Australian Test vice-captain David Warner and Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland have come out strongly in the media this week in relation to the on-going disagreement between players and administrators regarding the players’ contracts.
The deal has taken on a personal interest in the Sutherland household, with James’ son performing well for Australia in the Under 19s and looking like a future senior player.
A senior player whose earnings are being capped by his dad.
That’s going to make Fathers Day interesting.
Both Warner and Sutherland have switched their amplifiers to 11, with neither looking to cede any ground (in the media at least), asserting that they can survive without one another, and that they never really liked each other anyway – it was just a summer thing.
So what will happen to cricket fans this summer without a Test team? What will we do on Boxing Day? Spend time with family and enjoy the outdoors?
Sounds ludicrous, so here are some more feasible suggestions:
1. Read ‘Lambs to the Slaughter’
Grahap Yallop was Australia’s Test captain during World Series Cricket and his book covering the 1978-79 Ashes details what a fun time he had with a makeshift side that didn’t include Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh or any Chappells.
The behind-the-scenes insights into the curmudgeonly Cricket Administrators at the time is also a pretty good reflection of today’s situation.
So rather than watch it all unfold on TV, do yourself a favour: buy the book and read it at your own time.
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2. Reward yourself
With a lack of cricket available on TV or to attend – and remember the players’ agreement covers the BBL as well as Tests and Sheffield Shield cricket – there will be plenty of sports after the audiences that cricket has, not to mention its sponsors.
So why not make yourself available to the sports administrator for the best offer? If the AFLW expands over the summer, let them know your viewership is there for the right price.
Treat yourself, you’re worth it.
3. Visit a blockbuster and hire Titanic
In the spirit of administrators leading their ship underwater, why not hire a movie about an unsinkable ship that was piloted into an iceberg, whereupon it sank.
Also, Kate Winslet didn’t share a life raft with Leonardo DiCaprio.
4. Get in the game
OK, this is going to initially come across as ludicrous, but there are a ton of local cricket clubs out there who will be playing the game in an inclusive and fun way.
While you may be missing out on watching Steve Smith not get out for two days or Matthew Wade finding new ways to parry the ball to the boundary, the opportunity is there to get involved as a player or volunteer, much like Mitch Marsh.
As the old saying goes; “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, blog.”
5. Join a cult
I’m going to be honest here, cricket fans can be a little weird. Obsessed with numbers, keeping one’s shape and convoluted rules, they aren’t necessarily the most relaxed of people.
It’s worth keeping this in mind as we approach the summer, as there are going to be thousands of these people wandering around with nothing to do, like some zombie-nerd apocalypse.
These people will be looking for like-minded people to share statistics and word puns with over a few beers, without the intervention of the Channel Nine commentary team.
Actually, maybe we should be thanking Sutherland?