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.
It really is the case that cricket is for a niche market. I didn’t get to watch the last ODI as I popped down to Guildford to watch the Surrey v Warks game, a sad old b’stard that I am. Well actually I was rather young compared to the vast bulk of the audience at that game there! I can’t help feel that this is going to be a large problem for cricket in this country moving forward.
Re Jason Roy, I had a chat about Roy on another forum and there seemed to be a fair bit of intrigue, although I think a lot have access to Sky on there. My comments that if they thought Ian Bell was frustrating, they hadn’t seen anything yet in terms of his (Roy’s) first class game went down well! That said Roy has only played around 30 ODIs and only has one century less than Bell managed in 160 odd games!
“I usually say to anyone who complains about the schedule, design a better one”.
You say that as if it would be difficult. It wouldn’t at all. Just scrap ALL bilateral ODIs and T20s, and replace them with seeded qualifying groups for the world cups.
Yea, I guess this series has lost “context” for me somewhere down the line, exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do?
However, it’s been noticeable to me that under Morgan’s captaincy this series has been played with a great spirit, as opposed to the last tour under Cook’s captaincy (?)
Now we see Cook moralising and stoking the fire prior to the Pakistan tour! For me, his moral credibility disappeared during the great KP debacle, and would be better off just shutting the f**k up!
Can we now expect the tests to be played in a fractious atmosphere, full of incident?
Good article Dmitri, really good.
This T20i is a nonsense. Pretty much everyone is waiting for the Pakistan series now, especially since Pakistan have decided to come early, get a couple of first class games under their belt. Bloody heck. Even their A team are here. While it’s right to feel all the doom and gloom, this upcoming Pakistan series feels a bit old school – not 11+ old school, not even O-levels, but different to what’s become normal. Perhaps its because Pakistan are my ‘second team’. Amir looks good, the BBC has already set the tone with that tweet. England beware, especially Cook. Classless arrogance.
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Well…thanks ECB, BBC and MSM…. I was offered a ticket to the Rose Bowl (Ageas – Who they?) today, at the last moment, but having been ‘informed’ by the above collective, I wouldn’t have been able to make the ‘advertised’ 2pm start….however…. it seems the women thrashed Pak first, and the men’s v SL is just starting now….and they expect to attract newbies to the grounds with this poorly advertised and media weak promotion?
Cockwombles… all of them
Had to go out tonight, shopping, and missed the men’s game. Just started watching the highlights. Sri Lanka’s innings looked a shambles, so I looked up the result.
This hasn’t been Sri Lanka’s finest hour, has it?
Bull’s latest seems to be unraveling from some of the questions in the thread.
Of course it’s only paranoid types like me who read between the lines something like “stop blaming the ECB for declining participation you moaning minnies and form your own highly successful cricket club out of nothing and with apparently very little like this chap did”.
It’s just a marvelous piece by a wonderful writer – it must be because there are several comments on the thread, as usual, saying that it is.
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Any sympathy for the Lankans goes out the window:
Is that the Super Series trophy?