Douglas Jardine is surely the greatest villain in cricket’s age old battle for The Ashes between Australia and England.
Tensions were high after the first test in Sydney early in December, but with Christmas coming the cartoonist Alex Gurney had some fun;
SOURCE – THE MAIL (ADELAIDE) DEC 3 1932
Before the second test, to be held in Melbourne, the English team took a trip to Tasmania. The object was for them to play a couple of games against a State team for the enjoyment of the public. It was also hoped to raise valuable funds for the Tasmanian Cricket Association.
The tourists arrived in Launceston aboard the Bass Strait passenger ferry, SS Nairana.
Jardine is pictured second from left as they disembarked on December 15.
At an informal event the following morning the English cricket captain commented on growing criticism regarding his bowling tactics;
A more local controversy involving Jardine began on Christmas Day, which was the second day of a match in Hobart. There had been overnight rain, but the umpires inspected the pitch at noon, declared it fit and said that play should begin at 1.pm. Unfortunately, Jardine did not agree. He initially suggested forfeiting the game to the Tasmanians. Then, in what was considered totally against the spirit of the game he went over the umpires’ heads and asked the chairman of the Cricket Association, Colonel Mullen, to intervene. The Colonel refused to do so and later said that the English captain’s behaviour had been an insult to Tasmanian cricket.
Forced to play, Jardine’s reaction was to refuse to use his regular bowlers, claiming they risked injury.
The fastest English bowler was Harold Larwood, but he had not made the trip. However, the crowd wanted to see the other quicks and loudly protested when Jardine used himself and batsmen to bowl over after tedious over. It should be remembered that this was during the Great Depression and the public not only wanted some entertainment, but value for their money. The Tasmanian captain was so frustrated that he declared when his side were only five wickets down.
Soon, word of the farcical game was reported around the country.
JARDINE’S UNSPORTSMANLIKE ATTITUDE
Over in Tasmania, Jardine has not been making himself popular, through his effort to belittle the island batsmen. (Sydney Sun, Dec 30 1932)
Jardine and his men left on the Nairana, for the test in Melbourne, but the Tasmanian Cricket Council was not about to let the matter drop;