The Crusader, Eighth Army Weekly, No. 41, Vol 4, February 8th 1943

I \ C R U S A D E R / --------------- PAU L IRW IN ________________ (former "Sunday Express' Sports Editor) Talking Sport -— C r u s a d e r C u iie N o . 2 4 a s % iF m ¦ I "I asked him what she'd got that I hadn't — and he told me !’ THE GRIFF W hat is going to happen to big cricket after the war ? It seems that this question has been dis­ cussed away back at home by the lairds of Lord's and, as was only to be expected from them, they believe that the game will stum­ ble back into the somnolent jog trot of the old days. In other words, customers, it is their idea that the county cham­ pionship, with its inequalities and absurdities, will go on as it has done since time out of mind. Now I am a notorious wrong guesser, but I hazard the opinion that the man who pays the money at the turnstiles will not have county cricket at any price. W earisome three-day games, dragging through the sun-scorch- ed hours, won’t suit him. A C TIO N W A N T E D T he tempo of big-time sport has been quickening. Action is wanted to-day, not the sight of a batsman patiently patting his w ay to a long line of fcenturies. I should have thought that the game’s chiefs had learned some­ thing from war time cricket. Tw enty thousand have gone along to Lord’s to see a one-day match. W h y ? Because they know that, the English weather permit­ ting, they will see the beginning and end of the game. In short, they will get a result ; and, in the bargain, they will see bats­ man hungry for runs — runs in a hurry — and bowlers really at­ tacking, not just turning their arms to keep down the Score. T h e trouble with cricket in the past has been that it has had a rush of dignity to the head. It wants to let its hair down a bit. As I see it, the county cluos must think seriously after the war of reframing the championship. Suggestions have already been made that matches should be lim­ ited to a couple of days at the most, with seven hours play each day. W ell, that’s a step in the right direction. Personally, I hold the view that a National League, sim­ ilar to the worthwhile compet­ itions | in Lancashire and York­ shire, is the best bet. Let s have one-day matches — the razor- keen battle for points ; the old rivalries which can pull the cus­ tomers into Soccer grounds on the bleakest January day. Having said this, I can hear the bleats from the lilywhite disciples of county cricket. They will argue — have argued — that it is the spirit of the game that counts, not the mere game itself. You know their line of talk : poppycock about cool figures in flannels casting long shadows as the sun sets over the old elms. Muddled thinkers, they are for ever confusing professional cric­ ket with the village green. Believe me, I am all for village games, with the glorious finale in the “local,” but no one yet ever paid out good akkers to see such af­ fairs. No, sir, your modern sports follower wants action. If he does not get it from cricket after the war then, as Old Moore Irwin now forecasts, he will go to the dogs or the speedway. And now say I didn’t tell you. A N S W E R S D E P T . Pte R. Hogg : Kid Tanner is a feather-weight. As a boxer in that division he fought a draw with Tommy Shaw, the Devon boy. L/Cpl. R. W hite j Neither Ar­ senal nor Sunderland has ever played in Division II. Pte R .W . Kerry : Chelsea were relegate to Division II in 1923-4 and were promoted in 1929-30. T A K E A N O TH ER LO O K D E P T . “The outlook for the Russians is very poor. Their present situ­ ation is serious. Their food sup­ plies are inadequate and their transport very limited. The Ger­ mans, on the other hand, have the advantage of special winter clothing, of valuable experience and of employing tactics which continually endanger the Soviet transport. The coming Spring will show how little is left of the military power of the Soviet.” (Gen Hasse,:in the “ Boersen Zei- tung”). H E EA R N E D IT ! Gallantry in learning the Ger­ man language is one of the ‘wo reasons given by the Nazi army authorities for awarding the Or- d. • c-f the Eagle with Swords to < *n Italian in I.’bya The other reason is ‘hat he disopeyed Italian Army orders not to sup- p!y Itaiian petrol to German "eh- Kies. captured document which es the award to Lieut. Pe­ ter Ghigo speaks with deep emo­ tion of the above services to “Italo-German cooperation. “He was one of the few Italian offi­ cers to learn German.” says the document.” As an illicit supplier of petrol to the Germans he was so popu­ lar that German drivers affection­ ately nicknamed him the “ Petrol- Lieutenant.” ¦ ...... ........................... D E S T R O Y 7th C O LU M N Now that the Axis forces have been driven from Tripoli the help of Eighth Arm y is needed for an­ other big job — the battle of the Fourth Front. This campaign is aimed at destroying the Seventh Column, the people who are hold­ ing up victory by wasting stores and equipment. Shipping space is vital for the knock-out offensive planned by the Allies : help to stop waste and release those ,',ips N O W The women in the ' 'ories at home are proud of h Army : join in the Fourth t to shorten their woek- ¦ • • . Go fo it I
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