English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62
English cricket team in Australia in 1876-77The 1877 Australia v England series was at the time considered to be another professional first-class cricket tour of colonial Australia, as other similar tours had occurred previously, but was retrospectively classified as the first ever Test cricket tour of Australia by the English cricket team.
A rival tour had been also organised by Fred Grace but was cancelled, enabling most of the best players of the Australian colonies to participate in the series against James Lillywhite's side. Fred Spofforth, widely regarded as the best Australian fast bowler, controversially withdrew from the first Test in protest over the omission of Billy Murdoch as wicket-keeper. Starting on March 15, 1877 the two sides played two Tests, and the series was drawn 1-1.
For more details about the establishment of Test cricket, see The first Test tour - 1876/7. Although both matches have Test status, this series is not considered to be part of The Ashes.
English cricket team in Australia in 1861-62 ResultsFirst Test: England v Australia - Australia won by 45 runs
Second Test: England v Australia - England won by 4 wickets