Australian cricket team in England in 1956
Date 7 June 1956 — 28 August 1956
Location England
Result England won the 5-Test series 2–1
Flag of England England Flag of Australia Australia
PBH May IWG Johnson
Most runs
PBH May (453)
PE Richardson (364)
JW Burke (271)
CC McDonald (243)
Most wickets
JC Laker (46)
GAR Lock (15)
KR Miller (21)
RG Archer (18)

The Australian cricket team toured England in the 1956 season to play a five-match Test series against England for The Ashes.

England won the series 2-1 with 2 matches drawn and therefore retained The Ashes.

The series is most notable for off-spinner Jim Laker's 46 wickets (a record for a 5-Test series) at an average of 9.60, including all ten wickets in the second innings of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, the first time this had been achieved in Test cricket. In that Test, known as Laker's Match, Laker took 19 wickets for 90 runs, still the best match bowling analysis achieved in both Test and all first-class cricket. The cartoonist Roy Ullyett summed up the summer with the picture of a dazed kangaroo in Australian strip and the ditty: Here lie the Ashes of '56, skittled by Laker for next to nix. Never forgotten, sorry you thought our wicket rotten, signed "Love from the groundstaff". The second line refers to the Australian complaints that the grass had been shaved off the Old Trafford wicket to help the England spinners.

Test series summary

First Test: Trent Bridge

7–12 June 1956
Flag of England England
217/8 (dec) (103.4 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
148 (83.1 overs)
Match drawn
Trent Bridge
Umpires: TS Bartley (ENG) and JS Buller (ENG)
PE Richardson 81
PBH May 73
KR Miller 4/69
RN Harvey 64
JC Laker 4/58
188/3 (dec) (61 overs) 120/3 (86 overs)
MC Cowdrey 81
PE Richardson 73
KR Miller 2/58
JW Burke 58
JC Laker 2/29

Second Test: Lord's

21–26 June 1956
Flag of Australia Australia
285 (146.1 overs)
v Flag of England England
171 (82 overs)
Flag of Australia Australia won by 185 runs
Lord's Cricket Ground
Umpires: DE Davies (ENG) and FS Lee (ENG)
CC McDonald 78
JW Burke 65
JC Laker 3/47
PBH May 63
KR Miller 5/72
257 (92.5 overs) 186 (99.2 overs)
R Benaud 97
FS Trueman 5/90
PBH May 53
KR Miller 5/80
RG Archer 4/71

Third Test: Headingley

12–17 July 1956
Flag of England England
325 (167.4 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
143 (71.1 overs)
Flag of England England won by an innings and 42 runs
Umpires: JS Buller (ENG) and DE Davies (ENG)
PBH May 101
C Washbrook 98
RR Lindwall 3/67
RG Archer 3/68
R Benaud 3/89
JW Burke 41
KR Miller 41
Jim Laker 5/58
GAR Lock 4/41
140 (follow-on) (99.3 overs)
RN Harvey 69
JC Laker 6/55
GAR Lock 3/40

Fourth Test: Old Trafford

26–31 July 1956
Flag of England England
459 (158.3 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
84 (40.4 overs)
Flag of England England won by an innings and 170 runs
Old Trafford
Umpires: DE Davies (ENG) and FS Lee (ENG)
DS Sheppard 113
PE Richardson 104
MC Cowdrey 80
IW Johnson 4/151
CC McDonald 32
JC Laker 9/37
205 (follow-on) (150.2 overs)
CC McDonald 89
JC Laker 10/53

Fifth Test: The Oval

23–28 August 1956
Flag of England England
247 (109.2 overs)
v Flag of Australia Australia
202 (92 overs)
Match drawn
The Oval
Umpires: TJ Bartley (ENG) and DE Davies (ENG)
DCS Compton 94
PBH May 83
RG Archer 5/53
KR Miller 4/91
KR Miller 61
JC Laker 4/80
182/3 (dec) (61 overs) 27/5 (38.1 overs)
DS Sheppard 62
RR Lindwall 1/29
IWG Johnson 10
JC Laker 3/8

External sources

CricketArchive – tour summaries

Annual reviews

  • Playfair Cricket Annual 1957
  • Wisden Cricketers Almanack 1957

Further reading

  • 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
List of Ashes series
Non-Ashes Australia v England Test series
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