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Lionel Robinson and the Australian Imperial Forces The Rebirth of International Cricket after the War
Published by Red Rose Books, 2023
Original pictorial hard cloth.
(iv) + 52 pages, illustrated.
Limited edition of 20 copies, signed by the author.
After the Great War, there was a demand for international cricket to be resumed as quickly as possible in the summer of 1919. A fully representative Ashes series proved impossible to organise - instead, a squad of Australian servicemen who were then based in England was put together, known as the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) side. This squad made a full-length tour of England, playing 28 first class matches in front of large crowds. Their first fixture was against a team raised by Lionel Robinson, which was played at his estate deep in the Norfolk countryside. This book describes the genesis of this, the first international first-class match after the War. It gives a full report of the play, which ended tantalizingly when the AIF, who needed just nine runs to win with two wickets remaining, had to leave to catch a train. The subsequent fortunes of the Australians are also briefly considered.