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This summer’s genuine cricket win? The coverage

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Roar Rookie
1st April, 2019
23

Monday’s conclusion to the Sheffield Shield final brought an end to a marathon summer of cricket.

The sheer breadth of media coverage was at times unbearable to all but the biggest cricket tragic, who even then would have likely experienced a moment where they found themselves standing around a barbeque, longing for the banal water-cooler chatter that tends to accompany the great, but less divisive (at least in my circles) games of tennis, golf, or I dare I say it, politics.

The coverage has been oppressive, inescapable and undeniably fatiguing.

And we are so lucky that this has been the case.

At a time when the relevance of international cricket is being questioned, never before has an Australian cricket fan had so many choices in how they are to consume the game. If this is partially fuelled by off-field events, then so be it.

If we can view the media circus as a necessary element in ensuring that the game receives first class coverage, then we can appreciate the fact that recent international fixtures have been covered by multiple television networks, radio stations and online platforms.

That this amplified distribution of talent has led to the inclusion of more diverse voices and perspectives, in addition to launching niche cricketing products, such as The Grade Cricketer, into the mainstream.

Generic batting shot cricket

Jordan Silk of the Tigers batting during day four of the JLT cricket final between Queensland and Tasmania at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Monday, March 26, 2018. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Who among you did not revel in the near test match level coverage provided to a Shield final, something which appeared unthinkable while watching a grainy online stream, only a few seasons ago?

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While it is true that this coverage was an agreed part of the Cricket Australia broadcast deal, something which was put in place before recent events, it is difficult to escape the fact that the match gained greater significance because of their fallout.

Would the wider public for instance, be as keen to dissect and debate the depth of the domestic game, if the national side had been bolstered by the inclusion of its two best batsmen?

So as the dust settles on a season where its coverage is already being viewed as hyperbolic and its results as understandable, the cricketing faithful look forward to a bumper year. One which of course includes both a World Cup and Ashes campaign and because of this perhaps needs no sideshows to ensure column inches.

Nonetheless, we should smile at the security which the inevitable gossip will provide, as it is this that will play a part in sustaining the game’s success in future years.

In the calm before the storm, let’s take a moment to remember that no matter what the reason and no matter how tiring it may be, just how fortunate we are to live in a country and at a time, where the great game of cricket is given top level billing.

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