Wilfred Rhodes was an English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930. In Tests, Rhodes took 127 wickets and scored 2,325 runs, becoming the first Englishman to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test matches, he holds the world records both for the most appearances made in first-class cricket, for the most wickets taken. He completed the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in an English cricket season a record 16 times. Rhodes played for Yorkshire and England into his fifties, in his final Test in 1930 was, at 52 years and 165 days, the oldest player who has appeared in a Test match. Beginning his career for Yorkshire in 1898 as a slow left arm bowler, a useful batsman, Rhodes established a reputation as one of the best slow bowlers in the world. However, by the First World War he had developed his batting skills to the extent that he was regarded as one of the leading batsmen in England and had established an effective opening partnership with Jack Hobbs.
The improvement in Rhodes's batting was accompanied by a temporary decline in his bowling performances, but the loss of key Yorkshire bowlers after the war led to Rhodes resuming his role as a front-line bowler. He played throughout the 1920s as an all-rounder before retiring after the 1930 cricket season, his first appearance for England was in 1899 and he played in Tests until 1921. Recalled to the team in the final Ashes Test of 1926 aged 48, Rhodes played a significant part in winning the match for England who thus regained the Ashes for the first time since 1912, he ended his Test career in the West Indies in April 1930. As a bowler, Rhodes was noted for his great accuracy, variations in flight and, in his early days, sharp spin. Throughout his career he was effective on wet, rain affected pitches where he could bowl sides out for low scores, his batting was regarded as solid and dependable but unspectacular, critics accused him of excessive caution at times. However, they considered him to be an astute cricket thinker.
Following his retirement from playing cricket, he coached at Harrow School but was not a great success. His eyesight began to fail from around 1939 to the point where he was blind by 1952, he was given honorary membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1949 and remained a respected figure within the game until his death in 1973. On 9 August 2009, Rhodes was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Rhodes was born in the village of Kirkheaton, just outside Huddersfield, in 1877, his family moved to a farm two miles away while he was young. He went to school in nearby Hopton, to Spring Grove School in Huddersfield, his father, Alfred Rhodes, was captain of the Kirkheaton cricket team's Second XI and encouraged his son to play cricket, buying him equipment and having a pitch laid near their home for Wilfred to practice. By the time Rhodes left school, aged 16, he had joined Kirkheaton Cricket Club and started to take cricket seriously: he watched Yorkshire when they played close to his home and began to consider a career as a professional cricketer.
Around 1893 he took a job working on the railway in the local town of Mirfield. By now playing for Kirkheaton Second XI, Rhodes's keenness to reach one game on time led him to ring the off-duty bell before the end of the shift and as a result he lost his job. Subsequently, he worked on a local farm. By 1895 he achieved a place in the Kirkheaton first team, was recommended to Gala Cricket Club, of Galashiels, Scotland, as a professional. Rhodes played for Gala Cricket Club in 1896 and 1897, as an all-rounder who opened the batting and bowled medium paced seamers, he took 92 wickets in his first season, discovered that bowling an occasional slow ball brought him some success. He decided to change his bowling style to spin, spent the winter of 1896–97 practising on the family farm while working again on the railway, this time as a signalman. Over several months, Rhodes used his practice sessions to develop control of spin and different types of delivery. In his second season at Galashiels, now bowling slow left-arm, he took fewer wickets but at a better average.
At the end of the 1897 season, encouraged by a Scottish member of the MCC, he resigned from Gala to look for work in England. In response to an advertisement, Rhodes applied to join the groundstaff of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, but the club were unable to offer him an engagement for financial reasons. At this time, Yorkshire were looking for a slow left arm spinner to replace Bobby Peel, sacked following a disciplinary lapse on the field in front of his captain Lord Hawke in August 1897. Rhodes applied for a place in a Yorkshire Colts team to play against the County XI. However, by his own admission, Rhodes had a poor match, while his rival for Peel's place in the side, Albert Cordingley, took nine wickets. In early spring 1898, Rhodes was invited to the nets at Headingley, which led to him playing in some friendly matches. Rhodes went on to make his first-class debut for Yorkshire on 12 May 1898 against the MCC, taking six wickets in the match. In his second game, he made his County Championship debut on 16 May 1898 against Somerset, taking 13 wickets for 45 runs.
In the 1898 season, according to Wisden Cricketers' Almanack Rhodes "sprang at once into fame, bowling in match after match for Yorkshire with astounding success." By the end of the season he had taken 154 wickets at an average of 14.60, was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 1899. The citation stated: "There can be no doubt as to the greatness of his achie
Arthur Dudley Nourse was a South African Test cricketer. A batsman, he was captain of the South African team from 1948 to 1951. Nourse was born in the son of South African Test cricketer Arthur Nourse, his father represented South Africa in 45 consecutive Test matches from 1902 to 1924. He was named after William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, the Governor-General of Australia in 1910. Nourse was born a few days after his father scored a double hundred against South Australia, where he was touring with the South African team; when Lord Dudley heard about the innings and the baby, he expressed the wish that he be named after him. Nourse played football in his early years, his father refused to teach him how to play cricket, insisting that Dudley teach himself like he had. Aged 18, Nourse decided to concentrate on cricket playing for Umbilo Cricket Club in Durban, he played domestic first-class cricket for the Natal cricket team from 1931 to 1952, played 34 Test matches for South Africa, in a long international career of 16 years, from 1935 to 1951.
He scored a century in his second match for Natal, when his father was playing for the opposing team, Western Province. He was an aggressive batman, stocky in build like his father later in his career, with broad shoulders and strong arms, he played off the back foot, cutting square and driving on the off side. He was a good fielder with safe hands, he joined the tour to England in 1935, in a team captained by Herby Wade, where he made his Test debut. After he scored a century in three consecutive innings, both innings against Surrey and against Oxford, Plum Warner commented "A Nourse, a Nourse, my kingdom for a Nourse." He made small scores in the first two Tests and was dropped for the Third Test, but reached 53 not out in the second innings of the Fourth Test at Old Trafford. Four matches were drawn, but South Africa won the Second Test at Lord's, the series 1–0, he played at home against Australia in 1935–36, scored 231 in the Second Test in Johannesburg, his maiden Test century. The match was controversially drawn after the South Africa captain Wade appealed to the umpires against the bad light causing danger to his players, the first time that a fielding captain had appealed against the light.
The international schedule of the day meant that South Africa did not play Test cricket for three years, but Nourse played against the English tourists in 1938–39, taking six hours to score a century in the famous 10-day-long timeless Test at Durban. In his prime as a player, Nourse lost six years of international cricket during the Second World War, during which time he served in the Middle East. South Africa resumed Test cricket in 1947, Nourse joined the tour to England as vice-captain under Alan Melville. South Africa lost the series 3–0. Nourse topped the South African batting averages, he and Melville were Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1948. Nourse was appointed captain of South Africa for its home series against England in 1948–49, remained captain until he retired in 1951, he captained his country in fifteen matches, the two home series against England in 1948–49, lost 2–0 and against Australia in 1949–50, lost 4–0, the tour to England in 1951. It was as captain in the 1951 series that he played what Cricinfo describes as "his most renowned innings", against England in the First Test at Trent Bridge in 1951.
He batted for 9 hours, with a pin in his right thumb, broken while fielding in an earlier tour match. Each batting stroke exacerbated his painful thumb, he was unable to field, or bat in the second innings. His innings was the first double century by a South African against England, was enough to give South Africa its first Test win in 16 years – Nourse's first as captain, only his second as a player. England won three of the remaining matches, with the Fourth Test at Headingley drawn, South Africa lost the series 3–1. Nourse retired from Test cricket at the end of the 1951 tour, after the Fifth Test, played his last first-class match in 1953, he was South African Cricket Annual Cricketer of the Year in 1952. At the time of his retirement, he held the highest Test batting average of any South African batsman, he scored 9 Test centuries, including 7 against England, is a member of the short list of Test batsmen to retire with a batting average exceeding 50 runs. His autobiography Cricket in the Blood was published in 1949.
He served as a selector for South Africa, managed the side that toured England in 1960, captained by Jackie McGlew. He died in Durban
Frank Mitchell (sportsman, born 1872)
Frank Mitchell was an international cricketer and rugby union player. Born on 13 August 1872 in Market Weighton, Mitchell was schooled at St Peter's School in York and captained the school side for two years before moving to Brighton, where he took up employment as a schoolmaster for another two years; this meant that when he went up to Cambridge University, where he was admitted to Caius College, he was older and more experienced than many of his contemporaries, he swiftly moved into the University side, where he remained from 1894 to 1897. It was as captain of the University side in 1896 that Mitchell instructed his bowler to give away runs so that Oxford University would not be required to follow-on their innings. Protests came in newspapers about this; the tactic itself, did not help Cambridge win – they went on to lose the match by four wickets. In 1894 Mitchell first played for Yorkshire, in 1898–99 he was selected to tour South Africa with Lord Hawke, it was on this tour that he played two representative matches for England that became recognised as official Test matches.
His performance on that tour helped consolidate his place in the Yorkshire squad for the following season. Mitchell returned to South Africa in the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, where he fought in the Second Boer War, which saw him miss the entire 1900 English cricket season. In 1901 he was back playing for Yorkshire, making seven centuries in a season that earned him the accolade as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1902. In the 1901–02 winter, Mitchell toured America with Bernard Bosanquet's team, but left early as he had made arrangements to go to Johannesburg. Whilst in Johannesburg he played cricket for the Transvaal, whom he captained to success in the Currie Cup, South Africa's domestic first-class cricket competition, in 1902–03 and 1903–04; when he returned to England in 1904 it was as captain of the South African cricket team, which makes him one of the fourteen players to have played Test cricket for more than one country. Mitchell's first-class cricket career was at a hiatus, until he returned to captain South Africa in a disastrous campaign in the 1912 Triangular Tournament in England.
Mitchell returned to England, playing first-class cricket only once more, for the Marylebone Cricket Club against Cambridge University in 1914. He died 11 October 1935 in London. At Cambridge he won blues at rugby and at putting the weight, he was captained at rugby. Mitchell went on to play for Blackheath and won six caps for England at rugby between 1895 and 1896 as a forward in what was recognised as a strong pack, he kept goal for Sussex at soccer. Mitchell wrote about rugby. For example, he contributed a chapter entitled Forward Play to a book by Bertram Fletcher Robinson, Rugby Football republished in facsimile form. In World War I, he returned to active duty, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was mentioned in despatches. After hostilities ended, he watched one of his sons, play cricket for Kent, corresponded for The Cricketer before his sudden death in 1935, aged 63. List of cricketers who have played for more than one international team Media related to Frank Mitchell at Wikimedia Commons Photograph of Frank Mitchell Cricinfo page on Frank Mitchell Frank Mitchell's citation as one of the Cricketers of the Year in the 1902 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack Frank Mitchell's obituary in the 1936 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
In cricket, a run is the unit of scoring. The team with the most runs wins in many versions of the game, always draws at worst, except for some results decided by the Duckworth–Lewis method. A single run is scored when a batsman has hit the ball with the bat and directed it away from the fielders so that both the striker and non-striker partner are able to run the length of the pitch, crossing each other and arriving safely at the other end of the pitch, before the fielders can retrieve the ball. Depending on how long it takes the fielding team to recover the ball, the batsmen may run more than once; each completed run increments the scores of the striker. A batsman may score 4 or 6 runs by striking the ball to the boundary; the team's total score in the innings is the aggregate of all its batsmen's individual scores plus any extras and penalties. To complete a run, both batsmen must make their ground, with some part of their person or bat behind the popping crease at the other end of the pitch.
Attempting a run carries a risk factor because either batsman can be run out, if the fielding side can break the wicket with the ball before the batsman has completed the run. Scoring runs is the subject of Law 18 in the Laws of Cricket. Boundaries are covered in Law 19. How the Batsman makes his ground is Law 30. Batsmen run singles and "twos" and "threes". If the batsmen run a single or a three, they have "changed ends", so the striking batsman becomes the non-striker for the next delivery, vice versa. If the single or three is scored off the last delivery of the over, the striker, having changed ends, thus retains strike for the first delivery of the next over. There are rare instances of "fours" being all run. A "five" is possible, but arises from a mistake by the fielders, such as an overthrow; the batsman can deliberately play without attempting to score. The batsmen stop running when they judge that the ball is sufficiently controlled by the fielding team to prevent another run, for example when it is returned to the bowler or the wicketkeeper.
If, when turning for an additional run, one of the batsmen fails to ground some part of his person or bat behind the popping crease, the umpire declares a "short run" and the run does not count but if the bat is dropped, runs do count as long as each batsman makes his ground with his bat or person somehow. The act of running is unnecessary. If the ball reaches the boundary having made contact with the ground, four runs are added to the scores of both the batsman and the team. If the batsman succeeds in hitting the ball over the boundary on the full, six runs are added. If the batsmen are running when the ball reaches the boundary, they can stop, their team will be awarded either the number of runs for the boundary, or runs the batsmen completed together, whichever is greater. In addition to runs scored by the batsman, the team total is incremented by extras known as "sundries", which arise because the bowler has delivered a wide or no-ball, or the fielders have caused a no-ball, each of which incurs a one-run penalty, or have failed to control a ball which did not make contact with the bat thus allowing the batsmen to run.
Byes, leg-byes and wides that elude the fielders and cross the boundary score four in addition to the one-run penalty scored for a no-ball or wide if applicable. Extras are not added to the batsman's individual score. Five penalty runs are awarded by the umpires, either to the batting team or to the fielding team as applicable, for infringement of some of the Laws relating to unfair play or player conduct. For example: five runs are awarded to the batting team if the ball hits a helmet on the ground belonging to the fielding team. If the umpire considers a short run to have been a deliberate act he will disallow all runs attempted, impose a five-run penalty on the batting team. In the written records of cricket, "run" is as old as "cricket" itself. In the earliest known reference to the sport, dated Monday, 17 January 1597, Surrey coroner John Derrick made a legal deposition concerning a plot of land in Guildford that when: "a scholler of the Ffree Schoole of Guildeford and diverse of his fellowes did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies".
It may well be. For a long time, until well into the 18th century, the scorers sat on the field and increments to the score were known as "notches" because they would notch the scores on a stick, with a deeper knick at 20; the same method was used by shepherds. In the earliest known Laws of cricket, dated 1744, one of the rules states: "If in running a Notch, the Wicket is struck down by a Throw, before his Foot, Hand, or Bat is over the Popping-Crease, or a Stump hit by the Ball, though the Bail was down, it's out". In the 1774 version, the equivalent rule states: "Or if in running a notch, the wicket is struck down by a throw, or with the ball in hand, before his foot, hand, or bat is grounded over the popping-crease; these are the earliest known references to running as the means of scoring. The change o
Batting average (cricket)
In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out. Since the number of runs a player scores and how they get out are measures of their own playing ability, independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter; the number is simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings; each player has several batting averages, with a different figure calculated for each type of match they play, a player's batting averages may be calculated for individual seasons or series, or at particular grounds, or against particular opponents, or across their whole career. Batting average has been used to gauge cricket players' relative skills since the 18th century.
Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40. This is the desirable range for wicket-keepers, though some fall short and make up for it with keeping skill; until a substantial increase in scores in the 21st century due to improved bats and smaller grounds among other factors, players who sustained an average above 50 through a career were considered exceptional, before the development of the heavy roller in the 1870s an average of 25 was considered good. All-rounders who are more prominent bowlers than batsmen average something between 20 and 30. 15 and under is typical for specialist bowlers. A small number of players have averaged less than 5 for a complete career, though a player with such an average is a liability unless an exceptional bowler as Alf Valentine, B. S. Chandrasekhar or Glenn McGrath were. Career records for batting average are subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed, in order to exclude batsmen who have not played enough games for their skill to be reliably assessed.
Under this qualification, the highest Test batting average belongs to Australia's Sir Donald Bradman, with 99.94. Given that a career batting average over 50 is exceptional, that only five other players have averages over 60, this is an outstanding statistic; the fact that Bradman's average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led several statisticians to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. Disregarding this 20 innings qualification, the highest career test batting average is 112, by Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian Keeper-batsman, dismissed for 112 in his only test innings. Batting averages in One Day International cricket tend to be lower than in Test cricket, because of the need to score runs more and take riskier strokes and the lesser emphasis on building a large innings, it should be remembered in relation to the ODI histogram above, that there were no ODI competitions when Bradman played. If a batter has been dismissed in every single innings this statistic gives the average number of runs they score per innings.
However, for a batter with innings which finished not out, the true average number of runs they score per innings is unknown as it is not known how many runs they would have scored if they could have completed all their not out innings. This statistic is an estimate of the average number of runs. If their scores have a geometric distribution this statistic is the maximum likelihood estimate of their true unknown average. Batting averages can be affected by the number of not outs. For example, Phil Tufnell, noted for his poor batting, has an respectable ODI average of 15, despite a highest score of only 5 not out, as he scored an overall total of 15 runs from 10 innings, but was out only once. A batter who has not been dismissed in any of the innings over which their average is being calculated does not have a batting average, as dividing by zero does not give a result. Highest career batting averages in Test matches. Table shows players with at least 20 innings completed. * denotes not out. Last updated: 14 October 2018.
Highest career batting averages in First-class cricket as follows: Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Table shows players with at least 50 innings batted, note this table has no requirement for minimum number of runs scored. * denotes not out. Last updated: 10 November 2018. Alternative measures of batting effectiveness have been developed, including: Strike rate measures a different concept to batting average – how the batter scores – so it does not supplant the role of batting average, it is used in limited overs matches, where the speed at which a batter scores is more important than it is in first-class cricket. A system of player rankings was developed to produce a better indication of players' current standings than is provided by comparing their averages. Cricket statistics Batting average Bowling average
In cricket, a player's bowling average is the number of runs they have conceded per wicket taken. The lower the bowling average is, the better the bowler is performing, it is one of a number of statistics used to compare bowlers used alongside the economy rate and the strike rate to judge the overall performance of a bowler. When a bowler has taken only a small number of wickets, their bowling average can be artificially high or low, unstable, with further wickets taken or runs conceded resulting in large changes to their bowling average. Due to this, qualification restrictions are applied when determining which players have the best bowling averages. After applying these criteria, George Lohmann holds the record for the lowest average in Test cricket, having claimed 112 wickets at an average of 10.75 runs per wicket. A cricketer's bowling average is calculated by dividing the numbers of runs they have conceded by the number of wickets they have taken; the number of runs conceded by a bowler is determined as the total number of runs that the opposing side have scored while the bowler was bowling, excluding any byes, leg byes, or penalty runs.
The bowler receives credit for any wickets taken during their bowling that are either bowled, hit wicket, leg before wicket or stumped. B o w l i n g a v e r a g e = R u n s c o n c e d e d W i c k e t s t a k e n A number of flaws have been identified for the statistic, most notable among these the fact that a bowler who has taken no wickets can not have a bowling average, as dividing by zero does not give a result; the effect of this is that the bowling average can not distinguish between a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one run, a bowler who has taken no wickets and conceded one hundred runs. The bowling average does not tend to give a true reflection of the bowler's ability when the number of wickets they have taken is small in comparison to the number of runs they have conceded. In his paper proposing an alternative method of judging batsmen and bowlers, Paul van Staden gives an example of this: Suppose a bowler has bowled a total of 80 balls, conceded 60 runs and has taken only 2 wickets so that..
30. If the bowler takes a wicket with the next ball bowled 20. Due to this, when establishing records for bowling averages, qualification criteria are set. For Test cricket, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack sets this as 75 wickets, while ESPNcricinfo requires 2,000 deliveries. Similar restrictions are set for one-day cricket. A number of factors other than purely the ability level of the bowler have an effect on a player's bowling average. Most significant among these are the different eras; the bowling average tables in Test and first-class cricket are headed by players who competed in the nineteenth century, a period when pitches were uncovered and some were so badly looked after that they had rocks on them. The bowlers competing in the Howa Bowl, a competition played in South African during the apartheid-era, restricted to non-white players, during which time, according to Vincent Barnes: "Most of the wickets we played on were underprepared. For me, as a bowler, it was great." Other factors which provided an advantage to bowlers in that era was the lack of significant safety equipment.
Other variations are caused by frequent matches against stronger or weaker opposition, changes in the laws of cricket and the length of matches. Due to the varying qualifying restrictions placed on the records by different statisticians, the record for the lowest career bowling average can be different from publication to publication. In Test cricket, George Lohmann is listed as having the superior average by each of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive. Though all three use different restrictions, Lohmann's average of 10.75 is considered the best. If no qualification criteria were applied at all, three players—Wilf Barber, A. N. Hornby and Bruce Murray—would tie for the best average, all having claimed just one wicket in Test matches, without conceding any runs, thus averaging zero. ESPNcricinfo list Betty Wilson as having the best Women's Test cricket average with 11.80, while CricketArchive accept Mary Spear's average of 5.78. In One Day Internationals, the varying criteria set by ESPNcricinfo and CricketArchive result in different players being listed as holding the record.
ESPNcricinfo has the stricter restriction, requiring 1,000 deliveries: by this measure, Joel Garner is the record-holder, having claimed his wickets at an average of 18.84. By CricketArchive's more relaxed requirement of 400 deliveries, John Snow leads the way, with an average of 16.57. In women's One Day International cricket, Caroline Barrs tops the CricketArchive list with an average of 9.52, but by ESPNcricinfo's stricter guidelines, the record is instead held by Gill Smith's 12.53. The record is again split for the two websites for Twenty20 International cricket. George O'Brien's average of 8.20 holds the record using those criteri
England cricket team
The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, having been governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end of 1996. England, as a founding nation, is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International status; until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players played for England as those countries were not yet ICC members in their own right. England and Australia were the first teams to play a Test match, these two countries together with South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference on 15 June 1909. England and Australia played the first ODI on 5 January 1971. England's first T20I was played on 13 June 2005, once more against Australia; as of 12 March 2019, England has played 1010 Test matches, winning 365 and losing 300. The team has won The Ashes on 32 occasions. England has played 726 ODIs, winning 362, its record in major ODI tournaments includes finishing as runners-up in three Cricket World Cups, in two ICC Champions Trophys.
England has played 108 T20Is, winning 53. They won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010, were runners-up in 2016; as of 12 March 2019, England are ranked fifth in Tests, first in ODIs and third in T20Is by the ICC. Though the team and coaching staff faced heavy criticism after their Group Stage exit in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it has since adopted a more aggressive and modern playing style in ODI cricket, under the leadership of captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss; the first recorded incidence of a team with a claim to represent England comes from 9 July 1739 when an "All-England" team, which consisted of 11 gentlemen from any part of England exclusive of Kent, played against "the Unconquerable County" of Kent and lost by a margin of "very few notches". Such matches were repeated on numerous occasions for the best part of a century. In 1846 William Clarke formed the All-England Eleven; this team competed against a United All-England Eleven with annual matches occurring between 1847 and 1856.
These matches were arguably the most important contest of the English season if judged by the quality of the players. The first overseas tour occurred in September 1859 with England touring North America; this team had six players from the All-England Eleven, six from the United All-England Eleven and was captained by George Parr. With the outbreak of the American Civil War, attention turned elsewhere. English tourists visited Australia in 1861–62 with this first tour organised as a commercial venture by Messrs Spiers and Pond, restaurateurs of Melbourne. Most matches played during tours prior to 1877 were "against odds", with the opposing team fielding more than 11 players to make for a more contest; this first Australian tour were against odds of at least 18/11. The tour was so successful that George Parr led a second tour in 1863–64. James Lillywhite led a subsequent England team which sailed on the P&O steamship Poonah on 21 September 1876, they played a combined Australian XI, for once on terms of 11 a side.
The match, starting on 15 March 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground came to be regarded as the inaugural Test match. The combined Australian XI won this Test match by 45 runs with Charles Bannerman of Australia scoring the first Test century. At the time, the match was promoted as James Lillywhite's XI v Combined Victoria and New South Wales; the teams played a return match on the same ground at Easter, 1877, when Lillywhite's team avenged their loss with a victory by four wickets. The first Test match on English soil occurred in 1880 with England victorious. G. Grace included in the team. England lost their first home series 1–0 in 1882 with The Sporting Times printing an obituary on English cricket: In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R. I. P. N. B. – The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes".
England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. A fourth match was played which Australia won by 4 wickets but the match was not considered part of the Ashes series. England dominated many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884 and 1898. During this period England played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth. England won the 1890 Ashes Series 2–0, with the third match of the series being the first Test match to be abandoned. England lost 2 -- 1 in the 1891 -- 92 series. England again won the 1894 -- 95 series. In 1895 -- 96 England played Test South Africa; the 1899 Ashes series was the first tour where the MCC and the counties appointed a selection committee. There were three active players: Lord Hawke, W. G. Grace and Herbert Bainbridge, the captain of Warwickshire.
Prior to this, England teams for home Tests had been chosen by the club on whose ground the match was to be played. England lost the 1899 Ashes series 1–0, with WG Grace making his final Test appearance in the first match of the series; the start of the