Cricket fans get a free hit ahead of domestic one day season

Adam Bagnall Roar Pro

By , Adam Bagnall is a Roar Pro

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    The JLT Cup kicked off on Wednesday and in a huge boost for cricket lovers everywhere, or mainly just those in WA, QLD, Tasmania and NSW, spectators will be able to watch the games free of charge.

    The domestic one-day series is a great introduction to the summer of cricket and it now gets easier for fans to take in the action.

    The boffins at Cricket Australia have finally relented and thrown the gates open for a format which has dwindled in popularity over the years, but still provides a welcome return to the game after several months of footy.

    I remember around the early 2000s, getting ready to ply my trade for Merimbula in the local cricket comp on the NSW Far South Coast, I would enjoy watching about 15 overs of this format before I headed out to bumble my way through 40-odd overs and it was a great start to a Saturday, getting you in the mood for the game ahead.

    These days, there is not enough interest to warrant a TV deal, with games streamed on CA’s website and the tournament is reduced to less than a month, as it has been for the last few years, which is a great idea, keeping games coming in thick and fast and not dragging it out over several months.

    Games are played in small, quaint grounds like Hurstville Oval where I will head in a couple of weeks, and afternoons are spent lazing on the grass, taking in the action and that’s really what cricket is all about.

    Other venues include Allan Border Field and the iconic North Sydney Oval, where about 1000 runs get scored and if a day of cricket at this grand old ground doesn’t get you excited, nothing will.

    The tournament, dominated by NSW in recent years, will be reliant on international players to give it a boost, however most of them will be away on duty, but it’s still a great day out for the family, or on your own, and finally a sporting body has given fans something to be happy about, after most of us get gouged with crazy ticket prices to attend the sport we love.

    I went to a game at North Sydney Oval several years ago and got burnt to a crisp sitting on the hill, and then in around 2014 my dad, a family friend and I took in a game at Hurstville Oval, where I stood next to Stuart MacGill at the canteen as he ordered lunch, but I was too shy to say g’day.

    The first game started on September 27, with the final to be held at Blundstone Arena on October 21.