During 2019, Worcestershire CCC will host the 36th and 37th Australian cricket teams to appear at New Road in the form of the ‘A’ team in June and also the full touring side in between the first and second Ashes Tests in early August.
These include men’s, women’s, and age group XIs since1902.
Featured below is part one of a three-part article highlighting the scores and brief details from those previous Australia visits to the County’s headquarters.
This article highlights the period 1902 and 1938 and more details can be found in ‘Pears 150’ by Andrew Thomas which can be purchased from the Supporters’ Association Shop on matchdays, priced £28.
Part One 1902-1938
10,11,12 July 1902, Australians 274 & 199, WCCC 202 & 97. Australians won by 174 runs. Albert Bird took 6-69, and Aussie paceman, E Jones 6-53. An exchange of letters reveals that Worcestershire secretary, Paul Foley, attempted to sign the Aussie star, Victor Trumper, on a three-year contract, without success.
3,4,5 August 1905, Joe Darling’s Australians 330, WCCC 78 & 51-5, match drawn after no play on day 1 because of heavy rain. Gale force winds blew the bails off several times, and tore thousands of leaves from the elm trees on the ground.
George Wilson took a hat-trick (Noble, Laver, Gehrs), and Aussie fast bowler, Albert Cotter returned 7-15 & 5-19 on a pitch said to be, “covered in more sawdust than a butcher’s shop floor.” The poor batting conditions did not prevent Victor Trumper scoring a magnificent 110 in 160 minutes, and MA Noble hit 113. Four Foster brothers played (WL, HK, RE, GN).
8,9,10 July 1909, Monty Noble’s Australians 389, WCCC 151 & 126. Australians won by an innings and 112 runs. Another game affected by cold wet weather. Aussie AJ Hopkins took 6-35, Armstrong 5-49 & 4-37, V Ransford hit 138, and Pears keeper, EW Bale took 2 catches and 4 stumpings.
Cold, rainy weather affected the match on 12-14 August 1912, played at Dudley. SE Gregory’s Australians 407, WCCC 143. Gate receipts were only £54, reduced by the Australian management insisting on the high admission charge of one-shilling (5p). W Bardsley scored 176 not out. This was Tip Foster’s last game for The Pears.
Following The Great War, the Australian Imperial Forces team of 1919, the AIF, played two matches involving WCCC players. 16,17 July at Hereford Racecourse v HK Foster’s XI, and on 18,19 July 1919, at New Road, where the AIF 450-4 dec, thrashed WCCC 120 & 127, by an innings and 203 runs. Aussie fast bowler, JM Gregory took 7-56 & 4-49. CE Pellew scored 195 not out, and CB Willis 129 not out.
WCCC could not agree a fee with the 1921 Australians, as, “their terms were too stiff to be undertaken.” However, the series resumed on 7,8 July 1926, when Herbie Collins’s Australians 197 & 182-4 dec, beat WCCC 120 & 83, by 176 runs.
Some 4,000 spectators on day one paid £397 to see Pears star bowler of the 1920s, Fred Root, take 4-61 in 36 overs of the first innings, then rested before bowling his leg-theory in three Tests. Aussie leg-spinner, Clarrie Grimmett returned 4 for 2, and 4 for 31.
The 1929 South Africans started the tradition of the touring team playing its first county match at New Road, so it was on 30 April, 1,2 May 1930, that Don Bradman made the first of his four appearances at New Road.
Bill Woodfull’s Australians 492-8 dec, WCCC 131 & 196. Australians won by an innings and 165 runs. Don Bradman, aged 21, scored 236 in 276 minutes, and Woodfull 133 in 155 minutes. Leg-spinner, Clarrie Grimmett took 4-38 & 5-46.
2,3 May 1934, Bill Woodfull’s Australians 504, WCCC 112 & 95. Australians won by an innings and 297 runs. Don Bradman scored 206 and overshadowed another bowling exhibition by Clarrie Grimmett who took 5-53 & 5-27.
The biggest cheer of the match was when Bradman dropped Pears spinner, Dick Howorth off a skier. The massive 2-day crowd paid £2,058. It would have been more, but the Aussie management banned any admissions after 4pm.
Aussie keeper, Bert Oldfield, had been wounded at Polygon Wood, France in 1916 and evacuated back to England. During the tourist match, Oldfield invited two of the nurses from Gloucester Hospital who had helped him back to full health, for tea at New Road.
30 April, 2,3 May 1938, Don Bradman’s Australians 541, WCCC 268 & 196. Australians won by an innings and 77 runs. The first day crowd of 11,000 packed into New Road was not disappointed as Don Bradman scored 258 in 293 minutes.
Aussie left-arm spinner, Fleetwood-Smith returned 8-89, but the bowler most remembered in the match was Aussie quick, Ernie McCormick, who bowled 19 no-balls in three overs, and 35 in all. The match made a profit of £989.