Crio’s Q? – does 2 hrs later equal twice the entertainment?

Not many would be kind enough to call me progressive, so a cautious view of the “night” Test will surprise no-one.

The supposed motivation is a concern. “To popularise Test cricket”. “To regenerate crowds”.

I’m not getting to Adelaide this year and not bothered by that at all. It’ll be on TV when I get home from work. But will I (and others) watch?

It’s a vexed question.

SACA are emphatic that sales are “Ashes-like”. I hope so. They’ll have a good time, get sloshed and see little of the cricket – business as usual.

TV ratings will initially be high. But will they be sustained?

My issue is about the whole concept of a “gee-whizz, you beauty” Test to dazzle the masses. Truth is that Test Cricket has nuances that sometimes include excitement. “Engrossing” is probably a more likely adjective for the often drawn-out and even non-decisive encounters.

The concern is that a prime time, high profile TV Test is apparently meant to engage and entertain. Guess what? – that’s often not the case for extended periods of Test Cricket. Don’t counter that it should be otherwise – it is fact.

Test Cricket devotees get absorbed – not necessarily enraptured. We watch to relax, indulge…it is not a guarantee of anything especially riveting happening.

It is usually on during the day. I rarely watch on television; regularly tune in to ABC Radio.

It should be very cheap to attend. The merit of performances are mostly debated and assessed over subsequent years.

I’m hoping this is a grand week for SA cricket. 9pm is not too late to finish, so I’m tipping a success for the caterers and corporates. I’ll watch some of it if I’m in a pub after work – same as an overseas match – but would rather it was a January date for the wireless during the holidays.

But I’m old school.

Discounting the “pink ball” debate, do others have reservations about the whole prime-time dazzle profile for Test Cricket?

 

Comments

  1. Good one Chris
    I’m older than you and I cannot remember for starters so much bull about the colour of the ball.
    Warne et all would have still taken wickets. Fancy picking a bloke because he gets wickets with a pinky.
    The whole problem with Test cricket is not that they are played over 5 days but the inability of the test nations to control the movements of their own cricketers. Surely they should be telling the players that your country comes first when teams are selected. “No tour no play” should be their edict.
    Mark Taylor’s view that Tests should be played over four days has some merit
    The cricket hierarchy treat fixturing with disdain as well which shows their interest in the retention of the Tests. Money is the be-all and end-all as far as they are concerned and it is the games that aren’t cricket that draw the crowds.
    As you say thank God for the ABC broadcasts where all the nuances of the game come to the fore and there is nothing better than watching the cricket on your radio when you can’t make it to the game.
    I have no doubt that the crowds will be huge at Adelaide Oval after all it is historic just like the first 20/20 game there some years ago.
    I’ll be there to see the “W’s” show their class – you don’t get that at other games.

  2. I’m starting to warm to the idea of either two pitches of different character – first dig on the new, the second on the old. or a pitch where the two halves are different, one is brand new and one days old.

    Anything to create some tension, some nuance. Seriously, we’re in deep do-do when scoring at 4+ an over and 200+ boundaries per test becomes dull.

    (it was around such an era in 91-2 that a certain Victorian did emerge. maybe we should pick that 17yr old from Sutherland who is unplayable apparently. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen. He can fill the slot until Ahmed is old enough for the selectors to pick him.)

  3. One of the main reasons I like the pink ball and lights is to give the bowlers a chance again. The rigged flat pitches and short forms are all batsman’s games. Went to the Test in Perth for the first time in 10 years and won’t be back again. Never thought 400 in a day would be the most boring cricket I can remember watching. Time to make it a contest – whatever that takes.

  4. a contest is fair enough – tilting one way and then counterbalancing in the evening is not the same.

  5. What happens to the breaks in play?
    Lunch must become “tea” due to timing and so they can condense a 1 hour news into 40 mins and hopefully no ACA.
    The old tea break now changes to something else not sure what (supper?) and at 20 mins will only take the amount of time that a mega ad break happens between programs.
    No one over 75 will be awake throughout the last session but they probably slept ( afternoon kip) through the last normal session anyway.

  6. so I take that as a “NO” vote Jock?
    anyone else watching the innocuous Harmer bowl India out? – looks a real bunsen!

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    I’m all for it. Play when people can watch. Showcase the best form of the game in primetime. Hopefully it well help even the balance between bat and ball.
    I attended a Sheffield Shield game in 1995 that was a day night encounter. Wonderful experience watching Dean Jones smash a triple century against a yellow ball. Staggered the experiment ended a year or so later (think they tried an orange ball next??), now we’ve rushed into the pink ball.
    Yes watching the India v Sth Africa Test. Reckon DM Jones’ off-breaks would do well on this pitch given the performance of the very average Harmer.

  8. Mick Jeffrey says

    Based on the ratings from the Perth test which IMO were poor at best, I don’t think a night test would be the ratings hit that many predict. Certainly not compared to finales of The Block and X Factory which has happened this week. That alone will determine the fate of the concept.

    I may be able to watch the first 3 days, but for Days 4-5 a combination of work (5:30AM Start, possibly may have to be asleep by the night session really kicking in) and footy training (Day 4) may well finish off my interest.

  9. Luke, I am enjoying the batsmen floundering on the Indian deck, but don’t like ordinary bowlers looking unplayable. Great coverage

  10. There’s so much Tubby about Elgar’s batting

  11. Crio just enjoys watching anyone floundering. Might have to switch AFL teams soon…

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