Moeen Ali just made the most ridiculous statement about Australia’s Ashes crowds

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    "See here, Moeen, it actually says the Test crowds were awesome." (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

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    “I feared (for the future) in the Ashes, actually. The crowds were quite disappointing in general.”

    That was Moeen Ali speaking about the second-most attended Ashes series in cricket history. No, really.

    Moeen isn’t the first person to publicly voice concerns over the viability of cricket’s longest format – and he certainly won’t be the last – but it would have been nice of him to have some genuine evidence to back up his statement.

    Speaking about the future of Test cricket, Moeen had plenty to say about the recently-concluded Ashes series, not much of it positive.

    “It’s been a worry for a while but Australia really opened my eyes. I found it disappointing,” he said.

    “I feared (for the future) in the Ashes, actually. The crowds were quite disappointing in general.

    “There were a couple of days — Boxing Day, the first day of the series — but even when they won the Ashes there weren’t that many people celebrating.

    “That’s when I thought, ‘Actually, we’re struggling a bit’. We’re very lucky in England — after being all around the world and seeing the crowds everywhere else, we’ve got the best fans, we’ve got full houses most of the time.

    “But I think the Big Bash had bigger crowds than the Ashes. That’s great for T20 but for Test matches it’s a massive worry.”

    For the record, just under 200,000 fans attended the day-night Test in Adelaide (the final number was 199,147) and over 250,000 punters packed into the MCG over the course of the Boxing Day Test, despite that fixture being one of the most tedious cricketing spectacles seen in this country in recent times, on account of a lifeless pitch.

    The Adelaide figure made the second Ashes Test the most-attended cricket match ever at the Adelaide Oval, while the MCG number was the second-highest in the history of Boxing Day Tests.

    Now, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say English crowds will produce sell-outs more frequently than what we see in Australia. But that can be attributed to the disparity in ground capacity between the two countries.

    English venues like The Oval (24,500), Lord’s (30,000) and Old Trafford (26,000) are dwarfed by their Australian equivalents; the MCG holds over 100,000 fans, while the SCG (46,000), Gabba (42,000) and Adelaide Oval (53,500) are all far larger than your average Test cricket venue in the UK.

    Does Test cricket have something to worry about? Of course it does.

    But ill-informed comments from cricket stars bemoaning its future aren’t going to help.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 12:11pm
      Ouch said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      Well considering the tour Moeen had, he probably felt very lonely out there.

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 12:29pm
      Darren said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

      More likely Moeen feared for his future in test cricket after the Australian series.
      I do agree it’s annoying when people bemoan the crowds but when you look at the facts it’s a very different story.

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 12:40pm
      Trevor said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      Ali had trouble seeing a ball at 22 yards all summer. No surprise he couldn’t see the crowd 100m away.

      • February 23rd 2018 @ 12:52pm
        rock86 said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

        Comment of the day for me, well done sir.

        • February 23rd 2018 @ 1:10pm
          jameswm said | February 23rd 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          Yep. Maybe he should have concentrated more on his cricket than how many in the crowd were celebrating.

      • Roar Guru

        February 23rd 2018 @ 2:06pm
        Ryan H said | February 23rd 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        +1. Extremely well played there

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 12:42pm
      Richard said | February 23rd 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

      Maybe he couldn’t see the crowds, especially while England were batting, as he spent most of the time crying in the dressing room.

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2018 @ 1:02pm
      mds1970 said | February 23rd 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      England had a bad series, and Moeen made no contribution whatsoever to England’s cause.

      But this summer’s Ashes series was played in front of crowds that England could only dream of. This is a game in rude health.

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 1:13pm
      jameswm said | February 23rd 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

      So whose careers did the Aussies end? Cook’s was on the way out till his double tone on the Melbourne Road. Broad was toothless.

      And above all, Ali was about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike…

      • February 23rd 2018 @ 4:55pm
        Bakkies said | February 23rd 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

        Jake Ball may end up like Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin who haven’t played test Cricket since the 5-0 hiding in 2013/14.

      • February 23rd 2018 @ 7:12pm
        John Erichsen said | February 23rd 2018 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

        So, at this stage shortly after the Ashes series, the answer is nobody’s. Cook’s test career is in rebirth mode, Broad’s still the 2nd English pace bowler picked and Moeen will simply return to bat at seven with Stokes to bat at six.
        In fact, the closest to a career end would currently be the MCG as a test venue.

        • Columnist

          February 23rd 2018 @ 9:12pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | February 23rd 2018 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

          Cook is becoming like Shane Watson was as a Test batsman for years – struggling when it matters and then saving his bacon with a ton in a situation of low-importance.

          In Cook’s last 30 Tests innings he has made two tons – both doubles – which were about as low in value as a double ton can possibly be. One in an Ashes dead rubber on an ICC-condemned uber-road at the MCG, and the other against the Windies, a Test attack so poor that SMarsh and Voges made a 449-run stand against them.

          In his other 28 innings in that time Cook has averaged just 24.

          I think he’s a long, long way past his best as a Test batsman.

          • February 24th 2018 @ 12:35am
            Bakkies said | February 24th 2018 @ 12:35am | ! Report

            You look at the 2013-14 team Carberry (he has had very seriously health issues lately still on a County contract), Tim Bresnan (still only 32 can’t see a recall at this stage), Chris Tremlett and KP haven’t played for England since that series. Borthwick and Rankin didn’t play for England after receiving their first test cap in Sydney. Jake Ball may fit in to that category as Roland Jones and Craig Overton should be fit for the home series along with Overton’s brother.

            Trott and Prior were done with England even though they were selected after the series.

            Whether you agree with it or not Stokes is back for NZ and I can’t see him and Moeen being picked in the same team at Eden Park on a drop in pitch. As for the home series Rashid has given first class Cricket the boot for a while and the other two youngsters including Crane are raw.

          • February 25th 2018 @ 7:35pm
            John Erichsen said | February 25th 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

            Has his career ended? Nope. His double at the MCG has bought Cook as many tests as he desires to play. You and I both know he isn’t even close to the batman he used to be. A concrete slab at the MCG and Starc-less bowling attack, it may have been, but Cook’s test career is in no danger of ending anytime soon.

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