Viewing Figures – A Ramble Through Facts

We’ve another guest post from Andy Oliver, this time about the viewing figures for cricket over the last few years.  It’s a subject that isn’t easy to find hard facts on given the reticence of Sky to tell anyone how many people watch of course.  As ever with a guest post, our sincere thanks to Andy for writing it, and he’ll be around to answer any questions – or of course you can track him down on Twitter – @oshodisa

Don’t forget we’ve also got Man In a Barrel’s piece about county finances – that you can find here: https://beingoutsidecricket.com/2017/02/17/guest-post-a-look-at-county-finances/


 

A topic of discussion that comes around occasionally is that due to Sky’s lockout of coverage, there is nowhere near as many viewers of cricket as there was 10 years ago.

How true is this?  Has anyone seen any facts, figures or discussion?  I bow to any MSM who have covered this but I cannot recall coming across that many actual facts or discussion (queue the first reply being a list of 4 articles covering the same ground!).  We often hear that 8m people watched at one point of 2005 Ashes, but no one ever says how many people watched ‘Cooks Redemption’ (TM Nasser 2015) Ashes victory.

A Census Taker Once Tried To Test Me…

I’ve gathered this information from barb.co.uk, so cannot vouch for its accuracy, but they appear to be an industry body and say all the right things.  It’s been interesting seeing what info can be found on their website.  To generate their stats they have something like 5000 homes who provide a representative selection of the population.  These homes have automatic program trackers fitted to keep a log of what is watched.  They are then multiplied up to give a number of viewers and Bob’s your uncle.

The data publically available is not particularly user friendly for this type of research (There is a lot of data that I’ve had to plough through one weekly graph at a time).  I think that each individual result is an average for the duration of the program, rather than peak viewers at any given moment.  For example, the 4th(?) Ashes test in 2005 peaked at 8 million viewers but the program averaged 4 million viewers.  Please bear this in mind as I write below – I may play a little loose with terminology, but unless I explicitly state anything different, I mean the average number of viewers in any given broadcast as reported by BARB (so the 4 million, not the 8 million).  I’ve had to make a few educated guesses where info is not available or a particular programme is off the bottom of the week’s viewing figures.

 

Only the Facts Ma’am…

Since 2012 we have the following showing the maximum number of viewers any single day of a Test match play received.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Most viewers 497,000 647,000 429,000 805,000 427,000

 

So it’s a bit up and down, but arguably viewing figures are sitting at an even level with intermittent peaks, but what do they represent?  Well, 2015 and 2013 were Ashes years.  It appears that Australia have a large impact on how many people watch cricket on Sky.

Non-Ashes years appear ‘stable’ between 400,000 – 500,000, but our Australian friends give us a significant boost.

So a bit of judicious reviewing of Australia’s last four visits (including you know when) gives us;

 

Test vs Australia
2015 2013 2009 2005
Most viewers 647,000 805,000 1,109,000 4,630,000

So, the most viewed single day’s play attracted over 4.6 million viewers (average remember, not peak) in 2005, and this has declined to less than 650,000 viewers in 2015.  Sky have lost up to 4 million people who showed an interest in cricket back when it was free to air on Channel 4.

Where have all these fans gone?

And remember that these are the most watched days of play.  The average viewers for the series shows us;

 

2015 2013 2009 2005
Average viewers across series 360,444 470,434 668,190 2,760,000

 

Again, this is a significant decline from on average 2.7 million people watching a series to just over 360,000 people.

So, talking broadly, about half the peak viewers for any given broadcast stay on to watch more of a series than just one day.  This number will be swung by rain days / early finishes – but I would not have thought it would be that significant to massively affect the above.

Why are people not watching as much cricket?  Is it the time it takes (this is an assessment of Test matches remember), or is it the quality of the matches?  Obviously the opposition matters, but why has the number of viewers even for Australia decreased?

Are the ECB aware of these numbers?  Do they even care given that Sky are currently happy to fill their schedules with easy to produce programming and pay the ECB handsomely for it?  Do Sky care given that cricket costs peanuts compared to how much they pay for football?  I wonder how much Sky makes on subscriptions and advertising for their £65 million yearly investment with the ECB.

Let’s take a quick look at the top three viewed broadcasts for the last 4 Ashes.

2015 2013 2009 2005
Top three viewed broadcasts 647,000 805,000 1,109,000 4,630,000
476,000 701,000 1,033,000 4,030,000
471,000 668,000 951,000 3,370,000

 

This gives an idea of how sustainable the top viewing figures are.  As we can see, 2005 quickly loses over a million viewers, but equally it is just one day’s play that kept the peak of 2015 above the half million mark (no prizes if you guessed that was Broads 8-fer-peanuts at Trent Bridge (I think)).  Both have lost about a quarter of their viewers between the peak and the third place broadcasts.

I presume that this is a normal pattern as there will be peaks and troughs – especially over the course of a test summer, but the raw reach of cricket appears to be significantly diminishing.

 You can’t handle the Truth!

No matter how it is spun, Test cricket attracts fewer TV viewers year on year.  Is this because test cricket it boring (dominated by home series advantage), or because it does not have the visibility of (until recently) the IPL.  At least the IPL was available on ITV 4.  That may be another one to look at – viewers between IPL on ITV and Sky.

In fact;

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
IPL finals 116,000* 100,000* 536,000 398,000 469,000
77,000 59,000

 

The IPL changed from ITV to Sky from 2015… hmmm, there is a pattern here!

A note about the Sky numbers – The final match was not on the ten most watched list on BARB (Or I could not find it), so I put the highest match actually watched in that week.  Not perfect, but it’s something to go on.  The 2nd numbers in Sky’s stewardship are the 10th most watch programme in the week the final took place (on the channel they were showing the IPL on).  Suggesting that the IPL final got fewer viewers than 59,000 and 77,000 for 2015 and 2016 respectively.

If that is correct… Wow…   Wow…

For all the good that Sky have brought to cricket; the technology, the quality, the analysis (back when they did that well – but I remember first encountering Hughes as the Analyst on Channel 4, when he did actual analysis properly), etc, they seem to have form for slashing the viewing numbers a sport used to get on Free to Air, and for reducing its availability and visibility.

But, a quick look at the last World T20: when England got Brathwaited in the final.  This tournament was in India so time zones come into play for a start, but Sky got over a million viewers for the final.  In fact England’s lowest number of viewers was 323,000 against Afghanistan on a Wednesday, which is basically as much as the peak number of viewers Sri Lanka got in the May tests which followed soon after.

So maybe there is hope there, that there are people who are interested.

If you build it, they will come…

Maybe we have seen in all the above that the broadcasters/ECB should be using T20 and ODIs as a gateway into Test cricket, not as an alternative.  Not everyone will make the transition, especially when Test cricket is sometimes dry, boring and predictable.

Thinking about that – any guesses for how many people watch the Blast Final (or whatever it was called before that).  I might have come across these at the same time as looking for the above.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Blast 262,000 229,000 384,000 245,000 433,000
Leic 0 v Ars 0 Tot 0 v Eve 0 Eve 2 v Ars 2 SWA 1 v ManU 4 not on tv
BT sports Sky Sky Sky
608,000 691,000 946,000 1,833,000

 

At least the Blast appears to get more viewers than the IPL!

The Blast final is on a Saturday afternoon/evening so I’ve found the equivalent Premier League game on TV at approximately the same time.

As you can see there is a big decrease from the Premier league viewers to those watching the Blast final, but maybe not as much as I might have expected.  I would have thought more games on a Saturday evening would have got over 1 million viewers, but evidently not.

The football is just a diversion from the above table though.  In reality the Blast figures should be compared with other cricket.  Now making a comparison against Test matches is like comparing apples and oranges, but at least they are still fruit.

As we can see from the above information in 2016 more than twice as many watched Tests as they did  the Blast. That must be a scary stat for the ECB, and it’s no wonder they want to re-tool the Blast into a different competition.

Houston, We Have A Problem…

On a personal note (and one that may be echoed by those who read this), I have seen club cricket slowly wither as people participate less and less.  There are a number of reasons for this (my own personal reason is that I have a toddler now who takes up a lot of my time so I cannot justify spending 15 Saturdays over summer out and about like I used to).

But the number of teams that struggle to get a side out, or fold half way through the season seems to be increasing (purely anecdotal, but it does feel that way).

My village pushed forward on the back of 2005.  That was a watershed ‘rebirth’ of the aging side.  We (the royal we, I wasn’t around then!) had a massive influx of juniors who saw the Ashes and wanted some of it.  They are still playing now and are vital young 20 somethings.  We don’t see that now though.  Most of the Sunday juniors are there because it’s free child-minding for the parents (again anecdotal, but from a senior member of the club who does the training).  Often the kids don’t seem that interested.

Why are fewer people playing cricket?  Why are fewer people watching cricket?  Does it take too much time, do people not like the characters associated with the game (either watching it, playing it or dare I say reporting it)?  Are there no heroes to worship (Mine was Atherton growing up…. No, I don’t know why….).  Nowadays people want to bat like Pietersen, Gayle, Kohli, Butler etc.  This is great – but these talents need to be put on display so that more people see them and want to emulate them.

I’m serious… and don’t call me Shirley

What’s the solution for getting cricket back into the public consciousness?  I’m sure greater people than me are actively working on the problem (or at least I hope to God they are).  I know it’s been discussed on and off here on BOC.

I’m not sure getting Test cricket on FTA TV would work.  Not in the short term at least, however there must be a way to get the Blast or some international ODIs/T20s on there.

I don’t watch Premiership rugby, but usually enjoy sitting down to the World Cup or Six Nations.  I’m probably the definition of a fair weather fan where rugby is concerned.

I would watch rugby because it is available.  If it had been available for me to play when I was younger/fitter I might have gone in that direction.  I don’t hunt down rugby on Sky/BT now.  I don’t have the time nor the inclination, but I do watch rugby free to air; I know about the sport and in the future I might start going to matches & watching more.

Where is the draw for the fans in cricket?

It may not be the answer, but it surely must be the starting point.  Everyone agrees that there are more ‘distractions’ available for kids growing up.  They may not sit down in front of TV and be glued for a day (like I was way back when).  But they are certainly not going to sit down in front of Sky and watch it.

It’s all well and good catering to the hardcore fans (is that us?), who go to games, despite the cost, who pay for Sky, despite the cost.  Just to actually see some action.  But where is the next generation going to come from?  Launching a Twitter channel is not engaging new fans.  They won’t go looking for it without hearing/seeing some cricket.

This is a Twitter exchange I happened to see from dear old Bumble.  Don’t know what started it, or the exact details, but it highlights the mindset.  If you put it there, people will come, which isn’t true, you need to make people come.  The only people who check Sky/ECB Twitter are people who are already fans.  This is not enough;

tweet

 

The ECB need to decide what they want from their cricket.  Do they want Sky’s (or BT Sport’s which is another topic) pounds, or do they want to get more people watching it (live and on TV), more people talking about it and ultimately more people playing it.

You be the jury…

This has been a WWAAAYYYYY longer article than I ever intended, so well done if you have stayed with me to the end.  Please tell me what you think?  I could have gone into early summer versus prime summer, what happened on those ‘most watched’ days, what day of the week got the most viewers, ODIs & T20Is, World Cups (more than I did) and who knows what else.   It’s probably a good job I stopped here!

And my topic headers will be no challenge to anyone who has done the Crossword!

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103 thoughts on “Viewing Figures – A Ramble Through Facts

  1. pktroll (@pktroll) February 18, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    Hi, interesting stuff. This debate is going around the web it seems as a message board that I help run is having this. I’m afraid there exits a camp that think it all goes to school participation and that their ‘free market’ principle see the Sky money as all good. The problem is that as a guy who also runs a midweek cricket team, I see short form cricket as the ideal way to get youngsters into the game. There is always likely to be game time for them and that they will make a contribution to the game and not be stuck in the field for 20 overs.

    A bit more visibility for the game, be it on tv at a reasonable time surely can’t hurt the sport, but the problem is whether or not domestic television providers will be prepared to spend an acceptable amount of money on it. For all of football’s ills at least the English national team is on FTA and that BBC show the FA Cup on BBC.

    Like

  2. alecpaton February 18, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    All right, here’s a confession.

    Cricket on Sky works for me at the moment. I make good use of the options with the channels and love stuff like Last Week Tonight, Game of Thrones etc.

    If cricket goes to BT in the medium term then I will be sad but odds are I wouldn’t follow unless the Formula 1 was to join it. Because I love cricket, I make time for it and when it’s on in my hours of consciousness I will make time specifically to watch it.

    With F1 however I will throw my life into total chaos just to catch it (it’s genetic, my dad and brother are the same and my mum and sister are pretty big fans as well). If test cricket is on BT and the racing’s on Sky, then I’m sorry Rooty but your boys are gonna have to make do without me, good luck and so forth.

    Ideally, both sports would be on Auntie or on a terrestrial commercial channel but that’s not gonna happen any time soon.

    Like

  3. SimonH February 18, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    An interesting stat if anyone’s missed it –

    Andy, do you have the BARB figure for the 2013 CT Final? The Pringles and Selveys trumpeted at that time that it was in the top ten of all-time viewing figures for a sporting event – I always wondered what proportion of those viewers were in England? With the next CT looming, I expect it’s a claim we’ll be hearing again.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I also wonder if comparing average viewing figures for T20 and Tests is particularly meaningful as one involves twice the time investment?

    Like

    • Andy February 18, 2017 / 7:06 pm

      The 2013 CT final got 681000 viewers as far as I can tell. It was England v India of course and in Birmingham.

      Not terrible, but not ground breaking either.

      Re tests v t20.

      I was not specifically comparing the viewing figs,and you are definitely right that there is a much different requirement for the viewer. A day vs 3 hours or so.

      Its just where the numbers and my own monologue led to.

      There is value in seeing those numbers though. Of the blast figures are right, then it really does help explain the ecb continually meddling with the format & timing!

      Like

    • Josh February 19, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Worldwide – more people watched the 2013 ct final than the 2014 FIFA wc final.

      Like

      • thelegglance February 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

        You have to be very, very careful about supposed global viewing figures for just about anything. There’s a tendency to just add up the number of people who could have watched it, not those who did which is a virtually impossible task. That’s why so many of the numbers are preposterous.

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez February 20, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      It would be interesting to put the broadcast figures of various sports (excluding sports like horse racing and other animal-centered sports, and things like Formula 1, which are slightly out of financial reach for 99.999% of the population), and participation figures next to each other.

      I suspect there is a reasonably strong correlation between coverage and participation numbers. I also suspect there is a reasonable correlation between success and coverage, and between success and participation numbers.

      Like

  4. jomesy February 18, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    From my perspective Sky isn’t really the issue – i.e. you can’t blame them for playing Clarke as they did because they’re responsible to their shareholders.

    The crime in my view was that cricket was bundled into Sky bloody sports which, until recently, I paid most of my money to watch cricket but pay for football.

    The ECB should never have sold all the cricket rights to anyone. That was a terrible mistake. The fact that the ECB then sold all of the cricket rights to Sky on the basis those cricket fans would then underwrite football was the terminal problem.

    I WOULD happily pay £10 a month for SkyCricket if it were available.

    What Clarke did will be his legacy – and whilst that will (continue to) hurt English cricket in the short term, I hope we will be the better for it in the long term.

    Finally, for what it’s worth, today was a bit sunny where I live and as we set off to the park, my middle daughter (aged 5) asked if we could bring the cricket kit. We did, and we had a lovely time! Never underestimate the influence of parents….

    Like

  5. Mark February 18, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    Audience figures are pretty irrelevent in the short term. All that matters is whether Sky are happy to pay the dosh to the ECB, despite the fact that there aren’t many watching. There are various reason it may be in Skys interest to bid for cricket.

    1 A portion of football fans like cricket, so it is giving those footie fans a summer extra, and a winter tour. Fans are paying all that money for the premiership, so why not throw in some cricket as well. Helps to keep them loyal when some football goes off to BT.

    2 It fills lots of air time. Sky has many sports channels to find something to broadcast. A days test match cricket is 7 hours including lunch and tea. Add on the extra bits before and after, and the Verdict and you have getting on for 10 hours of coverage each test match day. Neverer mind repeats.

    3 Cricket could be seen as a loss leader to entice a more affluent middle class audience. Typical Telegraph reader who likes cricket but not football. He might not consider a dish on his house, but cricket might just lure him in.

    4 Then there is the opportunity to sell broadband and telephone services to those who have signed up.

    All of this is really down to what Sky feel they are getting out of it. As for cricket itself, the money is needed desperately and so screw the growing of the game & keeping the sport visible. This is dangerous for the long term good as cricket is played less and less in schools. Managing decline, & cashing in are all charges that can be made against the ECB. But they need the money, and so they sold the farm. Somebody has to pay for all those big salaries at the ECB, and Sky were happy to oblige.

    Will it always be like this? Who knows? There may come a time when Sky don’t see any advantages to paying for cricket. Then the ECB could be in big trouble. BT may bid, but they are not doing great themselves. Hardly anyone is watching their Champions league games. We may be close to reaching peak levels of pay to watch TV sport.

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty February 18, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      The ECB are sat on 73 fucking million..and counting! Sorry about language have had a pint! :-/

      Like

    • Andy February 19, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Mark those are all really good points.

      I tried to touch on some of that stuff, but the post was getting massive. Really useful for you to lay it out.

      Compared to putting the premiership on cricket must cost peanuts. Combined with the advertising (presumably a lesser premium than the football – but it won’t be loose change), sky won’t be showing cricket out of their generous nature.

      I imagine that somewhere at sky towers there is a calculation showing that if viewers drop below X, then it’s time to get out.

      But with Marks points above – I doubt we are anywhere near yet.

      Like

    • AB February 22, 2017 / 11:16 am

      I think sky are quite happily to slowly screw every penny out of cricket, and then when there is no-one left under the age of 80 who cares about it, dump it. The amount they pay is actually pretty pitiful compared to cricket’s value if it was marketed properly.

      The thing with sky is, they have to maintain a reasonable monopoly on at least the top 10 sports, otherwise another channel would have a real opportunity to make a go of a non-football sports channel for those on a more moderate budget. Its the same reason we have 4 cereal manufacturers but 200 types of cereal – the big manufacturers try to sew up potential niches before anyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Zephirine February 18, 2017 / 11:08 pm

    This is all really interesting stuff, thanks for doing the research.

    There are lots of aspects to this debate, not least the big changes in viewing habits in recent years. Just putting some cricket on FTA might not solve anything, because nobody knows about cricket any more, and fewer and fewer people watch terrestrial TV as a matter of habit and might bump into it.

    The combination of some heavily publicised ‘crown jewels’ events on FTA and some big break-through personalities in the England team might make a difference. Flintoff’s self-promotion could grate at times, but he became a genuine star. Unfortunately, after that the ECB decided it would choose who was going to be the star.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andy February 19, 2017 / 9:19 am

      You are right.

      There is no one thing that will give the sport a boost.

      Tennis, golf, rugby, football, athletics, all have more FTA TV than cricket because there are crown jewels as you say.

      At least there is something that will help raise the profile of those sports.

      Kids have access to so many more & varied sports (not even counting non sport opportunities) now. Certainly when compared to when I was growing up.

      Like

    • AB February 20, 2017 / 9:31 am

      “fewer and fewer people watch terrestrial TV as a matter of habit and might bump into it.”

      I don’t think this is true. The two sofas and a big tv set-up is still prevalent in the vast, vast majority of living rooms. Almost everyone, upon settling into their sofa in the evening, instinctively stick on the telly box and flick through the first 20 channels even if they’re simultaneously browsing the internet on their laptop. If the cricket was on, they might be curious enough to stop on that channel for 20 minutes. If it was entertaining, they might leave it on.

      People do, occasionally, turn off the tv and watch stuff on their laptops – but it has to be stuff you actively search for and are already keen on, because the faff is not worth it.

      I had free bt sport streaming on my laptop for a year – I almost never watched it, the picture was crap, it kept freezing, and hooking it up to the telly was more faff than it was worth. I got rid of it.

      Anyone who thinks streaming is the way to attract more casual fans needs their heads examining.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lionel joseph February 18, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    This year, every single women’s Big Bash match which wasn’t shown on 10, was streamed online, for free, with no geo-location blocking. It was hosted on the Cricket Australia website. The cost of producing and streaming bare-bones live coverage is now of the same order of magnitude as a professional radio broadcast.

    The fuckwittery of the ECB is only too clear to see, when Chris Gayle can play in the Blast at Somerset and produce the sort of special innings that sell tournaments like the IPL and the BBL, but it’s not televised because the scheduling of the competition is awful and Sky can realistically only show one match.

    The solution, of course, is for the ECB to stream live all Blast matches which aren’t being televised by Sky, for free. It is a fabulous way to increase interest in the competition, attendance at grounds, and interest in the game. Furthermore it ultimately makes Sky’s offering more attractive.

    That it hasn’t happened is testament to both the ECB’s cretinous decision making, and the greed and ultimately, self-defeating protectionism of Sky.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Zephirine February 19, 2017 / 3:51 am

      Absolutely right. Live streaming is the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Andy February 19, 2017 / 9:21 am

      I first started watching the IPL when the matches were on YouTube. Free, no adverts, decent commentary.

      I haven’t watched an IPL match in the last 2 years though. Despite having sky.

      Like

  8. Sean B February 19, 2017 / 3:08 am

    Brilliant post, I’ve tried to look at viewing figures before, but not managed to make much sense before.

    Like

  9. Adam H February 19, 2017 / 8:15 am

    While this research is indeed very interesting, I’d rather not use Ashes 2005 — arguably the most hyped up and the greatest test series of all time — as a yardstick. What I’d be interested to see is what were the test match viewing figures in “normal” years on FTA TV. So, how many tuned in to watch test matches on Channel 4 in 2004, 2003, 2002 etc.

    I don’t know if those figures are available now, but for me they would be a better yardstick. I’m sure the figures even in those years would be higher than now, but perhaps not as drastically so compared to 2005.

    Like

    • Andy February 19, 2017 / 9:26 am

      I’ll be honest, I had no intention of going back to 2005 at all!

      It was purely that I saw how much of an impact australia had over their last couple of tours, which lead me back to 2009. Then I thought we’ll let’s look at 05 as well. That then gave me an opening with the 8 mil peak.

      If I get chance I’ll see what sort of data is there pre 05.

      05 is still a valid data point though. While even the most one eyed naysayers would never expect to keep 4 million viewers for every test match – i think that most agree that the Ecb have not done enough /anything to capitalise on that exposure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Andy February 19, 2017 / 1:40 pm

      I think 2001 was the last aus visit prior to 05.

      The last day of the 4th test (the only one England won), got 1.84 million viewers.

      It was a Monday I think.

      That’s all at the moment! Baby duties!

      Like

  10. SimonH February 19, 2017 / 10:07 am

    12th consecutive ODI win for SA off the penultimate ball in NZ (from needing 22 off the last two overs with 4 wickets left).

    Two sixes from Phehlukwayo (one each off Boult and Southee) were crucial. He’s someone to look out for.

    England fly out to the West Indies on Wednesday. With Willey out injured, Scyld Berry makes the point that England’s attack is in danger of becoming very samey. The rehabilitation of either Rashid or Finn (or preferably both) is the biggest thing that could come out of this tour.

    Like

  11. Mark February 19, 2017 / 10:49 am

    “Seven percent of sport broadcast on TV last year was FTA, delivering two-thirds of the total viewing.”

    That is an amazing stat if true. Shows that sport is still popular on TV, but people are not going to pay big money to watch it. I hear the IOC are thinking of putting the Olympics behind a pay wall. They must be insane. There will be nobody watching it.

    If you pay for both Sky sports and BT you are looking at £50-£60 per month. Which is £600-£800 a year. For many people that is a luxury item. But if Sky can make big profits charging those numbers but with a minority audience then they will be happy. The governing bodies are happy because the money is flowing in.

    Like

    • Nicholas February 19, 2017 / 6:21 pm

      Re. The olympics, the IOC has sold the full rights to the games to Discovery, who now own the Eurosport channels, but with the obligation for 200 hours to be sub-licensed to a FTA channel. In the U.K., Discovery has done a deal with the BBC, whereby they can show whatever they want as part of their full coverage on BBC One, and one extra stream, but anything else will be on Eurosport – the 24 channels that the BBC utilised for London 2012 are a thing of the past. (There are further complexities to this, but that’s the simplified version)

      Like

  12. Danny February 19, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Whilst I agree with lots of this article, the BARB figures could be slightly misleading. It’s not clear that BARB’s viewing figures include streaming via Sky Go/NOW TV, which you would expect to have grown from 2009 to 2015. Therefore, the decline from 2009 to today is possibly slightly less steep than it first appears. I’d doubt it changes much though, I’d be amazed if even 100,000 people (less than a quarter of the decline from 2009) were watching Ashes games by streaming in 2015.

    Like

      • Danny February 19, 2017 / 12:39 pm

        Fair enough. In that case, English cricket is more screwed than I previously thought. The decline from 2009-2015 in Ashes viewers (using the most viewed day figures) equates to 8.7% every year, meaning that I’d expect the highest average day’s figures to be somewhere around 420,000 in 2019. Or to put it another way, less than 10% of the number watching in 2005.

        Like

        • thelegglance February 19, 2017 / 12:45 pm

          I guess what we don’t know is how much illegal streaming happens. But for Test matches I’m not so sure it’ll be that big. Peering at a grainy stuttering, freezing pic for 90 minutes is one thing, but over 7 hours? Instinctively I’d suspect it’s quite limited.

          Like

  13. northernlight71 February 19, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    On a slight tangent, although still on the subject of “how many people are interested anymore?” I came across this tragic statement today….

    Watched Moonlight yesterday and think it more deserving of best picture Oscar than La La Land.— mike selvey (@selvecricket) February 19, 2017

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    Still working on how to access WordPress, I’m guessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark February 19, 2017 / 2:07 pm

      Well he would know all about La La land. It’s what his cricket coverage has been for the last 5 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • "IronBalls" McGinty February 19, 2017 / 3:38 pm

        Get in!! 🙂

        Like

  14. Glenn February 19, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Cricket is a bit strange in that all the English home cricket is on Sky as Sky pay a premium for the monopoly. Other sports have bit on free to air: for example things like the football and Rugby World cups, England football internationals, rugby Six Nations are free to air. But ALL the England cricket is on pay per view.

    A range of cricket such as a few home ODIs or a test matches should be free to air. Maybe the home Ashes should be live on free to air tv. But this would not work as Sky would not pay all the money if some was on free to air.

    What will happen is if ECB’s awful franchise T20 ever gets under way a few matches will be live on free to air tv.

    It was an interesting year for free to air cricket in 2016 with the Caribbean Premier League on Dave, Bangladesh England highlights on ITV4, Big Bash on C5 and the BT free sports channel on Freeview, and even a few live ODIs between Sri Lanka and Australia on Quest.

    Like

  15. d'Arthez February 19, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    It would be interesting to get an age breakdown for the Sky figures as well. I suspect that the viewing audiences are on average a bit older than they were during the FTA-era. This is a concern, because a 60-year old watching is not a potential future England player. And another concern: where would the next generation of viewers be coming from?

    2020 is a long shot away. 3 more anonymous summers, with just one Ashes (as it should be). If the trends continue, that means 15 years of steady decline before a slight improvement may set in (don’t expect a massive improvement, the Sky Blast figures are quite dismal, and pale in comparison to the Indian IPL figures, even allowing for the disparity in population). Probably a case of too little, too late.

    It will also be 15 years that most kids won’t have seen any cricket on television. And if the powers-that-be think that some clips on Twitter / Facebook will compensate for that, they’re simply deluded.

    Lack of FTA not much of a problem if you’re the son or a daughter of a cricket nut / professional player, but it might be a bit of a problem if you’re not. And how many of those are there in England and Wales anyway?

    A simple question: out of the current England team players, who are the ones who did not benefit from FTA coverage to get their interest in the game up? Other than Broad, I can’t think of too many to be honest. This deliberate dwindling of the talent pool seems a bit self-defeating to be honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Nicholas February 19, 2017 / 6:31 pm

    I’ve said this before on here and on TFT, so apologies for banging the drum again. But, go back to the channel 4 years, and it wasn’t just the fact that you had test cricket FTA, it was the energy that was out behind the promotion, with real thought. We had a season of Caribbean documentaries to coincide with the West Indies visit in 2000, the Indian Summer season in 2002. And the events that were held within parks across the country, with the cricket being shown on the big screen, followed by DJ sets or film screenings in the evening, with beach cricket and other sideshows.

    There is an argument that 2005 is an outlier, and that C4’s average coverage was getting little more than 1m viewers on average (that’s an extremely rough estimate, but it’s about right) – and, thus, it’s not as much as a fall as the headline figures suggest, when compared with Sky.

    But that totally ignores the change in visibility and the complete lack of energy in promotion. The ECB just want middle class, white viewers who shop at Waitrose and don’t want to energise the Asian population (a distinct policy of the ECB in the late-90s) nor working-class children. Even if the ECB were forced to take the Sky money in 2004 (and I don’t believe that they were), they could have either forced Sky, or put on themselves, the park events that Channel 4 put on (off their own back). Let’s face it, the Strauss side of 2009 were winning from 2009-11, and winning well. There were big characters – Swann, Pietersen, Strauss, Jimmy, Prior – that people could have identified with, and there’s nothing like a winning side to get people interested. But the ECB didn’t care, and they’ve paid the price, as there’s now utter indifference to English cricket.

    Liked by 3 people

    • nonoxcol February 20, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, but Channel 4 kept cutting to the horse-racing.

      (Sky apologists, passim ad nauseam)

      How was it this never mattered a jot to me? How come my memories of 2000-05 (let’s forget about 1999, shall we) aren’t completely ruined by the 3:20 from Haydock, but all these other people’s are, to the extent that they’re perfectly happy to have paid through the nose and pulled the ladder up? And by the way, where *are* these indelible shared commentary moments from 11 years of Sky that have become the equivalent of “confectionery stall” or countless instances from 2005? “Redemption for Cook”? “The Lord’s voodoo [sic] is over”? Not really cutting the mustard, are they?

      I remember going for a shower early on day three at Edgbaston 2005, and missing the three wickets that left us 31-4. Could just as easily have been a horse race. Yet I didn’t stamp my foot and demand that I should have the choice to pay £50 per month just to see *everything*. I might even have – shock horror – been doing *other things* during Test matches. Yes, even in 2005 I popped to the gym during that horrible third morning at Lord’s, was on a stag weekend for the Oval Saturday, held down a responsible job on weekdays (e.g. day five at Old Trafford). Somehow the world kept turning and I didn’t feel like I was missing out. Nipping to the pub and seeing, for example, the late wickets on day two of the Trent Bridge Test somehow compensated. Perhaps I should apologise for my lack of a sense of entitlement.

      I genuinely find it hilarious that most of the Sky ultras I see on Twitter are cricket journalists and commentators. Some of them, to be fair, still loathe Giles Clarke. Some, err, don’t. Even certain denizens of Guardian BTL, who would like you to think they’re really just like the rest of us, have a gig and will always side with the ECB on this one.

      It really is “utter indifference”. I barely recognise my own attitude. After 35 years (and I did abandon principle to keep Sky until as recently as March 2014), I just don’t give a toss any more.

      Liked by 3 people

      • "IronBalls" McGinty February 20, 2017 / 10:58 am

        I liked the C4 coverage, thought it was great, how we miss it now eh? I didn’t care about the cuts to racing, because, it was there, you could always pick up on it later on. Great commentary too. Love him or loathe him, Mark Nicholas was a very good anchor, and could read a pitch better than Cook ever could!

        Like

      • d'Arthez February 20, 2017 / 12:11 pm

        The other thing is of course with cuts to other sports, that you know, they give you TIME to do something productive with your day. Whether that is work, take a shower, cook a meal, etc, get the kids to / from school (whatever is applicable).

        Can most people really afford to watch Test cricket on three working days from the first ball being bowled till stumps? No, of course not. The only advantage with full coverage is that they can decide which sessions to watch and which times to do something productive. They may still miss out on utterly absorbing passages of play – it is anyone’s guess when those will happen.

        The demographics who can follow an entire day of play on Sky on weekdays are retired people, the very young (and then those are dependent on school holidays) or people to whom cricket is merely a side-show, whenever they get corporate boxes.

        Another side-effect of the paywall is that access to coverage is more dependent on the individual, and this in turn affects the social value of “cricket” in social settings.

        Like

      • AB February 20, 2017 / 12:28 pm

        Even I, a cricket mad teenager, didn’t literally sit in and watch every ball of a test match. I don’t think anyone does.

        You’d sit and watch bits when you could, especially when something exciting was happening, but otherwise you’d be doing something else with the tv/radio on in the background. Reading/working/messing around with a bat.

        Even with rugby, which I watch pretty obsessively, I tend to go and fetch a beer/ make a cup of coffee whenever there is a kick at the posts.

        Like

      • Nicholas February 20, 2017 / 5:43 pm

        Another vote in favour of C4 coverage here. I thought it was absolutely amazing, as a child growing up through it, and its loss cannot be overstated. Of course, More4 launched on freeview in October 2005, so should C4 have kept the cricket rights, they’d have popped the cricket on More4 when C4 went to the racing.

        One thing that was pretty indefensible was them disappearing at the end of a day’s play in 2003, as play was continuing. Anderson’s first test wicket wasn’t broadcast live because of this. And at those points, the cricket wasn’t being broadcast anywhere live in the U.K., which obviously wasn’t ideal. But they sorted this out for 2004 and 2005, what with the earlier start time and an ICC law that cut off play at 30 minutes after the scheduled close.

        Like

  17. jomesy February 19, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    @ LGL. What’s with the Ashford ad at the end? Wasn’t in original post.

    Like

    • thelegglance February 19, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      You only see ads if you aren’t logged in. It’s a WordPress thing, nothing to do with us. The type will depend on your own browsing habits!

      Like

      • jomesy February 20, 2017 / 4:14 pm

        Ah got it! Thanks

        Like

  18. d'Arthez February 20, 2017 / 6:46 am

    Stokes and Mills hit it big in the IPL, Morgan and Woakes are set to make $300k and $675k (before ECB deductions).

    What is pleasant to see is that Rashid Khan, the Afghan leggie has also attracted an offer of $600k (Sunrisers Hyderabad).

    Like

    • SimonH February 20, 2017 / 9:04 am

      Not ten comments on the Guardian thread and Pietersen has already been called an egotist, twat and dickhead.

      Haters never sleep.

      Like

      • northernlight71 February 20, 2017 / 9:57 am

        It’s ok, I’ve distracted them into having a go at me instead now 🙂

        Like

      • Sri Grins February 20, 2017 / 1:21 pm

        KP carries the cross for having been right. If ECB had understood the impact of the IPL earlier, the new bold english approach to LOIs may have happened sooner.

        Like

      • Riverman21 February 20, 2017 / 6:36 pm

        Amazing. Mike Gatting toured Apartheid South Africa for money and he’s everyones favourite uncle. Good old Mike – sandwiches biscuits cake etc.

        Someone who shall remain nameless stands up for English cricketers to have the right to earn a decent payday in the IPL and…

        I expect Stokes and Mills are saying a thank you today for their pay day. And good luck to them. Hope they remember who stood up for their chance to do so.

        Liked by 2 people

      • d'Arthez February 20, 2017 / 7:50 pm

        Yes, and the galling thing is that the ECB will collect close to 800 000 GBP for this epiphany.

        Any chance that they will use some of that to pay back that guy who had broken an IPL contract on the basis of a promise, which was effectively nothing more than a deliberate / incompetent lie (it is your pick whether you want to attribute it to malice or incompetence), that was uttered by a certain ECB chairman?

        Think not.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Andy February 20, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Fair play to stokes, he is one of those players who can change a game. Will he is another question.

      He does seem to have calmed down a bit from his locker punching days and I hope the experience helps move him forward as a player.

      As for Mills. That one makes me feel good (although I don’t know much about him as a player).

      He had his cricket dreams massively dented with his back problems – but to get this opportunity is amazing. Hope he continues to improve as well.

      I belive hales is currently unsold. Is that because of the broken hand or because his form is so off (don’t know what recovery period is for that type of injury)

      Like

      • SimonH February 20, 2017 / 12:38 pm

        He’s expected to be fit I believe. I suspect the main issue is that there isn’t any shortage of attacking batsmen in India – but they are more short of all-rounders, hence the demand for Stokes.

        The Lions have won their first ‘Test’ against SL A as well. Westley, Roland-Jones and the Currans have all advanced their causes.

        Like

      • RufusSG February 20, 2017 / 1:01 pm

        It’s worth noting that the owner of the Rising Pune Supergiants, the team that signed Stokes, is by all accounts an egotistical maniac who is responsible for the absurd franchise name in that he made it match his initials: Ram Prasad Sanjiv Goenka.

        Stephen Fleming, the team’s coach, certainly looked miffed that their representatives decided to blow around three quarters of their budget on Stokes without addressing their glaring lack of high quality specialist fast bowlers, one of the prime reasons for their struggles last year.

        I wish Stokes the best of luck and expect he’ll perform well, but I think the owners – not for the first time in RPS’ short history – got completely carried away by spending so much on him without thinking of the team’s bigger picture.

        Like

  19. man in a barrel February 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    My other half frequently comments on how Spurs and Arsenal players go into schools to enthuse the young. Cricket has assets such as YJB, Stokes, Chef… Do they go in and arrange games of Kwik cricket or chalk some stumps on the wall cricket such as we oldies used to play?

    Like

    • nonoxcol February 21, 2017 / 8:35 am

      As an indication of how long ago this is, RogerApex is arguing against Selvey and for Pietersen….

      Like

      • nonoxcol February 21, 2017 / 9:10 am

        Yes, he definitely looked “considerably more prominent on the field” that day in Melbourne. Had it not been for Headingley 2014, that would be the worst captaincy of the last ten years.

        F***ing ridiculous.

        Like

      • nonoxcol February 21, 2017 / 9:24 am

        I mean, all the bilious inadequates mock the bloke and are accused of being unfair.

        And yet… he *literally* came out, within a couple of days of that complete and utter shitshow, and said that Cook and Flower should stay and there are no “sinecures” for anyone else.

        Like

      • SimonH February 21, 2017 / 12:08 pm

        “Cook has long since held a reputation of being a strong voice within the dressing room”.

        Although Anderson has recently said that Cook was a useless speaker in the dressing room until near the end of his captaincy…..

        Liked by 1 person

    • SteveT February 21, 2017 / 1:42 pm

      ‘The new managing director of England cricket, Paul Downton, an inspired appointment following the retirement of Hugh Morris,’

      No sniggering at the back

      Liked by 2 people

    • pktroll (@pktroll) February 21, 2017 / 9:01 am

      Wigmore is a relatively free spirit though in any case.

      Cook had the capacity to change the bowling more astutely than he ever did, to change field placings, particularly when bowling to lower order players be they the Australian or Sri Lankan batsmen in 2013/14. He showed naff all and seemed cowed when stroppy Jim wasn’t making the batsmen play with the new ball. I don’t believe it is as unimportant as Wigmore makes out though he is correct up to a point that with all these analysts and coaches it is possible to set up a decent amount of the tactics. That fact that Cook had little tactical intelligence or bravery to make a job his own and get the most out of his bowlers is part of the reason why he wasn’t exactly Mr Popular with many of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel February 21, 2017 / 2:44 pm

        You have to be able to react to what happens on the field of play. You can start with a plan but you have to be able to know when to keep a bowler on, when to rest him, stop the batsmen getting too cosy, know when the plan isn’t working. A lot can happen in 2 hours before you can talk to the coach again. All the things that Cook so often got wrong

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH February 21, 2017 / 2:52 pm

        Agree with MIAB, this is the part Wigmore misses. Cricket players are on the field for a long time and unless we are going to have tactical time-outs or Bob Woolmer style earpieces will continue to be so.

        The classic example for me was the last day E v SL at Lord’s 2014. In the middle session, the field placings were entirely orthodox and defensive because at lunch SL still had a faint chance of winning and that was the plan they came up with. Once it became clear SL weren’t going for the runs, Cook kept a deep-cover and had no extra slips nor a gully. Warne (rightly this time) was doing his nut. After tea, once the coach (and Jimmy?) had told Cook what to do, the field went all attacking and funky and SL collapsed…. but it was too late. It’s one of the nuances of the game that one doesn’t pick up on highlights.

        England didn’t win that game because of six inches of carry….. Of course they did.

        Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) February 21, 2017 / 3:18 pm

        I agree with both of you. Simon, I remember a brilliant post you did post one match in the India test series that listed a whole litany of things that you could reasonably lay at Cook’s door with respect to his lack of field changes/ use of bowlers etc. The Sri Lankan series was probably exhibit ‘A’ in terms of Cook not doing what you mention but he actually wasn’t that much better at Nottingham in 2013 when Australia nearly got over the line, not least to some of his field setting re the lower order in the first innings when Agar went nuts.

        Like

      • man in a barrel February 21, 2017 / 8:35 pm

        And whose plan was it in one of the India Tests to open up with the steadiest but least threatening bowler before turning to Stokes or Rashid? For England, the coaches seem to get the tactical approach wrong more often than not. But it’s OK, Peter Miller knows that captaincy doesn’t matter. One day I might tweet and ask how it feels to have shit for brains

        Like

    • man in a barrel February 21, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      I just wish a mastermind such as Miller could explain why it was a good idea to pick an extra seamer because they had too few seamers in the previous match. And then not give the extra seamer any overs.

      Someone please explain it. For Miller it is obvious. For mere Earthlings, an explanation would be good…. And neither Cook nor the managing staff were asked to explain by Anyone.

      Back in the day, Swanton and Wellings would have been laying into Gubby and Co back at Lords. And they would have made it clear in their newspaper reports that England were badly led and managed. That sort of honesty has vanished apart from a few blogs

      Like

  20. SimonH February 22, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Looking forward to their countdown to the start of the SA Test series. What? There isn’t one?…..

    Like

  21. "IronBalls" McGinty February 22, 2017 / 9:16 am

    Shall we wait with baited breath for Newman’s next invective opus about players’ choosing filthy lucre rather than playing for the glory of Queen and country against the mighty Ireland?
    Or is all his bile just reserved for Morgan? Hmmm!

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/story/1083673.html

    Like

  22. SimonH February 23, 2017 / 9:00 am

    India/Australia series under way….

    Pitch controversies and stomach upsets already!

    Like

    • SimonH February 23, 2017 / 10:17 am

      Nice to see Umesh Yadav at last translating threatening bowling into wicket-taking. Superb catch too by Saha who’s definitely a much better cricketer than he looked against England.

      I hope Umpire Llong is going to give every LBW appeal when the ball was grazing the coat of varnish on leg-stump after the two against Wade and Lyon.

      Like

      • whiterose76 February 23, 2017 / 11:12 am

        Watching this morning, SimonH, I’ve got a theory, probably based on no evidence whatsoever, that umpires are tending to give the 50-50s against the team with reviews left, knowing they have a chance to challenge. So – new tactic – use your reviews early and I reckon you can then get the close decisions in your favour. Or I’ve got too much time on my hands…

        Like

      • Andy February 23, 2017 / 11:33 am

        That sounds familiar (the reviews thing).

        I think it must have been someone on eith er Sky or TMS saying something similar ages ago, about how umpires are bolder knowing that a team has a review so if it is wrong the batsman can save himself.

        But there is no accounting for bad advice from the guy down teh other end!

        I’ve not seen any news about the match other than the score at stumps (I note that India managed 94 overs in the day…).

        Whats the deal with pitch controversies?

        Like

      • SimonH February 23, 2017 / 1:06 pm

        The pitch had bits coming out of it on the first morning and apparently Ravi Shastri said on commentary that it was a Day 8 pitch.

        It didn’t actually play quite as bad it looked because the bounce was fairly even. And of course we’ll need to see India bat on it……

        Like

      • man in a barrel February 23, 2017 / 3:07 pm

        It depends where the chunks are coming out. It needs to be on a very full length for Ashwin or Lyon to get any purchase. A little shorter for Jadeja. A bit shorter still and a medium pace hit-the-deck seamer could be in business.

        Like

      • d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 4:03 am

        Day 1, opening the bowling with a spinner, who bowled through the session unchanged (only changing ends at one point, so even if the records show that he had a break, that was a 2-over break to change ends).

        I am sure someone like Adil Rashid would have been happier on these pitches than the more batting friendly pitches (all 5 of them) that were served up for the England series.

        Does not seem like the pitches are as bad as they were against South Africa, but they’re certainly not as good as they were against England or even New Zealand.

        Starc gone in the first over of Day 2 to Ashwin, Australia 260 all out.

        Like

  23. whiterose76 February 23, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I have to admit to being very surprised (or not, they have a ‘product’ to sell) by Warne and Shastri’s end of play comments that it was Australia’s day. Even with Starc’s clean hitting, I would have thought 250-odd for 9 was in no way par. The pitch seemed to play OK to me. I would have thought the lessons of the England series would say that India will go well past Australia and then put the squeeze on. Although admittedly England don’t have Mitchell Starc.
    Cue India being all out for 150…
    pS – Renshaw looks a serious talent. All the best are born in Middlesbrough.

    Like

  24. d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 5:19 am

    India 44/3, with both Pujara and Kohli gone in the same Starc over. The latter for a two ball duck.

    India in serious trouble here.

    Like

    • d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 7:12 am

      Rahul and Rahane have staged a recovery to 94/3. Than Rahul plays an atrocious shot against O’Keefe, and Rahane nicks one through to second slip two balls later (in the same over).

      95/5, and the lower order has to try to somehow keep India in the game.

      Like

      • d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 7:15 am

        And O’Keefe was not done in that over. Also takes care of Saha for a 2-ball duck, and India reeling at 95/6.

        Like

      • d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 7:19 am

        Lyon joins in the fun, and gets Ashwin in the next over (albeit with a bit of luck). 95/7, and India may want to revisit their pitch strategy …

        Like

      • dlpthomas February 24, 2017 / 7:57 am

        They were about 90 for 3 when I took the dogs for a walk. I got back in time to see the last wicket fall. A collapse England would have been proud of.

        Like

  25. d'Arthez February 24, 2017 / 7:47 am

    India all out for 105 in reply to 260 .With just three batsmen lasting more than 20 balls in the innings (and one of those batsmen, Pujara lasted 23), and Rahul contributing 61% of all India’s runs to the score.

    O’Keefe, hardly the world’s best spinner ends up with 6/35.

    India need to be batting by stumps, else it is game over …

    Like

  26. nonoxcol February 24, 2017 / 8:03 am

    Well, two out of three editors have tweeted about this, so here’s my contribution to a tangentially-related topic:

    Modern football. Fuck off and die you filthy soulless money-making machine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus February 24, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      It’s a £200m business decision. No business can do nothing when faced with this potential loss.

      How football died. When it ceased being a sport and became a business above all.

      And the players need to take a look at themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 24, 2017 / 4:57 pm

        I get that. But I have also seen people make comparisons with Forest, saying they should have got rid of Clough “many years before” they went down.

        He won four trophies and reached two other finals in his last five years. His league positions in the five years before relegation were 3, 3, 8, 8, 9.

        It isn’t just the money that bugs me. The ignorance and lazy relativism is also breathtaking.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus February 24, 2017 / 5:51 pm

          I don’t. But then I don’t run a football club.

          Bet Sam wished he’d hung on a bit. Imagine Big Sam in the Champions League!

          Like

  27. man in a barrel February 24, 2017 / 9:22 am

    India bowling 21 overs per hour. A slightly different approach to, say, Cook, who would be trying to bowl as few overs as possible in this situation.

    Like

  28. SimonH February 24, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Australia doing quite well despite not playing to their “traditional strength” and not playing four or even five seamers?

    Like

      • man in a barrel February 24, 2017 / 7:13 pm

        It helps if you have decent spinners. In an interview O’Keefe gave credit for the help and confidence that Monty had imparted… He managed to find that unplayable length for this track. Jadeja keeps beating the edge but is pitching too short and Ashwin is not getting sharp turn.

        Like

      • dlpthomas February 25, 2017 / 9:19 am

        India are shit at home.

        Like

  29. man in a barrel February 24, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Renshaw looked very composed at the crease. The way he played Jadeja and Ashwin on a turning pitch was exemplary

    Like

    • SimonH February 24, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      I(t always seems to be about him….

      Liked by 2 people

      • man in a barrel February 24, 2017 / 5:42 pm

        Renshaw looks nothing like Cook. He is well-balanced, compact, moves his feet well and has more than 3 shots. Still, what would I know? I have never played Test cricket

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark February 24, 2017 / 6:55 pm

        So he will be a shit captain then!

        Selveys love of all things Cook is creepy.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Cricketjon February 25, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Perhaps it helped that Cricket Australia and the sports press in Australia didnt pre empt the series by writing about the inevitability of losing in India.

    There’s a gap between the England and Australia teams which isn’t huge but it widens when our so called investigative objective journos prepare the masses with the losing script ahead of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. simplyshirah February 26, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Thank you so much thelegglance for your very interesting article. It showed me what I have always suspected that chucking FTA has cost England and its fans very dear indeed. I remember 2005 so well. My hubs and our friend Arthur and myself got nothing done for weeks watching the Ashes (I still think the greatest Ashes ever) live and in the moment. Exciting, brilliant. Nothing got done until there was a break from one test to another. I am one of the many fans who does not have Sky and so I don’t get much of a chance to see cricket. I am sad about that. My thoughts are around one basic question: Does the ends justify the means? Does the ECB gaining money through its Sky deal result in youngsters getting into cricket in a profound way. I don’t think it does. The Sky deal has certainly disenfranchised cricket lovers like myself and my husband. Will things change? No idea. But as long as we have the same type of people as Giles Clarke et al, then I think Cricket is doomed in this country on a long-term basis. Thanks again thelegglance. Such a good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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