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When the English cricket team toured Nazi Germany – and got smashed

A review of Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany, 1937, by Dan Waddell. This entertaining history includes some great myth-busting

7 June 2014

9:00 AM

7 June 2014

9:00 AM

Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany, 1937 Dan Waddell

Bantam, pp.272, £16.99, ISBN: 9780593072615

Why have the Germans never been any good at cricket? This entertaining account of the MCC’s 1937 tour to the Fatherland gives some clues. Any country po-faced enough to have a ‘Society for the Encouragement of Playing Ball’ will struggle from the start. Certainly the Germans back then seemed to understand neither cricket’s equipment (‘why so much luggage?’ asked one reporter of the tourists) nor its terminology — later, during the war, letters home from British PoWs about games at their camp were censored because ‘OMWR&A’ was thought to be code.

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