Just found on my book shelves Pelham Warner's report of the 1912 Ashes tour, so obviously I've got to read it by the end of the year - 101 years ago is not as memorable as 100 years.
It's a lot similar to running real cricket ( i.e. the kind we play). Availability was poor - C.B. Fry, then the best batsman on the planet, Reg Spooner and Gilbert Jessop all had prior engagements ( probably not as important as a hair appointment - whatever that is - that had been booked by one of my players once 4 months in advance!). Makes the little business of Pietersen look small beer.
Then towards the end of the selection process they realised they'd got no close fielders so had to rethink a bit ( luxury! ).
Then the skipper ( Warner himself ) was ill and missed the whole series - they said he was mad to have played in Colombo and then Adelaide with only a ten day sea voyage to recover in between.
They had an all-rounder J W H T Douglas ( they called him " John won't hit today" as he was very defensive) who batted up and down the order and the amount he bowled seemed to depend on where he'd batted - to give everyone a game perhaps. Wonder whether he ever got a TFC?
Haven't finished the book but I know it has a good ending!