No expense will have been spared preparing Australia’s and England’s cricketers for the first Ashes Test on Wednesday – from training and physiotherapy, to a good dinner and a luxurious bed. It was very different for the first Australian team to visit the UK.
As Michael Clarke and his Australian side finalise their preparations for the Ashes, Cricket Australia will leave no stone unturned in its quest to regain the urn.
The Australian side arrived in the UK some seven weeks before the start of the first Test at Trent Bridge. Throughout its stay, the squad will adhere to a finely tuned schedule ensuring players start each match at the peak of fitness – and recover quickly afterwards.
But for the first Australian side to tour the UK, conditions were markedly different.
In 1868, English ex-pat and former first class cricketer Charles Lawrence brought a team of 13 Victoria-based Aboriginal players to the UK, intent on capitalising on public curiosity regarding “exotic races” following the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859.