Testing time ahead as cricket continues to devalue its traditions | Sports News


Gareth Copley

” title=”Ben Stokes (left) and Brendon McCullum have taken Test cricket to new heights, but it seems the ECB only has eyes for the game of white ball” class=”js-imageLoader ” data-at-xn=”https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2022/09/14/115696-medium.jpeg” data-br-n=”https://www.rp -assets.com/images/news/2022/09/14/115696-medium.jpeg” data-br-m=”https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2022/09/14/ 115696-large.jpeg” data-br -w=”https://www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2022/09/14/115696-large.jpeg” data-br-xw=”https: //www.rp-assets.com/images/news/2022/09/14/115696-large.jpeg” onclick=”return false;”>

Ben Stokes (left) and Brendon McCullum have taken Test cricket to new heights, but it looks like the ECB only has eyes for the game of white ball

Gareth Copley

It is therefore possible to do without Premier League football and still have a Super Sunday.

I wouldn’t recommend it as a lifestyle choice, but as a unique choice and with decent options elsewhere, it worked well.

Wentworth looked resplendent as always, a perfectly manicured corner of the suburban belt, where your standard four-up, four-down costs only slightly less than a LIV golfer’s entry fee. Beverly Hills minus the weather and the Kardashians.

Speaking of LIV, many of them showed up for the PGA Championship and felt at home by the fact that the tournament was shortened to their 54-hole bread and butter and then made to feel like dummies by the withering of Shane Lowry “who was for the victory speech of the good guys.

And then there was The Oval cricket, the third and final Test in a glorious and comical series against South Africa, the seventh and final Test in a glorious and comical summer, all on top of a comforting and uplifting reminder. why we love the long form of the game and why the ECB should be strongly condemned for its attack.

So golf and cricket rejoiced to take center stage on the weirdest weekend ever, a weekend where football got a bit unfairly put on the back burner for calling off matches in sign of respect to the queen.

I wish they hadn’t, but these were literally unique circumstances and they made a call, rightly or wrongly. I have a thousand sticks to beat the football authorities, but Friday morning’s decision was made with all good intentions.

To happier things and to cricket. Well, I say happier, but unfortunately this story has a depressing footnote – in fact, make it a sadly familiar footnote because it, inevitably, involves money and a false narrative which we are force-fed.

And that narrative is that Test cricket is now so insignificant in the grand scheme of cricketing things that next season, in fact until 2027, you won’t see a single Test match played for the whole month of August .

That’s right, the time of year when schoolboys and girls (who can afford Sky) have all the time in the world to revel in an art form that Ben Stokes and his pals just brought up to ridiculously fantastical and absurd heights, will now be given entirely to The Hundred, the utterly useless cousin of the Vitality Blast. Call it T16.4 if you want, except I don’t like it. I’m just being told to like it and if The Hundred is the ECB’s idea of ​​an answer to the future of cricket then it’s being asked the wrong question.

The Hundred is here to stay because the ECB and its backers have invested money and reputation in it and cannot afford to lose either. And I guess, for those who don’t have the attention span to face an entire T20 game, it does serve a purpose.

The problem here – and I have nothing against The Hundred other than it being rubbish – is that a balance has to be struck between all the formats of the game, but the ECB is so fiercely against it, hence the ridiculous county championship program this year. which had four matches in April and here we are, in mid-September, with two more rounds of matches to play. The diehards who gather at New Road in a fortnight will fill Christmas cards, not scoreboards.

But the ultimate spotlight in the esophagus will surely be the loss of the August tests, theoretically until 2027, although once things go they rarely come back. Just when test match cricket has never looked so rosy.

I’m not going to demean myself by using that hideous name circling the type of cricket the England test team now plays, that hideous molestation of the English language dreamed up on the fly by a pair of trainees during a game of table tennis. and a chamomile and halibut smoothie.

But we all know the word and we all know the fun this entertaining approach has brought to millions of cricket fans. And none of the South African tests lasted longer than three days, a brevity you’d think the ECB would give its blessing.

Let’s face it. If England go to India or Australia and play like that, they will be completely beaten, but that’s almost by the way.

Striving – as the ECB and Sky obviously want – to artificially reinvent the cricketing public does not represent progress, it simply offends many fans and upsets a balance that needs to be struck.

And while losing a test from the ashes in August – for the very first time – might seem like a triviality in itself, it is part of a larger overhaul from which there will be no turning back. .

Sign up for Racing Post Sport emails and get all the latest news and tips

Today’s best sports betting stories

Follow us on twitter @racingpostsport



Comments are closed.