As The Leg Glance battles enthusiasm problems I share with this test match – if England and their apologists, I mean the media, play and say like this doesn’t matter, then why should we care – I thought I’d pick up on a few points that the whirlpool that is Social Media and background research have thrown up.
Due to some circumstances I may delve into a lot later, I might be in the market to go to the Oval test this year. I think Pakistan might be a decent opponent, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed and the venerable Misbah-ul-Haq are good players, even great, and different from the stuff we’ve seen recently. So I went on to the Surrey site to see the state of ticket sales.
Day 3, Saturday, is almost sold out. There’s odds and sods about. Same, but with a few more, for the Friday. But Day 1 is not well sold, and Day 4 would be an utter embarrassment if that’s the final tally. The prices aren’t overly attractive for the first three days. The cheap seats in the OCS Block 1-3 are £50. Where I usually sit, which was always priced the same is now £60. This is, we are told, an attractive, attacking England team. A team we should be getting behind, with great, exciting young players. Doesn’t seem that message is getting across.
In something tangential I wanted to look at the last set of accounts put out by the ECB. They are from January 2015, covering the previous 12 months. Apart from seeing that a director was given £190k to sling their hook – two directors left that year, and the clear implication is that this could be Collier – there was also the notable £24m added to the reserve pot.
The ECB say they budget on a four year cycle and that two out of the four make a loss. I looked at the ticket situation for Day 1 at Durham against Sri Lanka (a Friday) and it looks hopeless.
This was just a spot check. Innocent Bystander tells me that Lord’s tickets for both test matches at Lord’s are going on general sale for most days. We sit back and say test cricket is in rude health in England, but is it outside of the Ashes? Really? The prices at the Oval do not match demand, and there’s a bit of a nod with the lower prices for Day 4, but cricket has to face up and wonder what it can do – stuck between the Sky money vice, and the clear lack of visibility this team with its exciting young talent has.
Which then leads me on to the panacea that is a T20 competition like that which has just finished in Australia. The Big Bash has, for a couple of years now, had envious glances cast from here at the slick running nature, the big crowds, the buzz and excitement and yes, glamour of it. We know the arguments and we’ve been over them countless times. I hear people say the competition lacks quality – it doesn’t; I hear people say it is the free to air TV that makes it – that may have a point; the size of the grounds and the climate lend to the spectacle – they do; but to me the key is that it runs for a month, has a clear Final and a limited number of teams (8). Many more than this and it would go too far and dilute the quality. There is no answer that meets the demands of the English summer. But in a year when we’re not selling test matches out, the very thing we are supposed to be shit scared of protecting, that line of defence doesn’t look strong. Nor does our argument about diversity of opposition because, as we see, it’s Australia for the crowds and India for the TV and the rest are loss-makers.
The Big Bash saw a notable performance in both the semi and the Final by Kevin Pietersen. It doesn’t really prove anything we didn’t know. He’s not done, but he’s also not coming back. That doesn’t make it a closed matter not to talk about how we got here, and it doesn’t make it OK for the ridiculous abuse any tweet on him gets, which Maxie encapsulated superbly in a Tweet today:
There were some on here who didn’t wish Cook the greatest of success…but is it on the same scale as this?
If there’s a post on Twitter on KP, this bloke is usually there.. accusing others of obsession.
A usual suspect.
Then on KP’s feed..
I could go on. I think I made my point. The scale of abuse, the level of vitriol. Still…..
Don’t forget, comments for Day 4 of the test can be placed on TLG’s latest post. My best wishes for the week…..
Superb. Hope KP keeps it up for another 2 years. 🙂 Hopefully back at Surrey this season?
No. He’s said he’s not playing in England this summer.
I had the distinct pleasure of a Twitter conversation with Jamie Cook last week. He reserved some personal abuse for myself as well as KP. I am not sure what particular crime KP has done to him. Perhaps he didn’t sign an autograph for him at some point. Who knows.
However, a massive point has been raised here. After last summer being told how test cricket was in the rudest of health due to the ‘greatest ashes series’ the reality of the problems facing test cricket in this country will become more apparent. Despite claims by some in the media that test tickets cost 20 quid it again will prove difficult for a family of four to have a day’s test cricket approaching anything reasonable. test crickets survival will depend on its visibility to the masses. If they cannot see it due the being behind the paywall or cannot afford it due to the cost of supporting your national side now then how will we keep the fans of test cricket, let alone attract more?
‘Greatest Ashes series’.
Possibly for those with the memory of a goldfish.
The vitriol is both staggering and a worry. I can accept that there’s a reasonable proportion of people who cannot make up their own minds based on the facts available to them (that will always be the case) but I am particularly worried that there is a generation coming behind me (and I’m pretty young 37) that will be completely dependent on “main stream media” for their opinions. Christ, we’re talking about THE best England batsmen of a generation….
It came to something today when I was actually surprised when David gower mentioned KP scoring runs in the big bash and paid him a compliment on some of his shots. That’s how bad it is that I wouldn’t expect an ‘impartial’ commentator mentioning an English batsman doing well in a final of a tournament.
I’m worried that there’s a generation coming through who apparently think it’s completely acceptable to contact a complete stranger personally and abuse them, regardless of that person’s known achievements. Whole Agatha Christie plots used to be based on that kind of behaviour, ‘poison pen letters’ they used to be called and were usually revealed at the end of the story to have been written by some demented elderly woman. Now it’s fine, it’s just social media innit.
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I don’t usually like swearing, but at this very moment on a Sunday evening . . . I really effing hate English Cricket.
Maxie’s follow-up to the tweet quoted by Dmitri sums it up for me:
Bigots, ingrates, FICJAMs, Selveys and Lovejoys. Thanks for ruining it.
Danny’s reply makes a good point. Mohammed Amir will probably play in the WT20 later this year. A criminal cheat.
Hey, we live in a world where “England legend Mike Gatting” (in quotes) generates 633 actual results on Google, from sites such as the ECB, Lord’s, Edgbaston, the Cricket Society, Talksport, the Daily Mail, the Daily Star and even Chance To Shine.
“England legend Kevin Pietersen” (in quotes) generates a mere 522, by the way.
And there appears to be a disturbingly high number of people who think that’s an appropriate measure of their relative value.
I miss Maxie
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Bigots, ingrates, FICJAMs, Selveys and Lovejoys. Thanks for ruining it…
Top stuff there Arron. And I’m with you Maxie man.
I’m reading ‘Sphere of Influence’ and Haigh has a nice phrase (from 2009) that the ECB were “putting Dick Turpin and Black Bess in the shade by the highway robbery of their ticket prices”.
The latest crayon scribling from this tosser….J. Airey
“can TMS please get rid of Vaughan: he hates test cricket, bangs on about BBL, now boring KP.”
This is the kind of dogs vomit the ECB wants as its customer base.. Yes, in the opinion of this cretin Vaughn hates test cricket because he has a different opinion to him. And therefore must be sacked. I said yesterday there is a whiff of fascism in these morons. An authoritarian bent that everyone must be removed who does not belive in their small minded little world. Not just players but even pundits and ex players. All must bow to Dear leader.
It gives me immense pleasure to know that even one innings in the Big Bash can drive these pathetic morons quite round the bend. Savour and enjoy their bitterness and intolerance. And imagine these idiots 10 year ago cheering KP on. And then laugh at them.
That’s a YARP from me, Mark sir.
The economics of staging international cricket means that it’s likely that selling fewer tickets at a higher price is better than a sell-out for a smaller sum.
While I would love to pay less to go to the Oval (says the guy who got a clutch of free tickets as a Christmas present last year), the people who go year on year likely outweigh gambling on more punters at a discount. As LCL said above the line (atl?), it puts lie to the claim that get cricket is in rude health. Temporarily profitable, yes. Intermittently exhilarating, probably. Disappointingly lacking in KP, definitely.
The prognosis is poor, the obstacles insurmountable and the solutions almost unpalatable. Still, with Giles Clarke leading us at the ICC, one can be assured that the future holds only unicorns and pretty songbirds.
I think the thing that really shocked, Alec, was the sheer amount of tickets available on the Sunday. I’ve been to a Pakistan test on a Sunday and it was well attended – and we got the walkout by the visitors for our pleasure. This Sunday show is really low. Go on Surrey tickets, it really shocked.
It may be because people don’t see a competitive match-up. It may be that Oval punters are fed up seeing dead or dying series with one side not at the races. It may be because of the prices. What you acknowledge, and I worry about, is that this is the fig leaf to stop players playing in IPL/Big Bash type competitions in the UK, and in turn putting obstacles in the way of a short bloc tournament. Lizzy said today that T20 and Tests should coexist, but there’s not enough time in the summer to do it. We may just have to say “the Blast is it”.
Sure, the economics are not all that clear, and pricing may be the best possible revenue amount, but no-one likes empty seats.
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To be fair Dmitri,
if The ECB serve up the kind of pitches they seem to now favour, would you bet the match even makes it to the 4th day?
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Wouldn’t rate the chances of seeing Yasir Shah too high either.
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I’m avoiding going to the Surrey site as it’s full of temptations that I have neither the time nor money to afford.
On the subject of cricket economics there is maybe one more reason why the IPL and County Cricket are so important to South African and West Indies players in particular- payment in hard currency. While de Villiers et al may receive payment well above the average for their countrymen, the relative volatility of the rand means there is little assurance of the value of their remuneration in the long term. By comparison, a season in county cricket (or better yet an IPL contract) will be paid in Sterling (or US Dollars), which are almost guaranteed to hold their value in the long term. The sad fact is that this is yet another reason for the utter discrepancy between the big 3 and the rest.
Vaughan actually putting it into print (so to speak), that KP should go to the t20 wc
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Brave call. The knuckle draggers will want his head on a plate for such treason. How dare he be allowed to offer independent opinion.
Cheerleading is what the mob require.
Let’s look at some of the responses on the TMS twitter feed:
Suspicious initials alert…
Plenty of support based on form, past performance, recent good nick.
Let’s look at some of the responses on the follow-up tweet:
Someone doesn’t appear to be obsessed in the slightest. *whistles*
I’m blocked, she’s muted. I prefer it that way.
The BBL website is interesting. Very bright and brash, full of info, no complicated pricing.
A link on the front page says “Never been to a game before? ” and takes you to a page on ‘the match experience’
It’s 100% targeted at families.
Not that I think Tests should be marketed like that! But the whole thing says this is a sport that wants to build support for the future.
It’s quite hilarious really. For the past 2 or 3 years the MSM have marvelled at BBL. Lots of talk and chat about what could be done over here to create something similar. It all descends, however, into bickering and discussions of the pitfalls and what won’t work. As opposed to looking at what the positives will be (much the same way the MSM views/comments on players).
By the time the ECB/the counties do anything that boat (of opportunity) may well have sailed, if it has not already. IPL first, then BBL, when will those in charge realise and do something……the only one of the big 3 lagging behind!
There are a lot of people out there, as shown tonight, that I would like to meet and give a good poke in the eye to, know what I mean?
Tonight has highlighted to me the sheer number of cretins who, I presume, share in a love of the same sport I do. How can they be so different to me in their views and the way they respond to fellow humans and to a player who was an absolute star for England…..gave his all (most of the time), for them!
I just don’t get it, how can they love the game I do, yet view it so differently. I think they must just be trolls, windup merchants.
Not really. It’s not worth getting violent over!
I have no doubt those on the other side of the debate feel the same way about us. My main gripe is that those on the other side demean those on this side with the “not true fan” bullshit. That’s what rattles my cage. I can fully admit they are passionate about the sport, England etc. So are we. Well, I am.
There are some who want nothing more than for us to crawl back with our tails between our legs and beg forgiveness. Every mention of KP means “I’m obsessed”. Every criticism we made of Cook was “abuse”. Every attack on the press was “bilious”. Every recognition of KP’s feats hs us as “fanboys”. Every defenstration of an ECB argument was us being “bitter”.
No. Not now. Not ever.
Dmitri I did not mean it to sound like I was condoning/inciting violence, apologies. It was a figure of speech ‘a poke in the eye’ I meant it in terms of a wake up call, a realisation of how they come across etc. 😀
Oh I don’t know Rohan. There’s a waster calling themselves acquitted on the Guardian who doesn’t limit themselves to cricket – they also post compassionate views on politics, refugees and human beings in general. I think I might not be alone in thinking that if they dropped off the planet by accident the planet would not miss them . . .
Not sure if it’s still there but the response to someone he thought was black making suggestions about their culinary habits remaining up was not a high point BTL.
One of the things that really winds me up about that waste of space is that he continuously pontificates on, and ascribes motives to, people who have been commenting on those boards for even longer than the six years I’ve spent on there. For instance, I nearly responded to his recent post about clivejw, in which he wondered how clive and similarly “obsessive” people would cope if they have a real crisis in their lives. For a start, I think clive’s Twitter feed provides an eloquent answer. But since when did real crises prevent people from being passionate about sport? In fact, he just about makes the argument *for* his antagonists. Since people generally regard sport as an escape from life and death, when they see a sport they love being stolen from under their nose, and when their enjoyment of that escape is threatened, they’re even more likely to feel very strongly about it, aren’t they?
Incidentally, wctt and DDB have only been on those pages since 2013, which means they missed the origins of the great schism. I don’t think anyone’s opinion carries greater weight the longer they’ve been commenting. However, when you repeatedly (and wilfully) misrepresent those who were commenting at the time, and display no inclination at all to understand their position, you shouldn’t be surprised if people become even angrier. It goes without saying that the same applies to certain other more elevated individuals.
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So, the ECB admit that only Australia and India series are economically viable. Which must explain the heroic attempts of the ECB to starve South Africa of cricket. Well done.
And that 24 million surplus? Really? After literally not living up to the promises with regards to the Test match fund for the non-Big 3 Full members?
Yeah we definitely don’t need KP playing cricket in the UK.
Time to say bye, bye, Australia! I’ve had the most amazing month again in your beautiful country. I’ve made more friends, worked with an amazing bunch of @starsbbl boys & thoroughly enjoyed my commentary with Ch9 & Ch10. I can’t want to come back already! To, @mbbrighton – thanks for our great relationship! The legends at The Olsen – YOU ROCK! So until we meet again, peace out! Home time to my amazing family! Love you all!
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Thanks for your amazing talent! It’s blokes like you and Chris Gayle that make the big bash awesome! Safe travels legend 😀
Like161Reply · More · 8 hours ago
Thanks KP for being entertaining and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching you play for the mighty stars . see you next season and take care
Like31Reply · More · 8 hours ago
We’ve enjoyed having you KP, come back soon we look forward to seeing you back in the Stars colours
Like18Reply · More · 8 hours ago
We can’t wait till you come back, thanks for the amazing series here, now time to be with your beautiful little family. Safe travels.
Like16Reply · More · 8 hours ago
Thanks KP for a great BBL05. I am a serious Thunder fan but your effort in the final was sensational and is only surpassed by your sportsmanship. After travelling from Canberra I was at the ground with my son and you walking is his best life lesson yet. We talked about honesty and integrity after you walked when dismissed. You have a new #1 fan in Canberra. Safe travels.
Like23Reply · More · 8 hours ago
Thank you- you have so much talent and can’t wait for you to come back. Safe travels as head of to be with your family.
Like2Reply · More · 7 hours ago
Thanks KP for your insightful comments on field and in studio and of course your fabulous talent. Bring family to live here. Said for years you should have ditched ungrateful ECB. Loved reading your very honest autobiography was so insightful. So look forward to you returning next 2 years. Enjoy time with family and thanks for wonderful memories of a true sporting legend xxx
Like4Reply · More · 6 hours ago
Thanks for the memories, the sportsmanship, the talent, the humour. I could go on forever….Just Thanks for Everything
Like5Reply · More · 7 hours ago
Well done KP. We have enjoyed your commentary and as Stars fans lived your batting (and fielding). Too bad we couldn’t get the job done last night but looking forward to having you back next year.
Like4Reply · More · 7 hours ago
Robert Victor Henthorn
Mate your all class this is coming from a Aussie who didn’t like you once
Welcome back anytime have a wonderful with your family
I miss KP more and more. Still, no vacancies in the England team now. FFS.
Bloody ECB buttholes.