My last blog was titled ‘I have no idea’ but it seems that this is spreading.
The ECB seem to have mismanaged the pre-launch of the new ‘100’ tournament to such an extent that it seems that no one has any idea of what’s going to happen, who’s going to play, possibly take it away from one of the largest cricket stadia in the UK, how many overseas galaticos are going to attract the new audience, who are the new audience, how do counties and the game cope with the T20 Blast at the same time let alone tests happening as well!
And that’s before we get to the actual playing conditions – 100 does not divide by six so the concept of a 10 ball over has been born. But no one knows when this over can be bowled, does it have to be at the end or can it be any time or can it be bowled by more than one player? And what about no balls and wides – there’s talk that these will just count as extras (correct) but do not warrant an extra delivery. There was one report of abandoning the leg before as a mode of dismissal, and stripping the scoreboard of all but the most basic information – runs and balls. If you’ve spent ages working out the plans so far and have come up with this wide range of no idea nonsense then how has the time been spent, and more worryingly how much money has been spent coming up with this mishmash of ideas?
Then add to the mix the fact that the left hand and right hand at the ECB seem to be saying different things to different people – and these are the people at the top of the management structure!
So…should cricket followers worry?
The new tournament is aimed at a new audience and not the current county member or devout 20/20 follower; it seems to be aimed at the casual spectator (mums and kids), children who don’t follow cricket (they’ve not noticed the children who attend test matches or are playing a game ‘out the back’ at County matches or are covering the outfield at lunch and tea with impromptu games?), people who don’t know who the stars are but would turn up to see what’s going on between a few pints and what’s happening on their phones and so on.
I suppose all of this resonates with the 1960s and the introduction of the Gillette Cup knock out tournament- seen to some at the time as the end of civilisation as they knew it!
I suppose we just need to give it a chance and see what happens but the planning and media utterances so far imply that no one has any idea.
And then the ECB say that no money has been paid to any County for not staging a test match but then Glamorgan have been allotted a load of cash for that reason.
I know there’s a lot of concern that the executive team at the ECB and elsewhere in cricket administration have little or no experience of playing the game at reasonably high levels but the more you sit and ponder you begin to think that they don’t have much experience of running a whelk stall let alone multi million pound/dollar businesses!
So when I blog that I’ve no idea what’s going on in the game I’m watching or have no idea what to write about then it seems I’ve either started a trend or, more likely, just jumped onto the bandwagon where everyone has no idea!