Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the category “cricket”

Luke Wright Celebrating Century Against Gloucestershire


Cricketers have traditionally been more subdued when celebrating , however it seems the tide is turning with more emotional overt celebrations. This was Luke Wright’s first century for two seasons and an excellent innings it was too. Measured at times and rapidly scoring at others.  Here are a few photos of that moment he went to his hundred. In the context of the innings this was an important and excellent innings.

1K4A22791K4A22801K4A22811K4A2282

Where from here for County Championship Cricket? September 2016


Over the last few days something strange has been happening. The media generally and Sky TV has been eulogising over the climax to the season that results in three counties entering the last of their 16 games with the possibility of being champions. At the bottom end of the table one of three counties will achieve relegation. Sky has also at the last minute decided to televise the key game Middlesex v Yorkshire.  All this is quite unusual. The norm is a few words in newspapers with the scores. Has there been a sea change? Sadly not. 


The reality is that county cricket is a 4 day game played often in front of only hundreds of spectators. Most of them termed members essentially but buy a season ticket. Most of the games are played midweek when younger folks work and the average age of spectators is realistically over 40 and sometimes over 60. The cost of county cricket is also growing. The memberships cost around £200-250 and cover the 8 home matches and seasonally a variable number of limited overs games but not the lucrative T20. This contrasts with a season ticket cost for Championship football of around £350. A days ticket costs around 15-20£ and at some venues parking adds to that. At Arundel for example which is almost inaccessible without a car, parking is 10£ for non-members. 


There are rafts of problems and reasons why grounds are invariably empty other than cost. The weather often does play havoc with games turning them into lotteries with many days play lost. Umpires take the players off for minimal bad light. This irritates spectators who have little other option than to sit there . Food options in many grounds are limited and expensive. 

The cricket quality is often poor and sometimes not reaching good club standard. Many games do not last anything like 4 days. Inept batting collapses are the norm in division two and seen too often in division one.  The best players do not play as ECB often dictates they cannot even when not playing for their counties. Cricket fans tuning into Sky would have noted that arguably Yorkshire’s best cricketers, Bairstow and Root , were not playing for ludicrous reasons. Many counties keep young players for up to 5-10 years before deeming them not good enough. This results in a slow and poor throughput of potentially the really good youngsters out there. Bad performances seem tolerated for too long again resulting in poor cricket. One needs only to look at the batting this season for Sussex for these points to be clear. Some players don’t seem to want or be able to put in strong county performances when having been on the fringe or discarded by England. 

Cricket by its very nature played over 4 days can sometimes be a boring and abrasive game. Watching 90 overs at 3 runs an over is rarely thrilling. But it is part of the game. 

What should we do ? These are my suggestions and based partly on my personal reasons for hardly watching Sussex even as a member. 

  1. Reduce the entrance costs. Free entry for everyone under 18 and all students of any age and unemployed. Aim to have much fuller grounds and hence create an atmosphere generating more excitement . Give tickets away selectively 
  2. Play games over weekends and bank holidays
  3. Remove points for a draw. It is astounding to see how few games are actually won even by the champions 
  4. Be more ruthless with players. County cricket should not be full of average and poor players. Some fitness levels as professional sportsmen give cause for concern as do some players BMI. This can give the erroneous impression of farce
  5. Have 5 days set aside for games even though the aim is 4 days. This will reduce the impact weather has on results which is often in a season around a third of games
  6. Increase the general interaction between the players , umpires and the spectators. For example have a short 30 minute session of Q/A after each days play.  For all spectators to ask questions 
  7. Ensure that the top players do play where possible 
  8. Ensure play when possible . Reduce the breaks for bad light or rain and when they happen speed up resumptions. Some of the delays are medieval. 

These things may not be enough to salvage countycricket but they will help. 

Let’s return to Middlesex v Yorkshire. What have we seen? The ECB refusing to sanction Root and Bairstow to play. Crazy. A Yorkshire spinner Rashid asking not to play for barely credible reasons as a professional sportsman. At the most exciting moment of the game in the afternoon time when Yorkshire required a single run to effectively maintain their chance of winning the title , the umpires took the players off for bad light. Goodness. Some fairly poor batting from both sides with a few exceptions. Some dreadful fielding with over 10 dropped catches in 2-3 days. A ground that was mostly empty devoid of hardly any atmosphere excepting the MCC members in the pavilion who did turn out in numbers.

 Cricket could have done far worse than give free admission to all for this game instead of viewing totally empty stands ( the best ones were not even open to the public. Why not? ) 


Let’s hope things change but frankly I might be copying and pasting most of my thoughts again in2017 and maybe in 2020. 

Cricket can be Black And White


Images sometime convey more power and meaning when in black and white. Whether this is a random thing or a feeling that one is being transported back to another century I am unsure. 00004828

Have you ever seen a Coconut used as a pillow? Only at a Sri Lankan cricket game could this happen.


00005445

Sri Lanka V Australia at Galle 2016


During a recent trip to Sri Lanka we were fortunate enough to have a spare hour at the end of the day to watch the cricket from the Galle Fort that sits high above the ground.

00005440 Many choose to watch from here as it is free and the views are not too bad. Some locals and some tourists. A great experience to see English folks avidly supporting the Sri Lankans. Maybe the most interesting use of a coconut I have seen as a pillow for this slumbering gentleman.

000054390000544100005444000054450000544600005433

 

ECB should review their refund policy for rain. Why ticket sales for England cricket games may decline.


Any cricket fan knows that it only rains on the day that they go to a game. Cricket has always been heavily dependent on the weather and thats the way the game is played. With the advent of the plethora of one-day games many fans choose to watch a complete game rather than a single day at a test match. The problem however is the refund situation. The current crop of one day games are 50 overs per side, so a total of 100 overs in the match.

IMG_0071

When things go wrong though, the ECB are not on the side of the fans. The recent ODI versus Sri Lanka at  Bristol was a prime example.

IMG_0080 copySri Lanka completed their 50 overs and then essentially the rain came down and England batted only a handful of overs before the game was abandoned. Tickets were  £55 each and the rules seem rather mean relating to refunds. If 10 overs or less are bowled then a full refund, and if 10-25 overs bowled then a 50% refund. But when as in this case more than 25 overs are bowled then no refunds are made. The weather is not under the control of ECB but refunds are. They could for example give money, or credits for future tickets.

IMG_0064-1

I was quite underwhelmed by seeing only half a game, with no result, getting wet and getting no refund. Pragmatically that means that next time I may choose either not to go, or buy my ticket the day before having looked at a weather forecast.

IMG_0066-1

At a time when cricket tickets are less easy to sell, the ECB do themselves and the fans no favours by their draconian approach. A little more generosity and creativity might go a long way to encouraging fans to continue to turn out to watch international cricket.

IMG_0067-1

 

Are Sussex County Cricket Club The New Aston Villa of Cricket?


As a member of Sussex for many years I am becoming increasingly despondent over the quality of the cricket that has been served up while at the same time seemingly an ever increasing commercialisation.Sussex County Cricket Club is the oldest of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales and won its first ever official County Championship title in 2003 after a wait of 164 years. Subsequently Sussex became the dominant team of the decade, winning the title again in 2006 and 2007, and also winning limited over tournaments up until 2009.

00004821

Since 2009 things have been getting steadily worse culminating in relegation from Division 1 in 2015 and currently sitting low in Division 2 with little hope of promotion this season.

Why is this happening? I cannot pretend to have the answers however it seems that many poorly performing players have been signed and then eventually released having shown none of their potential. There seems little rational into the signing of some players and those that continue to produce poor form seem to retain their place.

00004828

My personal belief as of July 2016 is that Sussex are the second worst county side in the UK.    They have won 1 game in the county championship from the 8 played, have the lowest number of batting points in the division and only a single team has a lower number of bowling points. Yet I see little evidence of a spark to improve and change things. Players performing woefully continue to be selected. On occasions an individual player has had a good performance but these are never sustained with the single exception of Ed Joyce who has been consistent this season opening the batting. When watching the team play there seems little enthusiasm and fielding at times has been poor.  The costs of membership have been increasing almost unnoticed with membership costing £200-250 dependent on whether there is desire to watch T20. And these are not the only costs. Car parking for members at Arundel was £5 and the cost of food has got absurd approaching double the cost of the same food at a football game. Sausage , chips and tea at Arundel £11.

IMG_0067-1

This season we have seen the potential resurgence of Leicester as a county. They addressed the issues that led them to not win a game for 2 years and currently sit 20 points higher than sussex.

Something needs to be done. We need to see evidence of players taking accountability and tolerate less poor performances. Sussex cricket is in decline and I see no evidence of a reversal at present.

0000480400004807

Sussex V Northants At Arundel Castle.


County championship cricket is an odd entity really  but a day out mostly in the sun with the opportunity to capture some images is not to be turned down. Few wickets fell during the day mostly due to the mediocrity of the bowling. Some excellent batting from Adam Rossington and Rob Keogh, hence the images are mostly of them, with Ben Brown the Sussex wicketweeker also in evidence.

0000482100004802000047690000479400004837000048340000481800004807

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: