Aussies are in for a flat summer of cricket
Ed Cowan plays a shot during the first innings of the first cricket Test between Australia and India at the MCG in Melbourne, Monday, Dec 26, 2011. (AAP Image/Julian Smith).
Is it just me, or is anyone else having a hard time trying to get excited for this year’s summer of cricket?
Personally, I’m more excited about the late spring and early summer of cricket, but I think by about January eighth I’ll be bored and begging for the footy again. Maybe I’m too much of a test match fan.
As much as I’d like to lay all the blame on Cricket Australia, I have to duly acknowledge that, for the most part, it’s not all their fault.
Of the two test series in Australia this year, it is undeniable that the one worth watching will be played first: Australia v South Africa.
These matches will likely be played in front of small crowds, because the series is being played during the school year.
No one is really to blame here. The South Africans are just as entitled to want home games during the peak of cricket season as we are. Unfortunately, the cost is that Australia v South Africa won’t be the main act in our summer.
The second series versus Sri Lanka is watchable. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are in good form, and are worth the expensive tickets and mid-strength beer at the SCG.
However, if Sri Lanka bring their typically poor away form with them and find themselves unable to adjust to the pace and bounce of Australian pitches, then these three games will be over inside four days.
Keep your fingers crossed that they come to Australia in prime form. If that is the case, the Australians will need to be at their best.
On January eighth, the test season ends and we move to a bombardment of one-day and Twenty20 matches which will have us longing for the tennis on the other channel.
Cricket Australia have a lot to answer for here. Five game bilateral series are a waste of time. Interest is lost after game three, irrespective of whether the competition is still ‘alive’, and the winning nation gets nothing more than a trophy that the Australian public won’t care about.
The worst thing about this summer’s schedule is that once we endure the five match series against Sri Lanka, we have to do it all over again with the West Indies. Enough.
Maybe I’m too much of a cricketing purist, but it seems to me that the high point of the Australian summer will be the early games against South Africa. From that point, it’s going to be a long, slow and boring decline until the final Twenty20 match on February 13th.