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[By Telegraph.]

Melbourne. November 27.

The banquet to welcome the Australian Eleven was held this evening in the Town Hall, under the auspices of the Cricketers' Association. Mr. W. J. Runting, President

of the Association, presided, supported on his right by Mr. Murdoch, the Captain of the Australian team, the Mayor of Melbourne and other influential gentlemen;   and on his left by the Hon. Ivo Bligh, Captain of the English team, Sir Julius Vogel, Mr. Justice Williams, and the Minister of Mines. Over 200 guests were present. The Chairman, in proposing the health of the Australian Eleven, spoke in complimentary terms of the efforts of the team, and said he was glad to observe that a team of English cricketers had arrived in the colonies for the purpose of winning back if possible lost laurels. Although he was too much Austra- lian to wish them success in the forthcoming contests, he hoped heartily that the best team would win. Mr. Mnrdoch, on rising to respond, was received with loud and pro- longed cheering, it being some minutes before the meeting was sufficiently quiet to: allow of his proceeding with his speech. He said the team had always striven worthily to represent the colony, and referred to the great improvement which had taken place in cricket, in the   colonies. He acknowledged having learned what he knew from capable players in forming teams. He testified to the good feeling, evinced towards his team at home, and remarked, as instancing the total absence of feeling of jealousy or unfriendliness, that after suffering defeat at the hands   of the Australians the vanquished players  

were very often the first to offer hearty congratulations. He was glad to see the Hon. Ivo Bligh and his team present. On behalf of the Australian Eleven, and in recognition of the many kindnesses received in the old country, he took that opportunity of heartily welcoming them to Australia. He (Mr. Murdoch) knew his   team had three hard tasks before them in their 2 contests against the Englishmen, as each side would do its best, and if the Englishmen won— and he sincerely hoped   they would not— {laughter)— all Australians would offer them warm and sincere congratu- lations. The health of the Hon. Ivo Bligh's team was received with much cheering. The Hon. Ivo Bligh in respon- ding, made a very happy speech, and mentioned that only for the kind promises   of assistance and co-operation made by the Australians generally, as well as by the team, his eleven would never have been able to   come to Australia. The last occasion   on which he met Mr. Murdoch was at dinner on that unfortunate day when, as one newspaper put it, 'English cricket deceased and Australia gathered up the ashes.' He hoped before concluding his tour   to be able, to regain those revered ashes and carry them again to England. Several other   toasts were drunk, and the proceedings were of an exceedingly pleasant nature.