The Strangers Who Came Home: The First Australian Cricket Tour of England
Bloomsbury, $29.95 pb, 302 pp, 9781408844663
Enterprise and energy are integral to this story. Without the enterprise of James Lillywhite and John Conway there would have been no Australian tour to England in 1878. Nottingham professional Lillywhite, who captained England in the first-ever Test matches at Melbourne in March-April 1877, arranged the English fixture list and former Victorian all-rounder Conway chose a twelve man touring party, although subsequent disputes over Billy Midwinter would reduce the number to eleven. Without the energy of Australian captain Dave Gregory and his team playing continuously for fourteen months in the Australian colonies, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and the Australian colonies again, the development of international cricket might have been long delayed.