Australian Services XI

Country Australia Australia
City NA
Founded 1945

The Australian Services XI was a cricket team which comprised of military service personnel during the World War II period. The team came into existence in May 1945 after Nazi Germany got defeated. This is the team that played matches against the English cricket side with both origins, military and civilian for celebrating the end of the war. Other than that, these matches were totally played at increasing the moral of the war ravaged cities and also as a way to revive cricket after the end of the war.

The start of the 1945 cricket season was after the end of the cold war. The team was officially of a military unit which was led by Stan Sismey, the wicket keeper of the team. England were very close to total strength due to which the AIF and the RAAF teams merged together to strengthen their quality. The Australian services cricket team got formed under Lindsay Hassett leadership to compete in the Victory Tests. Despite being separated by rank and service, the team took their place in a good spirit. The Victory Tests were greeted by English grounds and in doing so raised loads of money for the war charities. The Australians however managed to draw the series of 2-2 against the England team which had test cricketers. Due to this, the Australian government, military officers and cricket administrators ordered the team to go home through passing by India and play more fund raising matcher, prior to finishing their campaign against the Australian state teams. By this time, this tired team duly arrived in Australia, but their overall performances got devastated which led the analysts who had not seen their performance in England to regard the team as a total weak team.

The future Test Captain, Lindsay Hassett was the only such player who had test match experience. All other players like Keith Miller, Cec Pepper, Ross Stanford, Stan Sismey, Graham Williams and the likes were players having previous first class experience. Opening batsman, Jack Pettiford and spinner, Reg Ellis did not have any prior experience in first class level, but after making their debut for the Services XI team, they played for their states in Australia. Jim Workman and Charles Price made their debut during the team campaign and never played first class cricket later. The Services XI team played games for offering needy Australian and English charities which totally assisted from the gate takings. This 1945-46 Australian Services XI team will be remembered more for their endeavors and services to Australia, in both on and off the cricket field.

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