amongst cricket fans. However, the tour faced widespread opposition from opponents of the apartheid regime then prevailing in South Africa. A Stop the 1970 Tour campaign was started, with its leaders including Peter Hain. In response there was a Save the 1970 Tour campaign, whose leaders included former England cricket captain, Brian Close.

Enormous political pressure was put on the Test and County Cricket Board, who ran English cricket at the time, to pull out of the tour. In the end, they yielded, but this meant that if they did not do anything, there would be no international cricket in England in 1970, with the concomitant loss of revenues. Therefore, at relatively short notice a "Rest of the World" side was put together, which included many of the best non-English cricketers. Overall, five South African players competed for the World side, with another two former South Africans, Tony Greig and Basil D'Oliveira playing for England. The Rest of the World played five matches against England, which were initially recognised as Test matches by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. The International Cricket Conference stated at their 1972 meeting that the games should not be regarded as official Test matches, but Wisden continued to include the records of the games until they were removed for the 1980 edition, against the wishes of the almanack's editor, Norman Preston.[1]

The touring Rest of the World side ended up four-one winners in the five Test series, although England had their moments, with the Rest of the World earning one of their wins by only 2 wickets, and another by 4 wickets. After the Tests, the Rest of the World played a one-off end-of-season friendly match at the Scarborough Festival. The Rest of the World players played for various English counties during the rest of the season.

The players[edit]

21 cricketers turned out for England. All but one of them played in other Test matches. Alan Jones was the exception, making him the only man in cricketing history to win a Test cap and then lose it. The players who competed for England were:

The players who competed for the Rest of the World side were:

The matches[edit]

First match (17–22 June)[edit]

On the first humid day at Lord's Garry Sobers effected a stunning collapse by England as he took 6 for 21 to reduce the home side to a miserly 127 all out. In reply, Sobers also starred, making 183, with Eddie Barlow also making a century. The World's 546 gave them a more than comfortable lead of 419. England fared better in reply, but the Rest of the World still wrapped up the game with one day to spare.

Flag of England.svg England 127 & 339 Rest of the World won by an innings and 80 runs

R Illingworth 63
GStA Sobers 6/21

R Illingworth 94
Intikhab Alam 6/113

Lord's, London, England
Umpires: JS Buller (ENG) and AE Fagg (ENG)

Rest of the World 546

GStA Sobers 183
A Ward 4/121


Second match (2–7 July)[edit]

The crowd at Trent Bridge for the Second Test was disappointingly small, even for a series that as a whole suffered from low attendances. So many missed England's best day in the series when their two medium-pacers, Basil D'Oliveira and Tony Greig, both took four wickets to dismiss the Rest of the World for 276, with Clive Lloyd's 114, Barry Richards's 64 and Mike Procter's 43 the only scores of any note. England struggled in reply and achieved a first innings lead as South African all-rounder Eddie Barlow dismissed their top five batsman, and only England captain Ray Illingworth offered much resistance. Barlow was also the star of the World's second innings, making 142 as no other batsman scored more than 30. A lead of 283 should have allowed the World to place England under some pressure. However, despite dismissing opener John Edrich with the score on 44, the World's bowlers were unable to make much progress against Brian Luckhurst, Colin Cowdrey and Keith Fletcher as the hosts won by 8 wickets.

Rest of the World 276 & 286 England won by 8 wickets

CH Lloyd 114
BL D'Oliveira 4/43

EJ Barlow 142
BL D'Oliveira 3/63

Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England
Umpires: CS Elliott (ENG) and AE Fagg (ENG)

Flag of England.svg England 279 & 284/2

R Illingworth 97
EJ Barlow 5/66

BW Luckhurst 113*
EJ Barlow 1/20


Third match (16–21 July)[edit]

Flag of England.svg England 294 & 409 Rest of the World won by 5 wickets

BL D'Oliveira 110
MJ Procter 5/46

BL D'Oliveira 81
GStA Sobers 4/89

Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
Umpires: AE Fagg (ENG) and AEG Rhodes (ENG)

Rest of the World 563/9 declared 141/5

CH Lloyd 101
JA Snow 4/124

RB Kanhai 37
R Illingworth 2/51


Fourth match (30 July-4 August)[edit]

Flag of England.svg England 222 & 376 Rest of the World won by 2 wickets

KWR Fletcher 89
EJ Barlow 7/64

BW Luckhurst 92
EJ Barlow 5/78

Headingley, Leeds, England
Umpires: AE Fagg (ENG) and AEG Rhodes (ENG)

Rest of the World 376/9 declared 226/8

GStA Sobers 114
AW Greig 4/86

GStA Sobers 59
JA Snow 4/82


Fifth match (13–18 August)[edit]

Flag of England.svg England 294 & 344 Rest of the World won by 4 wickets

MC Cowdrey 73
GD McKenzie 4/51

G Boycott 157
CH Lloyd 3/34

The Oval, London, England
Umpires: AE Fagg (ENG) and CS Elliott (ENG)

Rest of the World 355 287/6

RG Pollock 114
P Lever 7/83

RB Kanhai 100
JA Snow 4/81


TN Pearce's XI v Rest of the World XI (5–8 September)[edit]

TN Pearce's XI drew with the Rest of the World XI

Although this is usually recognised as being a game as part of the tour of the World side, only four players who competed in the Tests turned out for the Rest of the World. Three of England's Test side also played.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. London: Queen Anne Press. 1980. p. 90-91. ISBN 0362020035. 

External sources[edit]