Last week, we started off our selection process for picking The Roar’s greatest Ashes XI. With about 1000 votes lodged on the initial poll, it’s now time to finalise the team.
The term ‘summer of cricket’ appears to be truer in the 2019-20 season than ever before.
As in past years, viewers have the option to tune into Test cricket by day and then flick over to the BBL at night, with the occasional double-header creating a slice of paradise for the cricket tragic.
With the WBBL becoming its own increasingly tantalising yearly event, and the option of Kayo available for those wanting to tune into games in South Africa and across the Tasman, the surplus of cricket available to watch is greater than any federal budget could ever deliver.
Which is why there is simply no need for a Christmas Day match when it comes to the men’s BBL.
Talk about à Christmas Day match has flown around administrative circles for a while now, and granted the popularity of public holiday sporting matches make it à tempting move.
The boxing day Test is the obvious point of reference, with the Adelaide NYE clash and Christmas eve clash in Hobart both pencilled in as big money grabs for the franchise.
More broadly speaking, Anzac Day offers massive traditional matches for both NRL and AFL codes, and in the US both the NFL and NBA hold events of Christmas Day that boast huge commercial value.
Indeed, Sheffield Shield games used to see action on Christmas Day, and the Aussies even played à day of Test cricket against the West Indies back in 1951 on December 25th.
However, administrators have conceded that players have opposed the idea of playing on the universal day of celebration, and given the amount of globe-trotting and constant pressure to perform the players experience, giving them just one day off on a day where most of the public have their own family commitments anyhow is a logical way forward.
Working on Christmas Day is a task considered thankless at the best of times, no matter how well paid you are. And while some might protest that these cricketers enjoy huge amounts of money splashed in their accounts every year, let’s take a moment to think of the camera crews, the food stall owners, the hospitality workers, the security guards, the car-park attendees and everyone else who would be forced to give up time with their families on the one day that they should be able to enjoy some uninterrupted relaxation.
Additionally, cricketers have been vocal about their desire to be mindful of their mental well-being, with a number of key players in the summer set up taking time out in order to prioritise their mental health ahead of simply playing a game.
These cricketers go above and beyond to deliver us entertaining fixtures every single day of the summer. Surely we can tear ourselves away from the screen and allow them a day off.