Skip navigation

Category Archives: The Future?

At New Road our Championship match against Worcestershire was played until 19.53.  There was a late start due to rain, there were intervals in play due to rain.  But at a quarter to eight the seamers were still bowling.  Competitive red ball cricket into the evening is possible even in Mid May.

We are in a temperate country, our summer days are long, we could play championship matches into the summer evenings, we would not even have to resort to a pink ball.

There are evening T20’s and evening one day matches.  We play those in the evening so more people can attend.

So tell me again… just why are there no evening Championship matches in June and July?

Advertisements

This blog with its appreciation for a spot of predatory bowling, is delighted to find out that yer actual Lion hunting bloke of the wide open African plains sees bowling as a natural progression from spear throwing.

So fearsome Masai fast bowlers opening for Kenya in the near future?  Let’s hope so.

And the Ladies aren’t to be outdone either, although they seem stuck with the kwik cricket gear.  Is that any way to treat a lady?

So sense prevailed.  No one saw any advantages in a reduced program of first class cricket, preferring the more obvious trimming back of limited overs matches, which have proliferated recently.

Championship division one stays as a 9 team concern and the Championship stays as the fantastic 16 match per season event that we know and love.

Would have been mad, having just produced an away Ashes winning England team, also presumably Counties would have risked a lower income from reduced memberships which include Championship matches but not T20.

The ECB have listened…. I’m nervous – this is a new thing, surely that can’t last can it?

But while they are at it….. Summer [and weekend] Championship cricket …..Please?????

He may be a sportsman with stacks of actual ‘personality’.  Who played a major part in winning the Ashes, and is playing his part to try and retain them, and a bowler of top international standing, Graeme Swan did not get BBC Sports Personality of the Year. No where near the top 3….

Only 13,767 people bothered to vote for him;  a mere 1.97% of the vote, he came 9th out of a field of 10. Swanny,  @swannyg66 has nearly 122,000 followers on twitter.  He fronts the ECB video reports from the Ashes tour too.  So social media, what is it good for?  Useless for fixing a top prize.

The winner, McCoy polled 293,152 votes.  15 times champion jockey and this years National winner.  So the investment of a lifetime at the top of his sport and the emotional pull of finally winning a ‘Crown Jewels’ sporting event for the first time in that career.

Despite Ashes heroics will another cricketer ever win it again?    Cricketers have relatively short careers in the limelight.  The ‘Crown Jewels’ event for cricket is increasingly obscured as less and less media deal with the sport, except to cover increasingly more personal events such as driving to get a screwdriver [after partying] to free your cat from under the floorboards of your house – silly Swanny!  The Sky viewership is limited even for the Ashes.  The series is loosing emotional stock value for the floating voter.

Flintoff, a big personality, won it on the back of a gripping series, set against a two decade drought of England success played out in full view of the TV watching public, over 8 million at times.  He could also drink for Britain, as well as scare the shit out of the Aussie bluster.  Botham was the last time we had anything similar, Swanny is a character but he is not quite of that type yet.

There are just not enough cricket fans in England – without cricket being on TV, do you think a cricketer will ever get it again….. what percentage of the watching BBC public will have seen Swann in action, indeed any cricketer this year…think about it.

And of course it is a BBC TV thing…. and cricket now is soooo not their sport.

Without a regular media position or question of sport slots or somesuch, it aint going to happen.   Perhaps if Broad with his legion of Broadettes, if he can keep up a trail of wickets and runs for the next decade, and does not attract a trail of red top floozies…. is that looking good to you?  Should we take a punt now?

Then again he is a bowler in rehab, right now….perhaps not.

Today was Ryan’s day he ended up with 6 for 47, and 9 wickets in total.

Mitch also took a total of 9 wickets in the match.

Hilf kept it tight.

So did Siddle.  And that is what you want from an attack.  I rather like this attack.

England did ok, we didn’t bowl too badly.  But on todays evidence – the Australian attack is better than ours.  Yes the pitch suited the seamers, and they were used well.  But our batters were on good form coming in from a triumphal win.  The Aus seamers all bowled peerlessly and with control, and that is what you need to win a match.  And win they did, by 267 runs, in competitive conditions.

Another venue, another pitch type, and we have Swann, but their seam attack works better than ours.  Well it certainly does when it played like it played during this match.

There are times when it does not matter who wins, as long as it has been a competitive exciting hard fought match.  A match were the balance between bat and ball is equal.  This does not happen as much as it should in Test cricket.

The Third Test at Perth, for a change the bowlers were on top, and I think that is as it should be.

In the midst of the current Ashes fever, for a series that is suddenly awake;  let us not forget the injustice that the women’s game is forced to endure.  A one Test series!!!!!  It is about time all areas of the sport were taken seriously.  You tell em Charlotte!

Don’t forget, many things slip off the hook when elections happen and the ECB are one of those to have been handed a lifeline in the shape of the general election.  This means the thorny subject of the Ashes and its status as a ‘must be broadcast free to air event’ [the so called ‘crown jewels’ list of British sport] due to be decided this June, now of course will not be.

So there, the ECB will have lots of lovely time to think about how it can get cricket on the free to air box, whilst not pissing it’s purse string holder, Sky, off! How about some domestic Twenty20 finals at the very least?  Worth a barter surely?  And Sky could try to benevolent as part of it’s ongoing Ofcom squabbling?

The Season; it used to start just before May!

The blog the Corridor has also noted this

” Last year it started on April 15; in 2008, it was the 16th. 2007? The 18th. The first Championship matches of the new millenium began on April 26″.

What is the point for this seasonal creep stupidity.  They actively want people to turn up and freeze, that is if the weather or bad light does not intervene.  They want cold players risk more injury?

I know Airlines are starting to sponsor Counties, but the carbon footprint does need to be addressed.

Start scheduling championship matches back into the summer – there is that talk about playing the first few out of the country now because someone has just noticed that early April is not a time when you should be playing cricket…..Abu Dhabi and Barbados, are not British or local?

Actually the weather is set for fair, so hopefully it will be a nice weekend [and that is rare]!

For a spot of what team is who you could look at Dan’s cricket blog. He has quite an extensive resume of the teams for this season.

As the county season is soon to be upon us, I will introduce to you my good friend Sauve.  A long-standing pillar of the cricket blogging community,  I find him refreshing and debonair.

He is off on a mission to the centre of the nebulous thing that is the County Championship – he may be some time and we wish him the very best of luck.

This could be the last season of the Championship as we know it – the sharman at the ECB are mulling over the entrails of last nights run over urban fox as we speak right now – divining the best configuration for the future format of this most important of English sporting endeavours.  Several of us have a bad feeling about this.

Haling from Essexshire, he will be starting his odyssey at the Ford County Ground, Chelmsford, at Essex’s first game of  the season against Hampshire on 9th April [so no not summer yet…Essex will also be our first opponents of the season next week] You can keep up to date with Sauve’s progress on Twitter @seasonstands and also via his couple of blogs A Season in the Stands; which will be tales from his journey.  And the old faithful republiquecricket. He will be working his way round all 18 county grounds.  He is also featured in Wisden’s cricket blog.

If things go well this season for both of us we will meet up at the finale of the County season, at the Durham v Somerset match.  As both the Championship and what happens to it are subjects close to my heart I expect there could be some updates on his progress on these very pages before that date.

Sky has been allowed to be the be all and end all of British Cricket, well by the ECB anyway….. and yet there is viewer appetite for cricket on free to air, even if it is not test stuff as had been shown by ITV 4.

Siddle b Flintoff 7. Australia 388 for 9. Andrew Flintoff celebrates his five-wicket haul as England close in on their first win at Lords against Australia for 75 years.  Andrew also becomes fifth man to get on Lord’s honours board with bat and ball.

How many kids saw this moment live?  How many kids saw this moment at the time of the Ashes series?  How many kids actually know this moment existed?  Ok the kids may have been at school – but there were 5 Ashes matches some took place over the holidays, how many kids caught up with Ashes action?

How many urban kids?  How many from the heartlands of the greenfield rich countryside? Deepest Oxfordshire; in a small village called East Hendred. The very kind of place you would expect cricket still to be thriving;  but the view from Mel, of the fantastic Ceci and Mel, of Swanning about fame, paints a rather grim picture even from the rather more privileged areas of the county.  “The people in the village (who all educate their children privately) provide the bulk of the junior cricketers for our village team; those in state education (including my own lovely offspring) just aren’t interested unless they come from a cricket mad family”.

If Mel is not cricket mad enough, then the sport has problems.

She wrote this in reply to a Wisden Cricketer blog on the subject of cricket, TV and the ECB, from March 25th.

Unless they are from a ‘cricket’ family, I’m afraid that all of my kids’ friends are ambivalent at best about cricket. Ask them to name a current England player and most have to think a bit before coming up with Flintoff or KP; most don’t know how to play the game because sport at their school is run on an elective basis – therefore they don’t opt for cricket as they know nothing about it. The Ashes victory last summer passed most of them by.

It’s a real shame as it’s not as if they are not interested in sport – most of them love to play or watch football – but now that cricket isn’t something you come across on terrestrial tv but something which you have to actively seek out on a satellite channel it just doesn’t register on their radar. The highlights package on Five during home games just isn’t enough.

As a consequence, our local cricket club’s junior section mostly consists of the offspring of the senior players.

Shame.

The ECB may be using Sky money for a few lucky children, but the sport as a whole is slipping from the national conciousness.