St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Here come the Aussie Rebels
Here come the Aussie Rebels

Plans for the Kim Hughes Australian rebel tour in 1985/86 had been hatched as early as 1982 by Ali Bacher and former Australian Test batsman Bruce Francis when they met in London during the World Cup.

By the time the first Aussies in over 16 years got to our shores, rebel tours by the English, Sri Lankan and West Indian teams were already something of the past.

South African cricket had been proved against these nations, all that was left was New Zealand and Australia.

The Aussies played the West Indians in 1982/83. Despite SA approaches made to the Australians about a possible tour the following season, the Aussie authorities put a "hold" on any tour plans to South Africa. This despite much interest shown by players.

But in October 1984, the Aussie rebel tour deal was signed in Singapore and the tour was on. The Australians were to prove a reasonable match for the Springboks in the Tests.

They had the better bowlers while the Boks had the better batsmen. In the Yellow Pages one day series the sides were again evenly matched.

The difference, and South Africa's kingpin, proved to be Clive Rice. His excellent all-round performance gave South Africa the edge.

By the end of the tour, the Springboks emerged the winners. Some young players had been blooded and the return tour was eagerly awaited.

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