It’s true: Cricket Australia make a good decision

My favourite pastime is taking pot-shots at Cricket Australia. It’s a ridiculously simple game to play. Because, let’s face it, from team selection to fixturing to city-based BBL teams to coaching appointments (somebody stop me!), CA seem to make so many stupid decisions. Which inevitably leads them to being left wide open to attack from my comfy position on the lounge. Shooting fish in a barrel has nothing on this.

It was no different when Cricket Australia announced its latest innovation: a domestic one-day competition to be played as a stand-alone month-long format. I mercilessly bagged the concept. Particularly as all matches in the comp were to be played in Sydney, giving further rise to that old chestnut of NSW bias. What was CA thinking?

However, credit where it is due. Like a latter-day Fonzie, it is tough for me to admit that I was wr-wr-wr-wrong (there, I said it). Cricket Australia might just have had a rare light-bulb moment when it comes to the Ryobi Cup. In line with one-day cricket more generally, the domestic 50-over tournament has been dying a slow death in recent years, suffering badly from relevance deprivation with the advent of T20, tacked on to the end of Shield games in the fixture. So CA probably did not have a lot to lose if they stuffed up this one. But it looks like they may be on to something.

Sure, there have been a few issues, including that infernal fixturing problem (why stage double-headers?) To put it kindly, the crowds have been sparse, which is unsurprising (if this tournament were being staged in Melbourne, could you be bothered heading down to the Junction Oval to watch Queensland take on South Australia?) But as a television spectacle, it has been fun to watch. The postage stamp-sized North Sydney Oval in particular is an ideal setting for one-day cricket. With a few further refinements, this tournament may just find a permanent home in the crowded summer schedule.

The Bushrangers have taken to the tournament with customary relish, and currently top the points table. It remains to be seen whether they suffer their equally customary finals melt-down. But with three of the top four run-scorers in their ranks (White, Wade and Quiney), they are travelling along nicely. It also has been enjoyable to witness Peter Siddle’s return to 50-over cricket, and the re-emergence of Jon Holland, who surely would be Australia’s Test spinner if not for injury.

One of the obvious downsides has been that, yet again, many of this country’s leading cricketers are unavailable for the majority of the Ryobi Cup tournament, because they are playing a meaningless one-day series in India. But CA cannot be expected to get everything right, especially where the BCCI is involved.

The other major negative is the t.v. commentary. With all due respect, it is TERRIBLE!!! But that is a rant for another day, as criticising commentators is my second favourite pastime.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.

Comments

  1. Luke Reynolds says

    You make some good points Smokie, and I’m a fan of the month long tournament. I like the different formats played in their own block. But not all in the one city. And surely GEM could fit day/night matches into their schedule. Would love to see Victoria playing weekend games at the Junction and D/N matches during the week at the ‘G, which surely we can do in October in this age of drop in pitches. The cost of flying everyone to Sydney and putting them up there surely can’t be much more than flying teams in and out of interstate venues.

    Spot on re Jon Holland, fantastic bowler who will surely get his chance in the revolving door of Australian spinners.

    The commentary is TERRIBLE!!! How Tim Gilbert gets a job on TV let alone the cricket is beyond me. He doesn’t even sound remotely interested.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    And taking pot-shots at Cricket Australia is a simple and very fun pastime. Sometimes they make it too easy.

  3. Tim Gilbert is the personification why Australian TV is so, so awful – because it is so, so safe.

    It’s safe because of the money involved. Ironically, as a result of shifting technology and vapid programming, television is one of the last places you’d want to invest – i.e. Ten losing $280 million.

    Given the timing of the games, CA should be investing in it’s own broadcasting/channel over the internet – an easier way to reach those deskbound at the office, rather than going off-Broadway on GEM.

  4. John Butler says

    Smokey, I can’t help but wonder if CA stumbled on the current format simply because of their mania to reorganize the world to give the Big Bash clear air. The BB is all they really seem interested in, especially as we don’t look like being competitive in the Ashes.

    Anytime this mob stumble onto something that (vaguely) works, presume happenstance before method.

  5. Baron Von Huffing says

    Litza,

    They are streaming games on cricket.com.au

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