The Age – As Australia thundered towards victory against England at the Gabba just after noon on Monday, an interesting conundrum was presented for those slobs kicking back on the lounge and thumbing through UberEATS options on their phones.
- In its own perverse way, these mind-numbing campaigns have highlighted the problem with cricket in this country for the past few years: an unnerving desire to turn the grand old game of bat and ball into a promotional gimmick to drag young eyeballs, maybe even tired old eyeballs, to a day of Test cricket.
- Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland’s remarks to The Grade Cricketer podcast earlier this month about the future of Test cricket was alarming.
- “In many ways, there’s so much doubt about Test cricket and its future I think and in some parts of the world it really is in a desperate state,” Sutherland said.
- If you go to India, the country where there is supposedly the most lucrative commercial market, the current valuations on a Test match, five days of Test cricket, is exactly the same as the valuation on a three-hour Twenty20 international match.”
- What this first Ashes Test showed, however, is that five-day cricket doesn’t need to rely on advertising gimmicks, on a faux war-of-words in the press, on calls for a new “Bodyline”, on salacious stories about Jonny Bairstow giving Cameron Bancroft a warm and friendly headbutt in a Perth bar a few weeks ago (I mean, how else do you greet people?