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Bransby Cooper's medallion: An even match

Bransby Cooper's medallion: An even match

English teams began touring in Australia from 1861, usually invited by businessmen or cricket clubs hoping to turn a profit from the gate takings. In order to make the teams more even, and the matches more exciting, on most occasions an English XI met an Australian 18 or even 22.

A black and white engraving showing the heads and shoulders of two men. Each man's likeness is in a drawn oval frame. The frames overlap in the middle of the image. The men wear nineteenth century-style clothing. Their shirts have high, stiff collars. The man on the left has a moustache and bushy sideburns in the 'mutton chop' style. The other man has a moustache. A pattern of oak leaves and acorns decorates the frames above and below where they meet. Under the left frame is printed the name 'Bannerman'; under the right frame is printed the name 'Kendall'.

In 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, an Australian XI, drawn from Victoria and New South Wales, met an English XI for the first time. In what is now regarded as the first Test match, the Australians won, beating the tourists by 45 runs. A regular Anglo-Australian competition and an international rivalry were born.

pdf Australia vs England 1877 Test scorecard (PDF 3458kb)

Right: Australasian Sketcher published this wood carving of Charles Bannerman and Tom Kendall after the first Test match in 1877. Bannerman and Kendall were instrumental in defeating the English side. Courtesy: State Library of Victoria.

A photograph of Queen Elizabeth, wearing a blue and white striped dress, with members of the Australian cricket team. They are standing near the edge of a large cricket ground. In the distance can be seen some of the covered stands and part of a large crowd. The Queen stands to the left of the photo, facing to the right. One cricketer stands close to her at her left. He holds a pen and a piece of paper. Another cricketer stands behind the Queen. A third cricketer stands to the far right of the photo; he has bandages on his head. Other cricketers are in the background. They all wear green coats, white trousers and white shoes. A man in a grey suit stands to the left and behind the Queen. Two policemen stand behind him, both looking at something beyond the left side of the photo. In the distance above the stands can be seen some sky and clouds.

In 1977, Australia and England played a Test match to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first ever Test match. Australia was victorious once more by 45 runs!

pdf Australia vs England 1977 Test scorecard (PDF 4312kb)

Right: The Queen talks to cricketers Dennis Lillee and Australian captain Greg Chappell at the Centenary Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, March 1977.

Australian batsman Rick McCosker (far right) wears bandages after being hit on the jaw by a fast ball on day one of the match. Courtesy: National Archives of Australia, A8746 KN30/3/77/216.