March 19, 2010

Hitler played cricket

Andrew McGlashan

Adolf Hitler wanted to use cricket to train German troops according a new book about to be published by the BBC’s former World Affairs Editor, John Simpson.

However Hitler, who was taught the basics of the game, found the complex rules too much to comprehend and wanted to do away with the use of pads because they were “unmanly and un-German”.

Simpson’s claims are based on a report in the Daily Mirror in 1930 by Oliver Locker-Lampson, a British right-wing MP and Nazi sympathiser, who claimed Hitler thought cricket would be the ideal preparation for war.

In his book Simpson says that, after recover from injuries from being shot, he challenged the British to a “friendly” game but afterwards said the sport was “insufficiently violent”.

The result of the match was never recorded and neither was it possible to confirm claims that Hitler was dismissed for a golden duck.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Andrew McGlashan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.