A tweet last night got me thinking. Well, it got me a little more than just thinking. It got me a little angry. Except that’s the point of the tweet. To make me, and people like me, feel as though we should not get angry.
This is going to be, by my standards, a short post, but one I think I need to write. It does hark back to the days of How Did We Lose In Adelaide, when I had to plough what felt a fairly lonely furrow (even with TFT doing their thing) as I set about the ECB, the media and the acolytes who chose to accept that the people running our game could do what the hell they liked and you, as a fan, as a customer, hell, as a stakeholder, had to STFU and leave it to those in power. A power they had due to money, connections, and hell, they may have liked the sport every bit as much as we do. If we’d followed the line of some, we would never have questioned Sepp Blatter, let the IOC just take bribe after bribe, and let the cricket authorities install a new format of the sport in this country and risk the marginalisation of the existing game. Oh. That’s right. The last one is happening.
To the tweet. I’m not going to put the name of the person who wrote it on here. That individual clearly loves the sport, and the point is not to attack them, but the message. There is a massive difference.
A couple of people I know have written well thought out articles in the last week or so with some arguments for how #TheHundred may be beneficial and I’ve never seen such vitriol from sections of cricket twitter over anything. It’s honestly ridiculous.
Oppose the Hundred crew – you are making it harder and harder for people to have any meaningful discussion on the topic. All I have seen is yelling. If you want to exist in a vacuum where only your opinions matter then go ahead. Stop attacking people for writing an article.
You are perfectly entitled to have a view that supports the Hundred. I cannot be entirely sure of the article the individual has in mind, but I’m thinking it might be the one in the Cricketer in particular that had some interesting, if somewhat odd (in my view) points on how attractive the sport in its current format in the UK is to South Asian background fans in this country. One could have taken it that by supporting the current county structure you were enhancing the current in-grained anti-minority stance evidenced by the lack of non-white cricketers in the first class game. Could being the operative word.
That piece, as it was intended to do, provoked debate. Great. That’s what strongly-held views are going to do. You are also, as I know, going to be very protective of your position and fight it hard. I wouldn’t have made an impact back in the day with HDWLIA (and I did, I know I did) if I’d been backward in coming forward, polite and delicate in my approach and backing down when the first wash came over me. I had a really strong view, some called it obsessive, bilious, boring, that KP’s sacking was bad, that the people who did it were worse, that the people in the media who defended it were possibly even worse, and that the people who wouldn’t see my view were merely misunderstanding what that view was! Yes, I know the last part seems arrogant.
The “Oppose The Hundred” crew, whatever that may be, seemed to be some people absolutely afraid that the county structure, which never gets the praise when things go well, but always gets the blame when it goes badly, which they hold dear, is being jeopardised by an ego trip, with little to no consultation or on-boarding of supporters. These supporters, when confronted with this monstrosity, and the absolutely appalling marketing and leaking of information on the competition, voiced strong disapproval. If you believe in something dearly, I’m afraid strong disapproval is what you get. It comes with the territory. I can point to those who were big fans of Alastair Cook. Because I’m not, I got a ton of attacks back. I can’t say I dealt with them all well, but I had to deal with them. Melbourne was almost the last straw. I almost packed the whole game in. But I know people, lots of people, like Cook. You have to get on with it.
You can’t complain if a provocative article evokes a passionate response. You can’t moan if the view you put forward is controversial that those challenged won’t respond. You also don’t get attention in this modern world if you are dull and boring. A journo said to me when he pointed out that I got too prickly about some commenters “why do you bother with them. No-one knows who they are in the game. People know Being Outside Cricket” to which I said they were cricket fans too, and that their view, even if I thought it was horribly wrong, had to be addressed.
The problem with meaningful discussions is that you don’t get to define what it is. You don’t control it. You can only control your own contribution to it. If you set out to defend something that, on the face of it, is unpopular, then you are going to get responses you don’t like. It’s not easy to take lots of the time, but you have to take it, thick, or as in my case, thin skinned as you may be. It can over-step the mark – I’ve had a death threat, I’ve had someone threaten my dog, I’ve had a couple of people threaten to dox me, other threatening me with a legal action – but those events are rare. They aren’t the norm. For every idiot who accuses me of being a Piers Morgan stooge (when I actively loathe the man) there are people I can have passionate disagreements with while remaining friends, and in some cases, when it comes to politics, spouses.
People see a massive threat to the life they love, the sport they care about, and the future of the game. They have, like me, an in built distrust of the ECB. They are going to get angry. They are going to put up passionate, steadfast defences, and, yes, attack the arguments put up against them. And while we will be ultimately unsuccessful, it doesn’t mean we have to get on board. I didn’t feel anywhere near the same passion for an England team post-2014, because of the events after that Ashes tour. I’m not going to go the Hundred just because it needs me to go to “save the game” because “we can’t afford it to fail”.
This wasn’t that short, really. I just wanted to get things off my chest a little. Cricket engenders passionate support, and we love it dearly. We fight for what we love dearly, maybe even crossing a mythical line. But don’t moan (yeah, rich coming from me) if you get stick back when you are doling it out, or threatening what we hold dear. I would expect the opposite side of the argument to come at me, and I can choose whether to engage or not. I have muted a couple of people on Twitter after a long debate on the Hundred because it wasn’t going anywhere, and they started interjecting in conversations I wasn’t having with them (and not leaving me out of other streams when I asked them to do so, politely). It’s the way you want to conduct your own business that matters. We have been forthright, angry, even downright rude, but I hope most of the time it is those in authority, and that’s where the anger should lie.
“If you want to exist in a vacuum where only your opinions matter then go ahead. Stop attacking people for writing an article.”
I found my critics’anger as an energy. I wanted the anger to fire me up. If I had packed it in for writing an article that got an angry response, I wouldn’t be here. If you are firm enough in your views, believe in something, you should respond. That’s not a vacuum. It’s a discussion. A debate. An argument. And it isn’t always defined by the writer.
Have a great day, and speak soon.
UPDATE – Harry Gurney, Bumble and Topley. Oh my lord.
Topley’s tweet is right up there for most idiotic of the year. Me Me Me. I want to be attacked. Please.
I omitted above that one of the chief villains, and one of the reasons that we should be strident are people like Harry Gurney – he of the more Twitter followers than you, I or our humble website. You are to know your place because you are just a mere spectator. How can you be polite to an attitude like that?
We are all with you Peter. You must know that.
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Reblogged this on UMPIRE BELL.
Was that the article that essentially called for county cricket to be put down like an old dog in pain to put it out of its misery?
First off, I take with great suspicion anything written by The Cricketer magazine because they have been on the wrong side of almost everything for the last five years. They positively loved Cook as captain, they hated KP, and they were just fine and dandy with putting the whole game behind a pay wall in one foul swoop.
They also have been big promoters of the 16.4. They have been a non stop supporter of the ECB over said period, So I take a large pinch of salt anything they write.
Here is the bottom line. I’m not interested in the 16.4. I won’t attend any matches, I won’t watch it on tv, and I have now cancelled Sky because I don’t want to support the ECB in any way. It’s not “living in a vacuum” it’s being a customer. They have pissed me off so I have withdrawn my custom. It’s basic capitalism.
What I don’t understand is why they think I should be forced to pay for something I don’t want, and know will have a detrimental effect to the part of the game I do love. Now, it may be there is nothing that can be done to save the longer form of the game. Ok, so in that case Im done with cricket. I don’t want cricket lite!
Why does this bother the people who run the game so much? They have made it clear that I’m not their preferred demographic. They seemed very confident that they had this shinny new audience who would replace people like me. You know? The people who told the ECB they love cricket, but don’t understand it. The mothers and kids who had no time on their hands and can’t grasp basic concepts like counting to 6. Remember them? The ECB said there were tens of thousands of them and they all live in the inner cities. So it isn’t a problem then? Those of us who hate the concept will not go, won’t pay any money, and we will be easily replaced. Job done,
The supporters of 16.4 have every right to say the 16.4 will be good, and profitable. You have no right however to tell me I must support it. I won’t, and I won’t patronise it with my money either. I first came to this site when it was called What happened in Adelaide. A tribute to a famous test match that England were in control of until the last day, and then lost despite making 500 odd in the first innings. It was the essence of what cricket is to me, But how the game has changed in the last five years. A 100 ball slog in an hour is of no interest to me. All the claims of how it will save the longer game I heard before with the launch of 20/20. I simply don’t believe them anymore.
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No, Mark. It wasn’t the Huw Turbevill one. It was another on the online version that was put up – I’m not linking it because in some ways it isn’t that relevant to the point I am trying to make. I had no issue with it per se, I didn’t agree. That’s all. Some took other views and put them forcefully. Others then said that by having that view, it showed their true colours. I started to feel a bit iffy about it at this point.
The key point for me is actually summed up in this tweet and one by Simon Hughes after the first ever Outside Cricket List. Hughes said that I had a lot of good points to make, but ruined it by being so vitriolic and rude. If you know me, and I think you have an idea, that ground my gears. First of all, who the hell were/are you to set the rules of engagement I have to abide by? Second, who the hell were/are you to judge whether my points had merit or not? Third, who the hell were/are you to tell me what to write and how to say it. In its own way those two tweets from a few days ago, albeit a lot more politely, is saying the same thing. Don’t shout. Don’t be oppositional. You are so mean. I’m not a fan of that. I’m not saying I haven’t done it myself, either.
How Did We Lose In Adelaide, Mark!!!!!!
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They don’t want fans, they want obedient morons who empty their wallets into these clowns pockets. Well fuck them.
Again, why do they care if we won’t go to see their new dog and pony show? Where are all their new illiterate morons who can’t count to 6? ( supposedly why the whole 16.4 was invented) We are not the target market. They could not wait to tell us how much diststain they had for us. Now they seem to be getting desperate that we may not support financially their new nirvana.
“Shut up and obey” is their tone. Good luck with that as a marketing strategy
By the way, I see the IPL is now looking at making more changes like have a substitute at the end of overs or when a wicket falls. Cricket has lost its identity, and is just throwing its own feces at the wall hoping something sticks.
I am not interested in Micky mouse cricket. If it can only survive as a game show then it deserves to die. But that won’t pay Gurney and Bumbles salary will it?
As a quick by the by. The person who tweeted that is also very good friends with the person that wrote the article you’re referring too.
Just a thought..
Interesting! Mates rates?
Another of the….. “Why can’t we all get along” defences….that is used by people who want total surrender to their opinion, while pretending to be reasonable.
I repeat….. why are these people so bothered what we think, if, as they claim, we are so small in number? And why do they care if they have this shinny new fan base all ready to go?
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If the ECB can’t afford the Hundred to fail, maybe they could reduce the amount of money they spend on PR, marketing, and the money Harrison and his ilk trouser. That amount of money is still more than most Full Members boards have at their disposal to spend.
If you are going to fundamentally change your business model, which will drive away your existing customers… you better make dam sure you have a larger newer customer base in waiting. Otherwise you will end up with no customers at all.
The tone is just right. Don’t call bollocks out anything other than what it is, bollocks. I’ve a lot of time for wry prodding and poking, like a Vic Marks might produce – but that only works if the “other side” is capable of listening to reason, or at least has the greater good of the game at heart. To the clowns at the upper echelons of the ECB it’s low volume white noise. They just want you to buy into their product, and even if you don’t it’ll be another 2-3 years at a £700k+ salary that they’ll be able to rob out of the game in the meantime. But forget all that, look at how shiny these kits are.
This is why I won’t support it, and why I have cancelled Sky. They see this new product as purely a business decision. So Iam reacting as a customer who feels he has received bad service. I leave, and go elsewhere.
What I don’t understand is why they care because they boasted they had a new audience. For all I know they may have this new fan base, and the 16.4 will become very successful.
But I don’t care because it’s not the type of cricket I want to watch It is of no interest to me. I don’t understand why they think they should be able to tell me I must like it, and pay for it under some loyalty to the “cricket family” (By the way, anytime a business starts telling its customers they are part of the family model…. run for the hills. They are lying.)
Cricket as I have known it is being deliberately destroyed so as to save a lot of freeloaders their big salaries. That is not a reason to support the changes.
That’s what needs to be done this time isn’t it? Because the main source of income–unlike when T20 started I suspect, when it was still gate receipts–is broadcast money.
So we need to be boycotting anything that keeps it attractive as a broadcasting option–which means not watching it on FTA either.
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When T20 came in, back in the day, I genuinely didn’t recall the hostility some mention now. Nothing like the hostility the Hundred is facing. As I recall it was brought in to get more people through the gate for a game after work. In turn that would inspire kids who got the chance to go along to enjoy the game and maybe want to play it. No-one knew if it would be successful, but I went to the first game at The Oval because I felt the ECB were actually trying something different, and hadn’t decided, despite having Giles Clarke somewhere near the top of their organisation, to piss off the supporters and the counties.
This is markedly different. This is to cover up the ECB’s biggest error. Choosing to pay players and themselves more money, rather than nurturing the base of the sport through engagement on TV with the biggest stars. They have just enough, wealthy enough, enthused enough people to make the test matches and ODIs look OK on TV, but we all know the base is shrinking, and has been.
I have a ton of time for Tim WIgmore, but this attention span twaddle has to end. This Hundred is being brought in to make money. No-one was really crying out for another format, something shorter than T20, except maybe the BBC (and they denied it). TV like it because they can show more of it, filling up schedules and advertising (baseball still sells record TV contracts in the US, precisely because it is a great schedule filler). TV and TV audiences are governing long-term decisions. SPort believes that if it is wealthy enough, it can astroturf the grass roots, not plant them. This isn’t about mums and kids, and never has been. It’s about money. Stop pretending, ECB and your acolytes, that it is about anything else.
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If it was about attention span, then it’s a terribly incompetent solution to reduce the length by 16%! I could understand it if it had resulted in a T10 competition–but who ever said “I’d watch a film that’s one hour 40 minutes long but I’d NEVER watch a two-hour one”…?
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But but but, the ECB’s research says it will. Just a shame they won’t share this research with the fans or identify who they researched.
Bit like that famous dossier…
It is also to cover up another big blunder which was to hide ALL cricket behind a pay wall (something the ECB still won’t admit to) The foot dragging just to get the World Cup final on free air in the summer with the host nation involved shows how much contempt the ECB and their partner broadcaster has for spreading the word and encouraging young people.
All the arguments they made for 20/20 are now being repeated almost exactly in justification for the 16.4. This means that 20/20 has failed to deliver the new younger audience they said would then flood into other forms of the game. It has however made money which is why the ECB want their own new tournament. And to kill two birds with one stone help destroy the county structure.
This article is libellous!
“ with little to no consultation or on-boarding of supporters.”
I’ve heard Harrison and The Analyst both refer to the millions of people they consulted re: The 100, ALL of whom were EXTREMELY positive about the idea. That’s why its SO confusing that there is this backlash. Put simply looking at the data (copyright Moores), the backlash is unfathomable.
Perhaps they should share the consultation did and then we’ll know whether you need a good libel lawyer! (Falls of chair laughing).
One other thing (and I don’t know who tweeted the post you refer to) but I do think you have to be either a stooge or uninformed to actually be 100% behind The 100 and it’s consequences (the latter is more important that the former). Of course, can work with uniformed people but stooges?
Since the KP saga a lot of cricket fans and most media have become ECB stooges I’m afraid.
I sometimes think if the board went out onto the London streets machine gunning people down…..tweets from the usual suspects would pop up almost immediately saying “they had a justifiable reason, and the wounded should have got out of the way.”
Currently in India, it is Mayank Agarwal, 243/1, Bangladesh 210/14. Exciting.At least Bangladesh won the toss, so their tour was already more successful than the South African one.
Finally, someone has done some research on quotas / “targets” in South Africa.
The outcomes of the research are anything but shocking to me. But given the financial constraints that CSA faces, don’t expect on field performances to improve anytime soon.