Super Series Conclusion – T20

I’m getting this one in early. The T20 international at the Ageas Bowl of Roses is being played on Tuesday and really, I don’t give a monkeys. If this is a desperate search for context with a Super Series ended at more or less the earliest possible time given the weather, and an international calendar so crowded we are already talking about giving our Australian Head Coach a month off, then you’ve lost me. A T20 match added to the programme in a way a blind kid pins a tail on a donkey at an old birthday party. This is cricket for money’s sake. A match that speaks “no context”.

I saw someone on Twitter say “I usually say to anyone who complains about the schedule, design a better one”. He has a point. Of course he does. England’s running costs are so high, subsidising a loss-making county structure that puts the early 80s nationalised industries to shame, and the wages of international players so rewarding to prevent further temptations, the assets have to be soaked to pay for the largesse. The TV companies want their pound of flesh, devalued as markedly against the $ as it is (didn’t I go the States at the right time), so we get this insanity. We want four tests, at least, against South Africa, but one can’t help but think that this was the sort of series we needed in 2012, not now. Then to lob three tests in late August/early September against the West Indies is insulting and mad in equal measures. September can be a nice month for cricket. It can also be bleedin’ horrible, the later it gets. That’s why the ODIs, being day-nighters, coming in the last week of September is amazing. How long before we are playing home games in October? Also, aren’t the IPL thinking of filling in that little spell in September for some mini-IPL (what, runnings four weeks instead of two months?)? I know we have the Champions Trophy over here, but really? Do the assets need to be so soaked?

I really haven’t read a lot about cricket recently. I’ve just not been bothered. I watched much of England’s batting performance yesterday, but then the Tour de France started and I love a bit of that. The European Championships are on, of course, and there’d be less time still if I were a fan of Wimbledon tennis. Cricket is competing with this at the moment and it is taking a back seat, even with someone who blogs as regularly as I do. This series has shown how Sri Lanka have regressed, how England are putting together a more than decent ODI team, and the test top order for England is still a bloody mess. I missed two test matches on my holidays, where I couldn’t watch them even if I wanted to (I’m not dealing with illegal streams), and I’ve not really got into it since. It’s come that far that I’ve been offered a ticket for the first test v Pakistan and I’m not sure if I can be arsed. Be really careful what you wish for, ECB. I’m not the only one thinking like this.

I have Jason Roy’s 162 on highlights to watch (catching up, watching 1st day at Lord’s at the moment) and it just left me puzzled. That 162 could capture the imagination. It could inspire kids to go, wow, I want to bat like that. Isn’t it fun? It could have been a marketing dream, a have-a-go hero, battering a massive score. I really don’t need to draw you a picture. No-one talked about it to me. No-one. It’s disappearing without trace.

Sky. CWOTV. What the hell have you done? 25 minutes tops?

Simon has been keeping his eye on the ICC stuff, and for that, many thanks. But one can’t help but feel this is a bit too late. The core punters anywhere other than India are drifting away, aren’t they? I wasn’t fearful for test cricket until recently. Now I’m convinced it doesn’t has a lot left other than “big countries”. But many won’t care as long as England win.

It did amuse me that England’s loss in the football to Iceland was greeted with the sort of anger that only our football team draws. The manager didn’t wait an hour before resigning. There were no journalists I know, saying we needed to keep him because he’d managed a 100% qualifying campaign. No prominent voices pointing out how he’d brought younger players through. No begging for the captain to stay because he is our record goalscorer. You draw your own conclusions. 🙂

Comments for the T20 money earner here. It’s all yours.