English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62

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English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62

English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62

An England cricket team toured Australia in 1861-62. This was the first-ever tour of Australia by any overseas team and the second tour abroad by an English team, following the one to North America in 1859.

English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62 Results

The team sailed from Liverpool on 20 October in the Great Britain, arriving in Melbourne on 24 December. As a team, they played 12 matches that were not first-class, winning 6 and losing 2 with 4 drawn. All but one of these games were against odds of at least 18 to 11. The exception was a one-day single innings match.
In January 1862, it played a match on the Sydney Domain; the Secretary for Lands, John Robertson controversially allowed the promoters to charge admission to the public while arranging a free stand for parliamentarians. The team divided for a match in March 1862 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground that has been called The World v Surrey XI and is rated first-class. The six Surrey players were joined by five locals, who reportedly had Surrey affiliations, to form the Surrey XI; the World XI was formed of the six non-Surrey tourists and another five locals. The World XI won by 6 wickets thanks to an outstanding all-round performance by George Bennett who scored 72 and then took 7-30 and 7-85. This game drew a good attendance of about 8,000. One of the World XI locals was John Conway of Victoria who later managed the first Australian team to tour England.
The tour was certainly successful in the long-term sense that it inspired later English teams to visit Australia. The team arrived back in England on 12 May 1862.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.