Frank Tyson

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Frank Tyson
Frank Tyson 1954.jpg
Tyson in 1954
Personal information
Full nameFrank Holmes Tyson
Born(1930-06-06)6 June 1930
Farnworth, Lancashire, England
Died27 September 2015(2015-09-27) (aged 85)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
NicknameTyphoon Tyson
BowlingRight-arm fast
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  377)12 August 1954 v  Pakistan
Last Test18 March 1959 v  New Zealand
Domestic team information
1952–1960 Northamptonshire
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Runs scored2304,103
Batting average 10.9517.09
Top score37* 82
Balls bowled3,45238,173
Wickets 76767
Bowling average 18.5620.89
5 wickets in innings 434
10 wickets in match15
Best bowling7/278/60
Catches/stumpings 4/–85/0
Source: CricInfo, 26 April 2009

Frank Holmes Tyson (6 June 1930 – 27 September 2015) was an England international cricketer of the 1950s, who also worked as a schoolmaster, journalist, cricket coach and cricket commentator after emigrating to Australia in 1960. Nicknamed "Typhoon Tyson" by the press, he was regarded by many commentators as one of the fastest bowlers ever seen in cricket [1] [2] [3] [4] and took 76 wickets (18.56) in 17 Test matches. Tyson has the seventh-lowest bowling average in Test cricket for bowlers who have taken 75 wickets, and no bowler since Tyson has taken more than 20 wickets at a lower average. In 2007 a panel of judges declared him Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for 1955 due to his outstanding tour of Australia in 1954–55 where his 28 wickets (20.82) was instrumental in retaining the Ashes. Tyson coached Victoria to two Sheffield Shield victories and later coached the Sri Lankan national cricket team. [5] He was a cricket commentator for 26 years on ABC and Channel Nine.


Early life

Tyson's mother was Violet Tyson (born 1892) and his father worked for the Yorkshire Dyeing Company, but died before his son was selected for England. [6] As a boy he played cricket with his elder brother David Tyson, who served in Australia during the war; at school he practised his run-up on the balcony.

He was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Middleton, and studied English literature at Hatfield College, Durham University

As a university graduate, Tyson was unusual among professional cricketers in the 1950s. He was a qualified schoolmaster and used to read the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf on tour. [7] Instead of sledging batsmen he quoted Wordsworth: "For still, the more he works, the more/Do his weak ankles swell". [8] He completed his National Service in the Royal Corps of Signals in 1952 as a Keyboard Operator and Cypher. Sportsmen were generally retained on headquarters staff and he played cricket for his platoon, squadron, regiment, area command and the Army. [9] He served at the Headquarters Squadron 4 Training Regiment where he controlled the movements of men transferring in and out of Catterick, but not very well. He abhorred guns and when he took his rifle training he made sure that he always missed the target. In 1952–53 he worked felling trees, which John Snow regarded as an excellent exercise for developing the muscles of a fast bowler and attended Alf Gover's East Hill Indoor School for cricketers. In 1954–55 Gover covered the Ashes tour as a journalist and advised Tyson to use the shorter run-up from his league cricket days, which proved to be a turning point in the series. [10]

Early cricket career 1952–54

Before he became a professional cricketer Tyson played for Middleton in the Central Lancashire League, Knypersley in the North Staffordshire League, Durham University and the Army. Although invited for trials by Lancashire at Old Trafford he was turned down 'because he dipped at the knee', [11] so he qualified for Northamptonshire in 1952 through residence. Tyson made his first-class debut against the Indian tourists in 1952, after his first ball the slips moved back an extra five yards and his first wicket was that of the Test batsman Pankaj Roy for a duck. [12] Tyson's second first-class match was against the Australians in 1953. Richie Benaud was told that the unknown Tyson was a bowler fresh out of Durham University who would give them no trouble. They began to revise this estimation when they saw the wicket-keeper take position halfway to the boundary and young Tyson walked over to the sightscreen to begin his run up. The first ball ricocheted off the edge of Colin McDonald's bat to the boundary, the second trapped him lbw before he could play a stroke, the third was a bouncer that flew past Graeme Hole's nose and the fourth was a yorker that clean bowled Hole and sent his stumps cartwheeling over the wicket-keeper's head. [13] In 1954 at Old Trafford Tyson hit the sightscreen with the ball after it bounced once on the pitch. He is one of only four bowlers to have achieved this feat in the history of the game, the others being Charles Kortright, Roy Gilchrist and Jeff Thomson. [14] and he was given his county cap in the same year, his first full first-class season. Tyson reckoned that he received his Test call up when ex-England captains Gubby Allen and Norman Yardley saw him hospitalise Bill Edrich at Lords. Edrich, a noted hooker of fast bowling, mistimed his stroke due to the speed of the ball and his cheek bone was broken. The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) were thereby convinced of the speed and hostility of Tyson's bowling and decided to take him to Australia. [15] He was selected to play for England against Pakistan at the Oval in 1954, taking 4–35 and 1–22 and making 3 runs in each innings batting at number eight, but Pakistan won the match by 24 runs thanks to the bowling of Fazal Mahmood. Although he batted at number eleven in league cricket "The Middleton groundsman was a fatalist. He used to start up the roller to refurbish the wicket when I went in to bat". [16] Tyson worked on his batting and in 1954 "was building up a reputation as an all-rounder, scoring consistently with the bat", [17] and he batted at number seven for England. However, this did not develop as much as expected and he reverted to being a lower-order batsman.

Tour of Australia and New Zealand 1954–55

Test Match Special commentary on the 1954–55 Ashes Series

First Test vs Australia at Brisbane

Tyson was chosen for the MCC tour of Australia in 1954–55, seen as a replacement for Fred Trueman who was controversially left behind. Freed of rationing Tyson increased his weight from 161 lb (73 kg) to 182 lb (83 kg) within a month of leaving the UK. [18] Hutton won the toss, put Australia in to bat and watched England drop 14 catches as Australia made 601/8 declared. Tyson was hit for 1/160 off 29 eight ball overs and England lost by an innings and 154 runs. Even so, Tyson hit Arthur Morris and Neil Harvey repeatedly with the ball and they were badly bruised. More to the point he bounced Ray Lindwall after the Australian all-rounder knocked several boundaries off the fast bowler on his way to 64 not out. Tyson also managed to run out Graeme Hole and made 37 not out in the second innings, which remained his highest Test score.

Second Test vs Australia at Sydney

Taking advice from his old coach Alf Gover, who was in Australia as a journalist, Tyson stopped using his laborious 38-yard run up and returned to a shorter run up used in league cricket with ten short then ten long final strides. [10] [12] [19] With this he took 4/45 in the first innings, described vividly by Margaret Hughes: "Harvey received a beast of a ball from Tyson which spat up at him and splashed off his bat to Cowdrey". [20] Ray Lindwall had bowled Tyson for a duck in the England first innings and was bounced again, so in the second innings the Australian fast bowler took his revenge:

"He let me have a very fast, short-pitched delivery...Instinctively I turned a defensive back on the ball which skidded through and hit me a sickening blow on the back of my head. I sank to the ground and as I slipped in and out of consciousness, I was dimly aware of the players gathering round my prostrate body. Indistinctly I heard my fellow batsman Bill Edrich saying: 'My God, Lindy, you've killed him!'...I was very, very angry with Ray Lindwall. And the whole of the Aussie team knew it...I would return the bouncer with interest!" [21]

Players did not wear protective helmets in the 1950s and he had to be helped off the field with a large bump on his head that was visible from the stands. He was taken to hospital for x-rays, but returned to loud applause only to be bowled by Lindwall for 9. The Australians needed 223 to win, but were afraid that Tyson would send down a barrage of fast, short-pitched bowling, but he was intelligent enough to bowl full-length deliveries that caught them unprepared. [22] While Brian Statham bowled "up the cellar steps" [23] and into the wind Tyson tore down the slope from the Randwick End with "half a gale" [24] behind him and bowled "as fast as man has ever bowled". [25] He took 6/85 in the innings and 10/130 in the match to give England a 38 run victory. The Australian captain Arthur Morris told the newspapers "Such fine bowling deserved to win". [26] Peter Loader told Tyson, "you bowled like a 'Dingbat'" and the nickname 'Dingers' stuck". [27]

Third Test vs Australia at Melbourne

The Third Test cemented the "Typhoon" reputation. He took 2/68 in the first innings and at the end of the fourth day Australia needed 240 to win and were 75–2, with Tyson on 1/11. Over 50,000 Australian fans came on the fifth day to see Neil Harvey and Richie Benaud knock off the remaining 165 runs, but what they got was 'the fastest and most frightening sustained spell of fast bowling seen in Australia'. [28] as Tyson took 6/16 off 6.3 overs from the Richmond End. His 7/27 in the innings was his best Test innings analysis, the best by an England bowler in Australia since Wilfred Rhodes took 8/68 in 1903–04 and has not been bettered since. Australia added only 36 runs, were dismissed for 111 and England won by 128 runs. The game finished well before lunch and the caterers were left with thousands of unsold pies when the crowd deserted the ground.

Fourth Test vs Australia at Adelaide

The Ashes were decided at Adelaide, Hutton cunningly changing his bowlers to mix the pace of Tyson and Brian Statham with the spin of Bob Appleyard and Johnny Wardle. Tyson took 3/85 and 3/47 as Australia fell for 111 in the second innings to lose the Test by five wickets and the series 3–1. It was the first time England had won a series in Australia since 1932–33, they would not win another until 1970–71.

Fifth Test vs Australia at Sydney

Despite three days lost to rain an aggressive England team almost made it 4–1. Tyson took 2/45 and 0/20 as Australia followed on, needing 32 runs to make England bat again with only four wickets left. Tyson had taken 28 wickets in the series at 20.82 and was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1956. Stokes McGown, a Botany Bay Sports Goods manufacturer made autographed cricket balls in his honour; ironically 'The Typhoon' ball was good for swinging, unlike its namesake. [29]

First Test vs New Zealand at Dunedin

After Australia England toured New Zealand, who had yet to win a Test match. Tyson took 3/23 and 4/16 in the First Test as New Zealand were dismissed for 125 and 132 and England won by 8 wickets despite making only 209/8 declared in their first innings.

Second Test vs New Zealand at Auckland

In this extraordinary Test Tyson took 2/41 in the New Zealand first innings of 200. When he joined Len Hutton on 164/7 the home side looked like getting a first innings lead and one gentleman even booked a flight to Auckland in the hope of seeing New Zealand's first Test victory. [30] Hutton told Tyson to "Stick around for a while Frank, we may not have to bat again", [21] a prediction that Tyson later thought verged on second sight. He did hang round a bit and made 27 not out in England's 246. New Zealand spectacularly collapsed and were out for 26 to lose by an innings and 20 runs, the lowest completed score in Test cricket, Tyson taking 2/10 in the debacle.

Later cricket career 1955–1959

See Main Articles English cricket team in Australia in 1958–59, 1958–59 Ashes series and Umpiring in the 1958–59 Ashes series

Tyson returned to England a hero, but Northants refused to pay for a civic welcome, though the Supporters Club arranged a Welcome Home function at the Northampton Repertory Theatre. [31] Northamptonshire was an unfancied county known for its "cabbage patch" home wickets which reduced the effectiveness of Tyson's bowling and would shorten his career. Management ignored his pleas for a faster wicket because of their spin bowlers George Tribe, Jack Manning and Micky Allen. [31] Len Hutton advised him to move back to Lancashire to team up with Brian Statham, but county transfers were difficult in those days and Tyson stayed at Northants. In the Test arena he demonstrated the pace that had overpowered the Australians on a green wicket at Trent Bridge, taking 2/51 and 6/28 against South Africa as they fell to an innings defeat. In his first nine tests he had taken 52 wickets at 15.56, but this was effectively the end of his career as England's premier fast bowler. A badly blistered right heel forced him to miss the Second Test at Lord's and this injury would dog him for the remainder of his career. It was thought at the time that this was due to his violent pounding his foot received when he delivered the ball, but it was later found to be caused by the friction of his heel turning in ill-fitting boots. [21] His place was taken by his Yorkshire rival Fred Trueman and Tyson's last eight Tests were played intermittently over a period of four years before he retired. He returned to play in the Third Test vs South Africa at Old Trafford taking 3/124 and 3/55, but missed the last two Tests. A series of injuries kept him out of the England team and he did not play until the Fifth Test against Australia at The Oval in 1956, when he took 1/34 in the first innings and did not bowl in the second. In South Africa in 1956–57 he barely bowled in the First Test at Johannesburg and was only recalled for the Fifth Test at Port Elizabeth, where he took 2/38 and 6/40 bowling off a five-yard run up. [32] In 1957 he took his best first-class bowling; 8/60 against Surrey at the Kennington Oval with 5/52 in the second innings to return 13/112, his best match figures. Wisden reported '...nearly half the runs scored off him came from the edge'. [33] Tyson toured Australia again in 1958–59, but the pitches were slower than four years before and the injury-struck Tyson only played in the Fourth and Fifth Tests, taking 3 wickets at 64.33. His last hurrah was in New Zealand, where he took 3–23 and 2–23 in the First Test at Christchurch and 1/50 in a rain affected draw in the Second Test at Auckland, taking a wicket with his last ball in Test cricket. He toured South Africa with the Commonwealth XI in 1959–60, taking 1/80 and 4/53 against Transvaal.


"His best pace was nothing short of startling to batsmen and spectators alike. He represented an elemental force obscuring the details of his technique and the highest tribute he received was the gasp of incredulity frequently emitted by the crowd as the ball passed from his hand to the distant wicket-keeper." [1]

J.M. Kilburn, Yorkshire Post

In League, University and Army cricket Tyson had used a 'short' run up of 18 or 20 yards consisting of ten short steps and ten long final strides to the wicket. [34] When he moved to first-class cricket this increased to 38 yards, starting near the sightscreen and over 200 feet from the wicket-keeper, who was often reduced to an athletic long stop. [12] [19] With a final leap to the wicket he released the ball with a high arm action and a heave of his shoulders, 'the ferocity of his delivery' was described as 'every muscle is in use, the right foot takes the strain, the right arm is straight ready for delivery and the left leg kicks out menacingly'. [28] Australian newspapers had accused Tyson of dragging his right foot over the popping crease on the 1954–55 tour and an English newspaper responded; "Will Tyson be "sacrificed" to avoid any risk of giving the Australians a chance to scream that Tyson persistently bowls no-balls by foot-drag over the crease?" with pictures of his bowling action. [35] In the match between the Victoria and the M.C.C. he was photographed dragging his foot 18 inches past the crease, but Pat Crawford of New South Wales was photographed with his foot 36 inches over the crease. The caption reading "Oh Tyson. You are an Angel compared to Pat!" [36] An enterprising Sydney newspaper paid Harold Larwood to give his name to an article declaring "Replay Tests – Tyson Not Fair". [36] Unlike the great swing bowler Fred Trueman he 'bowled straight and...never intentionally bowled an out-swinger. [37] Instead Tyson relied on his tremendous pace to take most of his wickets, batsmen were often caught in mid-stroke by the speed of the ball coming onto the bat, or were too nervous to play fluently. [10] On a green or crumbling wicket providing movement he could simply blast his way through the batting, and produced bounce and pace even off the placid Northamptonshire wickets. Tyson believed that a bouncer should 'pin the batsman against the sightscreen' and frequently used them to intimidate batsmen, even tailenders. [10] His ungainly action and quest for raw speed took a toll on even his strong body and he suffered from a series of injuries which brought a premature end to his career. In 1994 he had operations to his right arm and knees and a further operation on his knees in 2001 rendered him practically immobile for a short time. [38] As he put it himself "to bowl fast is to revel in the glad animal action, to thrill in physical power and to enjoy a sneaking feeling of superiority over the mortals who play the game". [39] However, he was no simple bowler, but thought hard how to dismiss and deceive batsman. John Arlott wrote "This was intelligence, rhythm and strength merged into the violent craft of fast bowling" and "He is intelligent beyond the usual run of fast bowlers: he is the type of cricketer whom improves rapidly through thinking about the game". [40]

Typhoon Tyson

"Frank Tyson, at his peak, was possibly the fastest bowler of all time. In 1954–55, England convincingly beat Australia by three Tests to one, mainly thanks to devastating bowling that earned Tyson the nickname 'Typhoon'. Roaring off a long run, he generated tremendous pace that unnerved and unhinged even the greatest batsmen." [41]

Tom Graveney

His fast bowling gave him the nickname "Typhoon Tyson", and despite his short career he achieved status as the fastest England bowler in living memory. Don Bradman called him "the fastest bowler I have ever seen" [2] and Richie Benaud agreed, writing "For a short time, Frank Tyson blasted all-comers". [3] Tom Graveney wrote 'I cannot believe any bowler was faster than Tyson at that time'. [12] When fielding in the slips he had 'to stand 40 yards off the bat, and still. the ball was often going over our heads from edged shots'. [42] His Northants colleague Jock Livingston said 'When really firing, Tyson was the quickest of all over a period of three or four overs'. [12] Livingston had seen Harold Larwood bowl Bodyline and batted against the Australian fast bowlers Miller and Lindwall in the Sheffield Shield. At the Aeronautical College in Wellington, New Zealand in 1955 metal plates were attached to a cricket ball and a sonic device was used to measure their speed, with Tyson's bowling measured at 89 mph (143 km/h), but he was wearing three sweaters on a cold, damp morning and used no run up, Brian Statham bowled at 87 mph (140 km/h). [10] He certainly bowled faster than 89 mph in matches, and Tyson claimed that he could bowl at 119 mph (192 km/h), but this cannot be proven. [38] [43] The best that can be said was that he was noticeably faster than his contemporaries Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller, Fred Trueman, Brian Statham, Peter Heine and Neil Adcock. His great fast bowling rival Fred Trueman 'was forever being told that when it came to bowling I was very fast, but on his day Frank Tyson was faster than me' [44] and it was Tyson who kept Trueman out of the England team in 1954–55. When they played together in a Gentlemen v Players match at Scarborough in 1957 the captain Godfrey Evans insisted Trueman bowl into the headwind so as to give the faster Tyson the advantage of the tailwind. [45] Dickie Bird, the famous England umpire, wrote "he was certainly the quickest bowler I ever seen through the air, and on one occasion the quickest bowler I never saw through the air". [46] When playing for Yorkshire vs the MCC at Scarborough in 1958 "I opened the innings against him and hit his first three deliveries through the off side for four. With supreme confidence I went on to the front foot for the fourth ball. Tyson dropped one short. It reared up and hit me on the chin. I went down as if I'd just been on the receiving end of a right hook...I still carry the scar to show my folly that day. There was blood all over and I saw stars. I could hear bells ringing in my head...". [47] Dickie came back to score his then-highest first-class score of 62 and Tyson took 4/30. When they met in Australia in 1998–99 Tyson joked 'You're looking well Dickie. See you still have the scars though'. [46]

Later career

Frank Tyson met his wife Ursula Miels (born in 1936) in Melbourne on the 1954–55 tour, and they married in a Melbourne church on 22 November 1957 with much publicity. They had three children, Philip (a non-Typhoon medium-paced bowler), Sara and Anna, and eight grandchildren. [48] He retired from first-class cricket in 1960 and emigrated to Australia as a ten-pound pom, as his hero Harold Larwood had done ten years earlier. "It had struck me while I was over there that it was a wonderful country to bring up a family, with the open spaces, the climate and the job opportunities". [49] He became a schoolmaster at Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne, teaching English, French and History, later becoming a housemaster and the head of languages. [49]

Tyson worked as a cricket coach in Melbourne and was the captain-coach of University of Melbourne Cricket Club. [50] He also played for Todmorden Cricket Club in the Lancashire League in 1961, the Prime Ministers XI in 1963–64, International Cavaliers in 1968, Old England vs Old Australia in 1980 and Footscray Cricket Club. He was recruited as the Director of Coaching for the Victorian Cricket Association, taking them to two Sheffield Shield victories, and helped establish the Australian National Accreditation Scheme in 1974. From 1990 to 2008 he travelled to India to teach the coaches at the National Cricket Academy [51] and Mumbai Cricket Association [52] and coached the Sri Lankan national cricket team for the World Cup. [5]

On the 1954–55 tour he had written columns for the Empire News and Manchester Evening News , and when he retired he wrote for the London Observer , the Daily Telegraph and the Melbourne Age , and contributed to The Cricketer International magazine. [10] He was also a cricket commentator on ABC radio for 26 years, and for Channel Nine from 1979 to 1986, forming a partnership with Tony Greig.

Following his full retirement, Tyson enjoyed his house on the Gold Coast, where he could "wake up every day in the sun". He went to the gym three times a week, enjoyed swimming, and spent his time making oil paintings of cricketers and cricket grounds. [53]

Books written by Frank Tyson

Light entertainment


The calypso singer Lord Kitchener released a single "The Ashes (Australia vs MCC 1955)" lauding Tyson's contributions to England's victory. (play recording on YouTube)

Hancock's Half Hour

On 4 March 1956 Tyson appeared on Programme 20 of the third series of the radio version of Hancock's Half Hour , "The Test Match", with Tony Hancock and Sidney James, with guests, cricket commentator John Arlott and his England teammates Godfrey Evans and Colin Cowdrey. (see script and BBC CD)


  1. 1 2 Kilburn, p. 242.
  2. 1 2
  3. 1 2 p65-66, Clive Batty, The Ashes Miscellany, Vision Sports Publishing, 2006.
  4. Tom Graveney with Norman Giller, The Ten Greatest Test Teams, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1988.
  5. 1 2
  6. p253, Tyson
  7. Williamson, Martin (April 2004). "Frank Tyson". Players & Officials. Cricinfo. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  8. "Frank Tyson".
  9. p31, Frank Tyson, The Cricketer Who Laughed, Stanley Paul, 1982
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tyson
  11. "Rochdale latest news - Manchester Evening News".
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Willis & Murphy, p. 89.
  13. p183, Bird, 1999.
  14. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  15. p8, Tyson
  16. p126, Frank Tyson, The Cricketer Who Laughed, Stanley Paul, 1982
  17. p19, E.W. Murphy (ed), Official Souvenir Programme, Australian Tour of the M. C. C. Team, 1954–55, An Official Publication of the New South Wales Cricket Association, 1954
  18. p12, Tyson
  19. 1 2 Brown, p. 123.
  20. "Margaret Hughes". The Times. London. 19 February 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  21. 1 2 3 Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon.
  22. p131-132, Frank Tyson
  23. p295-296, E. W. Swanton (ed), The Barclays World of Cricket, Collins, 1986.
  24. p89, Swanton, 1977
  25. David Frith, p421, Pageant of Cricket, The Macmillan Company of Australia Ltd, 1987.
  26. p134, Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon.
  27. p135, Frank Tyson, In the Eye of the Typhoon.
  28. 1 2 Lemmon, p. 41.
  29. p205, Tyson
  30. p328 The World of Cricket, Willow Press, 1986.
  31. 1 2 pp255-256, Tyson
  32. Duffus & Owen-Smith, pp 312–313.
  33. Willis & Murphy, p. 167.
  34. p117, Tyson
  35. Tyson, p211
  36. 1 2 Tyson, p85
  37. Trueman, p. 186.
  38. 1 2
  39. "Tyson blows up a storm". The Times. London. 5 November 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  40. p65-66, Batty
  41. p59, Tom Graveney with Norman Giller, The Ten Greatest Test Teams, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1988.
  42. p 125, Tom Graveney with Norman Giller, The Ten Greatest Test Teams, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1988,
  43. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  44. Trueman, p. 288.
  45. Trueman pp 206–207.
  46. 1 2 p184 Dickie Bird, White Cap and Bails, Hodder and Sloughton, 1999.
  47. Bird, p. 29-30.
  48. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  49. 1 2
  52. "The Dazzling Rise of Avishkar Salvi".
  53. Baum, Greg (24 November 2004). "The 'Typhoon' marks the winds of change". The Age. Melbourne.

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Peter May captained the English cricket team in Australia in 1958–59, playing as England in the 1958-59 Ashes series against the Australians and as the MCC in their other matches on the tour. It was widely regarded as one of the strongest teams to depart English shores, comparable with the great teams of Johnny Douglas in 1911-12 and Percy Chapman in 1928-29. It had no obvious weaknesses, and yet it was beaten – and beaten badly. By the First Test the top batsmen had made runs, the Surrey trio of Loader, Laker and Lock had taken wickets, as had Lancashire's Brian Statham. South Australia, Victoria and an Australian XI had all been beaten – the last by the crushing margin of 345 runs – and all seemed rosy for Peter May's touring team. But in the Brisbane Test they lost by 8 wickets and the rest of the series failed to offer any hope of reversing their fortunes. The reasons for their failure were manifold; the captain was too defensive; injuries affected their best players; others were too young and inexperienced such as Arthur Milton, Raman Subba Row, Ted Dexter, Roy Swetman and John Mortimore, or at the end of their career; Godfrey Evans, Trevor Bailey, Jim Laker, Willie Watson and Frank Tyson. Their morale was further bruised when faced with bowlers of dubious legality and unsympathetic umpires. Peter May was criticised for seeing his fiancée Virginia Gilligan, who was travelling with her uncle the Test Match commentator Arthur Gilligan. The press blamed the poor performance on the team's heavy drinking, bad behaviour and lack of pride – a foretaste the treatment losing teams would receive in the 1980s. It was not a happy tour by any means and it would take 12 years to recover The Ashes. As E.W. Swanton noted

It was a tour which saw all sorts of perverse happenings – from an injury list that never stopped, to the dis-satisfaction with umpiring and bowlers' actions that so undermined morale. From various causes England gave below their best...

Ted Dexter captained the English cricket team in Australia in 1962–63, playing as England in the 1962-63 Ashes series against the Australians and as the MCC in their other matches on the tour. In October, the team played a match in Colombo during a stopover on the voyage to Australia. After leaving Australia in February, they played a three-match Test series in New Zealand.

1958–59 Ashes series

The 1958–59 Ashes series consisted of five cricket Test matches, each scheduled for six days with eight ball overs. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1958–59, and the matches outside the Tests were played in the name of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The England team led by Peter May was labelled the strongest ever to leave England. It had the formidable bowling attack of Fred Trueman, Frank Tyson, Brian Statham, Peter Loader, Jim Laker and Tony Lock; the all-rounder Trevor Bailey; the outstanding wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans; and the batting of Colin Cowdrey, Tom Graveney, Raman Subba Row and Ted Dexter. They had won the last three Ashes series in 1953, 1954–55 and 1956, but lost the series 4–0 to Australia. It was one of the biggest upsets in Test cricket history and the biggest margin of defeat in an Ashes series since the 5–0 "whitewashing" inflicted by Warwick Armstrong's Australians in 1920–21.

The 1954–55 Ashes series between Australia and England consisted of five Test cricket matches, each of six days duration with five hours play each day and eight ball overs. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1954–55 and the English team in matches outside the Tests were styled Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). England were captained by Len Hutton, the first professional cricketer to lead an MCC tour of Australia. The Australian team under Ian Johnson were confident of victory but, despite losing the first Test by an innings, England won the series 3–1 and retained the Ashes.

The 1958-59 Australians defeated the touring England team 4-0 in the 1958–59 Ashes series. They were seen by the English press as having little chance of winning the series against the powerful England touring team. They had only one recognised great player, Neil Harvey and had lost the fast bowling combination of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller and the other veterans of Don Bradman's Invincible 1948 team. There were, however, signs of recovery to those who would see them and E.W. Swanton believed that on their home ground Australia would be a shade better than England. The best indication of the forthcoming series was the M.C.C. and Australian tours of South Africa in 1956-57 and 1957-58. South Africa had a strong team in the 1950s, stunning the cricketing world by drawing 2-2 in Australia in 1953-54, losing 3-2 in the closely fought 1955 series in England and fighting back from a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 with Peter May's England in 1956-57. In 1957-58 Ian Craig led a team labelled as the weakest to leave Australia to a 3-0 victory over the Springboks with Richie Benaud, Alan Davidson, Wally Grout, Ken Mackay, Colin McDonald, Jim Burke and Lindsay Kline all in fine form. Norm O'Neill was not taken on tour, but struck innings of 175 in three hours and 233 in four hours in successive games against Victoria and was regarded as the "New Bradman".

The England team were very unhappy with the umpiring of the 1958–59 Ashes series, in particular the questionable actions of some bowlers in the Australian team. The televising of Test cricket was in its infancy and the notion of Test umpires using slow-motion replays or other modern techniques was considered absurd. Instead the umpires had to make judgements based on what they saw in a split-second, and honest mistakes were accepted as part and parcel of the game. However, touring teams sometimes felt that there was a natural bias towards the home team which led to some acrimony. Keith Miller thought "Mel McInnes, Colin Hoy and Ron Wright were our leading umpires in the 1954-55 M.C.C. tour of Australia, and I have no hesitation in saying that McInnes gave the finest exhibition of umpiring in a Test series that I have experienced". The England team thought well of him too, but in 1958-59 he lost the confidence of the England players and himself, appeared hesitant and gave some surprising decisions. In the Fourth Test he hesitated to give Ken Mackay out even after the batsman walked after snicking a catch off Brian Statham. Later Colin McDonald should have been run out when Fred Trueman flattened the stumps after his runner Jim Burke ran round the back of McInnes. McInnes gave him out, but then changed his mind and gave him not out as he had not seen whether Burke had made the run or not. On his next ball McDonald sportingly pulled his bat out of the way of the stumps to give Trueman "the easiest Test wicket I have ever taken". Trueman was affected again when he batted, given out caught by Wally Grout off Richie Benaud when he had dropped his bat and missed the ball. The England team became dispirited by the umpiring mistakes and, believing the officials to be against them, lost heart. As Fred Trueman wrote

...the Australian umpires demonstrated as much impartiality as a religious zealot. We just couldn't get favourable decisions and they no-balled England bowlers left, right and of the umpires consistently no-balled me...It was annoying, especially as this umpire seemed to allow Gordon Rorke to bowl with both his feet over the front line!...I suffered, as did others, from appalling umpiring decisions when batting...It was unbelievable."

The 1954–55 Australians lost 3–1 to the touring England team in the 1954–55 Ashes series. The Australian teams of the 1940s and early 1950s were strong even after the retirement of Don Bradman as many of his great 1948 side remained. Australia had lost only one series since 1932–33, when they lost he Ashes to Len Hutton in the exceptionally close fought 1953 Ashes series, but had played no Test cricket since. They had thrashed John Goddard's West Indian team 4–1 in 1951–52 after his triumphant 3–1 win in England, but had surprisingly been held to a 2–2 series draw against Jack Cheetham's South Africans in 1952–53. The general opinion in Australia was that they would win the return series, especially after the great victory in the First Test. "Although Australian batting was unsound by the old standards the presence of more all-rounders gave them the slightly better chance" wrote E.W. Swanton "all-rounders are said to hold the key to Test matches. Australia had four or five to England's one..."

1962–63 Ashes series

The 1962–63 Ashes series consisted of five cricket Test matches, each of five days with six hours play each day and eight ball overs, a change as before 1960–61 Australian Test matches had been played over six days. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1962–63 and the matches outside the Tests were played in the name of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The MCC was determined to "brighten up" cricket, but the series was drawn 1–1 and Australia retained the Ashes. The MCC chose Ted Dexter to captain an England team managed by Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk. The Duke's presence generated considerable press interest, as did the model Mrs Dexter and the Reverend David Sheppard—the future Bishop of Liverpool—who preached in cathedrals across Australia.

MCC tour of Australia in 1954–55

The Marylebone Cricket Club tour of Australia in 1954-55 under the captaincy of Len Hutton was its eleventh since it took official control of overseas tours in 1903-1904. The touring team played as England in the 1954-55 Ashes series against Australia, but as the MCC in all other games. In all there were 23 matches; 5 Test matches, 12 other First Class matches and 6 minor matches. It was the only time that a professional cricketer captained a MCC tour of Australia. It was one of the MCC's most successful tours, the Ashes being retained and the team winning five of their victories by an innings.

The Marylebone Cricket Club tour of Australia in 1958-59 under the captaincy of Peter May was its twelfth since it took official control of overseas tours in 1903-1904. The touring team played as England in the 1958–59 Ashes series against Australia, but as the MCC in all other games. In all there were 20 matches; 5 Test matches, 12 other First Class matches and 3 minor matches. It was billed as the strongest MCC team ever to tour Australia and dominated the early matches, and its heavy defeat in the Test series was seen as one of the great upsets in cricket.

1946–47 Ashes series

The 1946–47 Ashes series consisted of five cricket Test matches, each of six days with five hours play each day and eight ball overs. Unlike pre-war Tests in Australia, matches were not timeless and played to a finish. It formed part of the MCC tour of Australia in 1946–47 and England played its matches outside the Tests in the name of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The England team was led by the veteran Wally Hammond and his vice-captain Norman Yardley with the strong batting line up of Len Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Bill Edrich, Denis Compton and Joe Hardstaff, but a weak bowling attack that relied on pre-war bowlers like the 37-year-old Bill Voce of Bodyline fame and the mercurial leg-spinner Doug Wright. The two successes of the tour were the newly capped Alec Bedser, who would carry the England bowling attack until 1955, and Godfrey Evans who would be England's first choice wicketkeeper until 1959. England had drawn the Victory Tests 2–2 in 1945 and were thought to be equal in strength, but Hammond lost 3–0 to Don Bradman's Australian team which had only two other pre-war players – Lindsay Hassett and Sid Barnes, who had played 5 Tests between them – and was packed with fresh talent in the shape of Arthur Morris, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Colin McCool, Ernie Toshack and Don Tallon. There were several controversial umpiring decisions which assumed greater significance as they favoured Australia and in particular Don Bradman.

The 1946–47 Australians defeated the touring England team 3–0 in the 1946–47 Ashes series. First-class cricket had continued in Australia until January 1942 and as grade cricket had continued throughout the war there had been less of an hiatus than in England. Their cricket grounds had not been bombed and compared to austerity Britain, Australia was a land of plenty, which allowed for a more rapid recovery than in the old country, as had happened after the First World War. There was no Sheffield Shield in 1945–46, but the Australian Services XI had played all the states and there had been non-Shield interstate games. However, Australia's main advantage was the encouragement of their younger players, in particular by Bradman. Though overshadowed by the great 1948 Australian team, in 1975 Don Bradman reckoned that it was Australia's strongest post-war home team, with the 1974–75 Australians coming a close second and the 1950–51 Australians third. It was also superior to the pre-war Australian teams, as though they were just as strong in batting they had no fast bowlers and depended heavily on the leg-spin of Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly. In 1946–47 Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller emerged as a great new-ball partnership, with quality support from Ernie Toshack, Ian Johnson and Colin McCool. The only area for improvement was in finding another top-order strokemaker, which was soon resolved by the arrival of Neil Harvey.