Sassoon's best known eulogy to the cricket he loved comes in the description of the Flower Show Match in his Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man published in 1928. In this piece he describes how the central character, modelled on the young Sassoon himself, comes home from boarding school on an idyllic sumer weekend and is invited to play in the match - an annual tussle between neighbouring villages. He fantasises about scoring like his heroes of county cricket as reported in the morning newspaper. All the ingredients of what was to become the characteristic literary description of village cricket are there: the collection of highly skilled village worthies across the class spectrum who have their own unique contribution to make. It so happens that the Sassoon character bats at the end of the day and, almost accidentally, scores the winning runs.
Sassoon had over the years gained a reputation for his unique fielding style. He would stand to attention as the ball approached him, no matter its velocity, and take the pace of it with his shins before bending to pick it up and return it. This was not through any stiffness in his back, for his friends recall him being perfectly able to bend to tie his laces without bending his knees.
Here is one poem of Sassoon's which directly makes reference to cricket:
Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
Many cricketers have fallen in the various wars of the 20th and 21st Century to protect, amongst other things, our freedom to play. We shall remember.