Testing time for cricketers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 January, 1993, 12:00am

IT has turned out to be a game of two halves, sportswise, today for those of us with access to STAR TV.

The bad news is that the scheduled coverage of England and India's first one-day cricket international had to be cancelled for the simple reason that the match itself has been cancelled - a victim of the religious riots sweeping through the country. STARdoes intend, however, to show the remaining five (or six if re-scheduling is done) matches.

The good news is that barring any other act of God, sports fans are in for a real highlight in the shape of Five Nations Rugby (Prime Sport, 10.30pm).

Following the success of last year's World Cup, rugby union has enjoyed a growth in international popularity. Tonight brings the opening round of matches in the annual battle to find the top team in the northern hemisphere.

Will Carling's impressive England side will be going for an unprecedented third Grand Slam this year, but first they must overcome the talented but erratic French at Twickenham in a match which promises to be a thriller. Later, in a game which will be shown ''delayed live'' at 12.30 am, underdogs Ireland take on Scotland at Murrayfield.

NOEL Coward was awarded a special Oscar for his ''outstanding production achievement'' for the 1942 British classic In Which We Serve (STAR Plus 2.30pm, Original Running Time 115 minutes).

David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) made his directing debut with this film which relates, through flashbacks, the story of men fighting on a British battle ship in World War II.

It also marked the first feature film appearances by Celia Johnson, Richard Attenborough, Daniel Massey and an infant Juliet Mills.

These facts alone make the film interesting - even though some of its attitudes have become dated. Today, Noel Coward's captain comes across as patronising rather than gracious.

PEARL is paying yet another visit to the Police Academy (9.45pm, ORT 96 mins) - is there anyone left out there who hasn't seen it? Steve Guttenberg (Cocoon) heads the cast in what is a good-natured enough comedy provided you can stand the racist, sexist and usually tasteless jokes, and the fact that the unsuitables who enlist in the academy are all blatant stereotypes - women (gasp), blacks, gays, fatties, etc.

Essentially, these films are the American version of the British Carry On series. And they're just as successful. . .there have been five sequels and an animated TV series so far.

TONY Danza is typecast in his Who's the Boss? role of doting daddy to teenage daughter in She's Out of Control (World 9.30pm, Original Running Time 97 mins).

The daughter, whose blossoming sexuality is causing Danza such anxiety, is played by Ami Dolenz, whose real-life Daddy is ex-Monkee Micky.

SMOKEY and the Bandit III (Pearl 7.35pm, ORT 88 mins) is a hopeless attempt at wringing a few more laughs out of this formula comedy car chase with Jackie Gleason returning yet again as the red-neck sheriff.

The first of the series was at least exciting, directed by former stuntman Hal Needham who threw in every trick he knew. This one is not.