Monday, November 23, 2009
Exhibition T20 match belated reminder of cricket season
The televising of the exhibition T20 game from the Gabba on Channel 9 was a belated reminder to Australian cricket followers who aren't pay TV subscribers that the local season is underway.
The match itself appeared to attract a reasonable, though well short of capacity, crowd to the ground. This was probably due more to the presence of some recently retired greats than to any resurgence of interest in the game (though Shane Warne batting himself at no11 indicated that it wasn't being played for sheep stations).
How attractive the Tests against the West Indies and then Pakistan will be remains to be seen. A related question is whether the decline of Test cricket elsewhere, as manifested by minute crowd numbers and diminishing TV audiences, will continue here. I expect that it will, at least for this season when neither of the touring teams have much Test match crowd pulling potential. Without abandoning my preference for the long form of the game I hope that the ODIs, where over and fielding restrictions even things up a bit, continue to pull in reasonable numbers of spectators and viewers. I'll certainly be glued to the TV this and at the Adelaide Oval next week.