1932-33 Ashes series
Date 2 December 1932 – 28 February 1933
Location Flag of Australia Australia
Result England won the 5-test series 4-1
Flag of Australia Australia Flag of England England
Flag of Australia Australia Bill Woodfull Flag of England England Douglas Jardine
Most runs
Donald Bradman (396)
Stan McCabe (385)
Bill Woodfull (305)
Wally Hammond (440)
Herbert Sutcliffe (440)
Bob Wyatt (250)
Most wickets
Bill O'Reilly (27)
Tim Wall (16)
Bert Ironmonger (15)
Harold Larwood (33)
Gubby Allen (21)
Bill Voce (15)

A cricket team representing England toured Australia in the 1932-33 season. The tour was organised by the Marylebone Cricket Club and matches outside the Tests were played under the MCC name. The tour included five Test matches in Australia, and England won The Ashes by four games to one. The tour was highly controversial because of the Bodyline bowling tactics used by the England team under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine. After the Australian tour was over, the MCC team moved on to play in New Zealand, where two further Test matches were played.

The MCC team

The MCC team was captained by Douglas Jardine, with Bob Wyatt as vice-captain. Pelham Warner and Richard Palairet were joint managers.

The team members were:

Walter Robins and Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji were invited to tour, but declined to do so, the latter because of ill-health.

Test matches

First Test match

Played at Sydney Cricket Ground, 2 December to 7 December 1932: England won by ten wickets (scorecard)

Australia 360 (McCabe 187no; Larwood 5/96) and 164 (Larwood 5/28) vs England 524 (Sutcliffe 194, Hammond 112, Pataudi 102) and 1 for 0

An easy victory for England, with Bradman absent for Australia. McCabe provided Australia's only significant resistance with the bat; Larwood claimed ten match wickets. Pataudi's century on Test debut was to be his sole Test century, and he was dropped after the second Test due to his dissent against Bodyline tactics (when he refused to move to a leg-side fielding position, Jardine is said to have commented "I see his highness is a conscientious objector").

Second Test match

Played at Melbourne Cricket Ground, 30 December 1932 to 3 January 1933: Australia won by 111 runs (scorecard)

Australia 228 (Fingleton 82) and 191 (Bradman 103no) vs England 169 (Sutcliffe 52, O'Reilly 5/63) and 139 (O'Reilly 5/66)

On his return, Bradman was bowled for a duck in the first innings when expecting a bouncer; Fingleton was left to hold Australia's first innings together. Nonetheless, an unbeaten century for Bradman in the second innings, and ten wickets for O'Reilly, granted Australia their only victory of the Test series.

Third Test match

Played at Adelaide Oval, 13 January to 19 January 1933: England won by 338 runs (scorecard)

England 341 Leyland 83, Wyatt 78, Paynter 77; Wall 5/72) and 412 (Hammond 85, Ames 69, Jardine 56) vs Australia 222 (Ponsford 85) and 193 (Woodfull 73no, Bradman 66)

The match best known for Bodyline, with Woodfull receiving a blow to the chest (although he stayed at the crease to make an obdurate 73 not out) and Oldfield a fractured skull from Larwood's hostile fast bowling. Larwood took seven wickets in the match, but the principal wicket-taker was Allen, who took four in either innings despite his notable dissent against Bodyline.

Fourth Test match

Played at The Gabba, Brisbane, 10 February to 16 February 1933: England won by six wickets (scorecard)

Australia 340 (Richardson 83, Bradman 76, Woodfull 67) and 175 vs England 356 (Sutcliffe 86, Paynter 83) and 162 for 4 (Leyland 86)

A match best remembered for the heroism of Paynter, who despite spending much of the match in hospital with severe tonsillitis, scored 83 in the first innings, and won the match with a six in the second.

Fifth Test match

Played at Sydney Cricket Ground, 23 February to 28 February 1933: England won by 8 wickets (scorecard)

Australia 435 (Darling 85, McCabe 73) and 182 (Bradman 71, Woodfull 67; Verity 5/33) vs England 454 (Hammond 101, Larwood 98) and 168 for 2 (Hammond 75no, Wyatt 61no)

Fine performances from both sides' middle orders (with some aid from dropped catches) led to approximate parity after the first innings. Hammond (101) and Larwood (98) in particular batted excellently; Larwood, promoted to number four as a night-watchman, scored the highest innings ever made in that role. Bradman and Woodfull shared a partnership of 115 in Australia's second innings before Verity induced a collapse, and Wyatt and Hammond experienced little difficulty in reaching a target of 164, with Hammond in particularly belligerent form.

See also

For details of the tactics involved in Bodyline bowling, see the Bodyline article.

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
  • Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1934 edition, carries tour and match reports in a section entitled "M.C.C. Team in Australasia" on pages 629 to 673.
List of Ashes series
Non-Ashes Australia v England Test series
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