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Three reasons to be depressed by cricket...

...other than cheating Australians and the misery of England's winter tours, I mean.

1 TalkSport getting the rights to broadcast England's tours next winter. I don't care who they recruit, it's not going to be Test Match Special, is it? And although TMS these days isn't always as good as it could be, it's still pretty great.

2 The creation of another new format for the ECB's city-franchise league. Why? They say it's partly to differentiate it from their 20/20 Blast competition, in which case why not just do one or the other? Preferably the former, as many cricket fans, me included, will have zero interest in supporting artificially created teams that ignore large parts of the country. Reading around the decision, it seems the ECB don't really give a damn what cricket fans think, though. They want to attract new audiences. Which is fine, but pretty pointless if you drive away your core audience in doing so. Also, why the obsession with speed? They've shaved time off the game anyway, but will then penalise teams for slow over rates, with the result, of course, that potentially close finishes (which is what people want to see in limited over and 20/20 cricket) will be ruined by late adjustments to the target. If I'm giving up an evening to watch a game of cricket, half an hour here or there makes no difference, but I do want to see the game decided by skill.

3 The appointment of Ed Smith as national selector. How predictable that it should be an Oxbridge educated former Middlesex player. There's a lot of talk that he'll take a stats-based, 'Moneyball' approach, which is fine up to a point, but I suspect will mean a return to the chopping and changing of the 80s and 90s. It's no coincidence that England's best years, during my lifetime, were with David Graveney and Geoff Miller as selectors – both of them emphasised continuity, consistency, and settled teams.



This post first appeared on Polyolbion, please read the originial post: here

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Three reasons to be depressed by cricket...

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