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Let the 2019 season begin


Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
16 October, 2018 09:33
Dear All,

I believe my position on this is fairly well known. The wording of the petition shown at the end sums it up.

At one end, cricket clubs – village clubs, town clubs, you name it, struggle to put out sides. There is more for people to do with their leisure time, admittedly, and the only medium that people seem to want to play now is T20, (although I believe the number of tournaments now will soon make the whole thing pretty meaningless).

Teddington C.C. in the Middlesex Premier League cannot now put a Sunday side out. Further afield, every year, the Kent Village League records more sides firstly having to concede a fixture, due to an inability to put a side out, and, secondly, clubs being relegated and all their results for that season being voided, because they have failed to put out a side several times that season. Biddenden C.C. is not the only one to now no longer exist.

I say that a main reason for this is that no child can now turn the tv on, and see any cricket. Were you inspired by Botham and Willis at Headingly? Do you remember the 2005 Ashes series? That was the last time Test cricket was shown free to air in the UK..

Not one single run of Alistair Cook’s Test career was shown on free to view TV.

Richie opposed taking cricket off free to air.

Right now, there is minimal chance of a kid without Sky being inspired to try out that game they saw on tv where you hit the ball miles into the crowd, and charge in, hurl it down, and send the stumps flying. So, they never play it with a tennis ball, so they never think about checking it out at their local club, assuming one still exists. So, because they have no young players coming through, the club folds.

At the other end, I suggest, sports clubs provide a vent for a lot of youthful energy, they give kids / adolescents something to do and a place to hang out during the long Summer days and evenings. They get a chance to meet people with some reasonably good values – team work, respect, honesty, learning to accept that some things don’t always go your own way - which are passively reinforced on the field. So, there is a positive contribution to society that sports clubs can make too. There is also the physical activity angle to consider, as well as being outdoors; not in front of a screen.,

The few times I have seen cricket on Sky, it isn’t even as if they provide much tactical or technical insight. It’s just some has – been’s joshing each other, with a lot of “in” jokes. The Analyst on C5 provided much more insight and imparting of know how. This might have changed, but I haven't watched cricket on Sky for about five years.

The counter argument is that Sky were the only broadcaster prepared to put the money into cricket to enable it to continue. Bumble has claimed to me on Twitter that the BBC were begging someone to take TMS off their hands.

He just also claimed that the three clubs in his area now trying to put out as many teams as they were attempting to do was just “unrealistic”. – Yes, but they are doing that because they once could put those teams out, and something has happened, Bumble, to stop the players coming through.

I’m going to see if this can go up on Grockles too, in case not already done, but in the meantime, if you either agree with my sentiments, just want to watch some test cricket on free to view, or even just want to give Sky one in the eye (I loathed how their vultures descended on our four day moment vs Yorkshire in 2016), please would you sign this petition, and circulate?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/10/2018 13:11 by Primrose Hillbilly.

Re: Petition
rod/ed (IP Logged)
16 October, 2018 14:45
Some fair points but I fear the horse has bolted.The youth of today do not watch free to air television. They stream through X boxes or similar devices , lap tops and smart TVs .

Re: Petition
rod/ed (IP Logged)
16 October, 2018 14:46
Some fair points but I fear the horse has bolted.The youth of today do not watch free to air television. They stream through X boxes or similar devices , lap tops and smart TVs .

Re: Petition
Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
16 October, 2018 20:07
It would be very beneficial to the health of English cricket if England matches (even if it was just one match a summer) were to return to live free-to-air TV. As soon as it was announced that all of England’s home matches would be shown on Sky as of the year after the 2005 Ashes, I feared that there would be a fall in the public’s interest in the sport, so what has subsequently happened hasn’t been of much surprise to me. Lots of evidence can be provided of the fall in interest in cricket, such as it now being rare that cricketers make the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and being even rarer that they get a high percentage of the vote when they do make the shortlist. Also, it seems that cricket tends not to get much mention on the national TV or radio news.

The bad news for those hopeful of an imminent return to live free-to-air TV for Test matches and/or a high volume of hours of what many would call meaningful cricket is that they are unlikely to find this in the broadcasting contract covering the period from 2020 to 2024. The good news for those hopeful of any sort of live free-to-air cricket is that for each year during the aforementioned period, BBC will be showing live coverage of 2 men’s Twenty20 internationals, 1 women's Twenty20 international, and 10 men’s matches and 8 women’s matches in The 100, and that they will be showing highlights of all of England’s home matches in both genders as well as county cricket. Despite this meaning that some sort of cricket will be returning to live free-to-air TV, the fact that none of the matches shown will be Test matches and that most of the matches shown will be from The 100 means that the news of this deal fills me with little excitement.

By the time the broadcasting contract after that starts, two decades will have passed since the 2005 Ashes, and it is doubtful that any free-to-air broadcaster will feel that they have much room in their schedule to give 8-9 hours a day to cricket.

Re: Petition
16 October, 2018 20:21
Agree with your sentiments entirely but I feel the root cause of the problem is non-fee paying schools not having cricket on the agenda.
Not sure what the answer is but maybe some sort of financial assistence from the ECB to schools that actively promote cricket.
The BBC seem to have lost all interest in cricket (probably because its too British) and seem hell bent promoting that sport from America that only Americans play that resembles rugby without the skill!

Re: Petition
dingy bags (IP Logged)
17 October, 2018 08:53
A lot of people associated with clubs - and this include smaller, village clubs - get really annoyed when people parrot out the line that kids aren't interested in cricket. Because, wherever you go, say on a Saturday morning during the summer, you can see cricket grounds with maybe more than a hundred kids practising cricket. Entire village greens with around ten groups of kids practising their skills. Often, each group has a qualified coach. And, ECB please note, many of these are women who have somehow got interested in criocket without seeing a single game of the 100.

Apart from anything else, the clubs get a significant part of their income from subscriptions from their junior sections. Despite this, some get so full they have to turn people away.

I have spoken to club people after Q&A sessions at Middlesex when our top table have peddled this line and they have been pretty annoyed. It's a convenient line to come up with if you are trying to bring in this new load of rubbish but it is untrue and says a lot about how little people running the game actually know about what is going on at grass roots level.

The problem cricket has is retaining people once they get into their teens, not about getting younger kids interested in the first place.

Re: Petition
Jeff Coleman (IP Logged)
17 October, 2018 14:15
I fully agree with DB and am one of those that gets annoyed by continually being told that kids are not interested in cricket. My grandson started playing at 3 with Cricket Tots which became Cricket Tikes. At 5 he joined the colts section at Eastcote CC.

On summer Friday nights over 200 boys and girls are coached at Eastcote and the waiting list is now,unfortunately,closed. He continues indoors during the winter with Cricket Tikes.

All coaching at this age is fun based. There is generally a BBQ on Friday nights which is well attended by parents,so giving a bit more income to the club.

Although I mention this in the context of ECC it is replicated throughout the county and the country.The clubs having picked up much of the slack from state schools. Let us hope that more of the money generated by the ECB filters its way into the clubs and their colts cricket. But don't hold your breath.

Will my grandson still be playing cricket into his teens? I don't know. But he is certainly enjoying it now. He has had a start much earlier than I had. Other then break time matches in the playground at primary school I did not get any 'coaching' until I started secondary school at 11.

Re: Petition
stockmos (IP Logged)
18 October, 2018 11:16
dingy bags

The problem cricket has is retaining people once they get into their teens, not about getting younger kids interested in the first place.

Cricket is a fairly horrendous game to play at any kind of serious level unless you are good at it.

I don't know if they still do, but The Cricketer fairly recently produced monthly lists of "achievements" by schools cricketers - players smashing 200 or taking 8-7 against some poor sods.

Likewise club cricket seems to be taken so seriously these days, even at quite low levels, with demands to make noise in the field, sledging, over-appealing, arguing with umpires, being moaned at for mis-fields, etc. How is this an attractive way to spend a whole Saturday when there are so many other alternatives?

Re: Petition
Sussex Seaxe (IP Logged)
18 October, 2018 11:58
I too have some sympathy, but not that much!

I think Sky coverage is excellent. You see every ball, and here I disagree with PH, the analysis is fantastic. They have masterclasses, the detail shown in replays is dissected and the commentators are knowledgeable. There is a certain amount of joshing, but how is that different from TMS, or from any of us when watching a game?

People also forget that the Free to Air never showed every ball. Even the great 2005 series, covered by Channel 4, broke away from the cricket to show horse racing. As a boy, when BBC showed cricket, there were vast sessions of play un-shown.

I have been heavily involved in a club in Sussex, since moving here and can confirm like others that the demand from kids is huge. I qualified as a coach and acted for 14 years as 'Academy Director', during which we regularly, as a village club, had over 200 junior members. Cricket is also played much more in local Primary schools than it ever was when I was a child. Others are right when they say that retaining interest of teenagers, when there are so many other attractions, is the big challenge. If you are not that good, there is only so long that you can put up with the humiliation - in cricket, you can't disappear into the background.

The Sky money has also filtered down; our facilities are much improved due to various grants. So, while it is true that a casual observer is unlikely to accidentally catch cricket on tv (although large numbers do have Sky, of course), I tend to think that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. As a child, those who loved the game tended to be mostly those with fathers who played, or those who discovered they were good at it. No local club had junior sections and very, very, few girls played.

Simply putting it on terrestial tv (which won't happen) would not, in my view, make any difference.

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