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Edgar Mayne's album: The Triangular Tournament

Edgar Mayne's album: The Triangular Tournament

A black and white photograph of the 1912 Australian cricket team. There are 16 men in the photo. Six of them stand in a row. Seven sit on chairs in front of the standing row. Three sit on the ground in front of the seated row. All except one wear light-toned shoes, trousers and shirts, as well as dark coats and caps. The man at the right end of the standing row wears a suit, vest and boater-style hat. At the bottom of the photo is the caption 'The Australian Team, 1912' and the players' names, row by row. Behind the men is what appears to be the dense foliage of a tree. In the left background is part of a hedge.

During the 1912 tournament, the Australians made their reputation off, rather than on, the field. They were criticised for heavy drinking, bad language and 'fraternising with the locals' and their hosts eventually refused to have anything to do with them.

The Australians lost the series and, after a tour of North America, returned home in disgrace with a tour loss of £1286.
Photo: George Serras.

The Imperial Cricket Conference (now the International Cricket Council) was founded in 1909 by England, Australia and South Africa to govern and promote cricket across the British Empire. At its first meeting, the conference proposed a three-way Test tournament to be held between the founding nations every four years.

The first Triangular Tournament, held in England in 1912, was not a success. It rained and then it rained some more. The South Africans found the wet pitch impossible and the Australian team was weakened by the absence of Warwick Armstrong, Victor Trumper and captain Clem Hill, who had refused to tour after a pay dispute with the Australian Cricket Board. Worst of all, the spectators stayed away in droves.

The Triangular series was never repeated. International cricket tournaments involving more than two countries were only revived with the advent of one-day cricket and the Cricket World Cup in 1975.