Before the Lights Went Out – 1912 Triangular Tournament
On New Year’s Day 1912, the Times published a rallying editorial which highlighted the possiblility that Britain might by the end of the year ‘have been wiped out of politics altogether and have become dependent on the will of others’ . Against this background of fear and pessimism, that summer would see the first great world championship of cricket – the Triangular Tournament.
Australia and South Africa should bring their finest men to England for a sporting festival that would simultaneously entertain and cement the ties of Empire in preparation for the greater tests that would inevitably follow. They arrived in a country recovering from a devastating miner’s strike and shocked to the core by sinking of the Titanic.
But there was cricket to be played. Each of the national sides would play one another three times; a total of nine Tests. In addition the visiting sides would travel to all corners in completing 37 matches in just over four months – this punishing schedule would leave its mark. When the two sides eventually returned home there were serious questions to answer.