In good taste or not, England cricket skipper Andrew Strauss's comments about the Ashes being war have to be taken seriously.
As the England time fly out to Australia to try to retain the Ashes over there for the first time in, ooh, yonks, observers are querying his choice of words, while British servicemen are fighting in Afghanistan.
But he is in deadly earnest, as our source in the England camp tells us.
"Straussy has been reading a lot of the military stuff and talking to everyone about it.
"You should see the dressing room. He's got Sun Tzu's Art Of War and von Clausewitz's On War - in German as well as an English translation. Plus he's got all sorts of commentaries on them.
"It's no secret that his opening partner, Alastair Cook is having a tough time at the moment. Straussy went up to him in the nets the other day and told him, 'If you entrench yourself behind strong fortifications, you compel the enemy to seek a solution elsewhere.'
"And I'm sure I heard him tell Swanny, 'In war the will is directed at an animate object that reacts.'
"He's really got into it. There have been table-top war games with model soldiers - you can't call them toy soldiers or he goes ape!
"All in all, the Ozzies better look out!"