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Chris Kettlewell

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Joined August 2013

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What’s so different? They are basically starting the BBL a couple of weeks earlier with the hope that can mean if COVID causes any sort of further interruptions they can handle them and still get the thing finished around the end of the school holidays. Other than that there’s no great difference with the BBL is there? Maybe the addition of a couple of stupid new rules, but other than that…

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

It does seem a bit like people at Channel Seven simply don’t get cricket in many ways!

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

You are on an opinion site put here for people to discuss these things. I suppose you could say that all such commenting on sports stories is inherently pointless, therefore this is also. But other than that argument, while there are likely some things where you’d need to know the fine detail of the legal contract to talk about, there’s plenty of legitimate things that can be discussed without knowing that detail of the contract.

It’s highly unlikely there was a pandemic clause saying “should a worldwide pandemic hit and you are forced to shuffle some cricket around a bit, we shouldn’t have to pay” or “if we are struggling financially and decide we promised too much in this contract, we can jump up and down screaming like a man-child and get the contract torn up”. Knowing it’s highly unlikely those clauses are in the contract, there is plenty that could be legitimately said about Channel Seven’s behaviour here.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Kayo is just Foxtel’s streaming service. So it’s still just really Foxtel by a different name.

In Australia we still have these sorts of sports in the anti-siphoning list. So while that remains FTA networks still have first dibs on any contract negotiations. And with all the FTA networks having their own streaming services, going FTA doesn’t mean not being available for streaming either.

So there is always hope!

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Absolutely. I don’t see why we can’t play more tests in a summer sometimes either. I know England often play a lot more tests in a summer. Not unusual for England to have a 5-test series plus another 3 test series in the same summer. They could easily play 5-tests against someone like England or India, and still have another 3-test series against Bangladesh or something like that. 8 tests in the summer, no problem.

That could also give opportunities to more grounds to get test matches. Places like Hobart and Canberra could host tests, and maybe some others around also. Plus there’s no reason why you can’t have multiple tests at the same ground. When England have multiple test series they regularly have multiple tests at Lords in a summer. Prior to the WACA’s first test in 1970, I’m pretty sure they used to regularly have second SCG and/or MCG tests in a summer of cricket.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Yeah, some test players come back to the BBL, while ODI and T20 only players are taken out of the BBL. The players thing is a poor argument. They’ve never got very many (if any) BBL games out of the multi-format international players. And lets face it, most of the test players who they really want to see in the BBL are multi-format players, Warner, Smith, Labushagne, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood.

Maybe there are a few extras pulled out because they are basically picking a squad more like a touring squad to reduce the need to have to pull players in from outside their bubble. But it’s not going to affect the BBL too much. In fact, they’ll have the white ball only players, guys like Maxwell, Finch, Stoinis, Zampa there for the entire BBL I’d think.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

I get that the networks don’t want to lose any product they’ve paid for, but in the end, what both the NRL and CA have managed to do has been pretty good. In the end the NRL season was 20 regular season games each compared to 24 each last season. That’s pretty amazing to only lose 4 rounds for the whole season. And with so much of that season having significantly reduced crowds (some even with no crowds) and lots of it where people are stuck at home a lot more (certainly with the NRL, the cricket will have less benefit from that) and therefore maybe likely to watch more TV, the broadcast networks probably did pretty well out of it.

Considering that all Seven have lost is one Afghanistan test, to get a 20% discount is a great deal for them. Complaining about the ODI’s kicking off the summer rather than the tests is dumb. They passed on having the ODI’s when they signed the contract. They could have had them, but decided they didn’t want them. So they shouldn’t be able to have any say in what CA does with them.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

It was a great comment by Melinda Farrell wasn’t it!

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Yeah, it’s always about trying to get these bigger, better deals. I get players like getting paid more, who wouldn’t, but there was enough money in cricket under the old contract. Signing ridiculously big broadcast deals just leads to decisions being made that are bad for the game because they can earn more money for the broadcaster, and since they’ve put so much money in, they want to be making a profit from that.

If they signed a more reasonable deal, rather than one that’s very difficult for the broadcasters to be profitable with, then it’s a lot easier to make decisions for the good of everyone, and not just pushed by what’s best for the broadcaster.

Hopefully when the current deal ends, we can get it all back on FTA again. Because the FTA networks bidding for it will realise that it’s better for them to have it all. And fortunately we still have anti-siphoning laws meaning that if the FTA networks bidding for the rights want them, then they will almost certainly get them.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

International cricket comes under anti-siphoning laws. So Foxtel only had the chance to get exclusive rights because FTA networks (including 7) declined them. Technically 9 or 10 could potentially have bid for just the ODI’s and T20i’s I’m guessing. But I don’t think either of them really considered that. So 7 passing on them gave Foxtel exclusive matches. Which then means they are willing to pay a lot more themselves, because having some exclusive matches gives something to get people to sign up who haven’t already.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

I think that’s it. They’ve decided it was all a big mistake. The idea of complaining and taking legal action because difficult decisions need to be made because of the pandemic is just completely dumb.

They are the ones that mean most Australians don’t get to watch white ball internationals anymore. We should all be complaining about them. They’ve got nothing to complain about. The contract gives them the tests and the BBL. All they’ve lost is one test against Afghanistan, which probably saves them money. And CA offered a 20% discount for it, which was probably overly generous.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Yeah, and it’s ridiculous, because playing BBL in hubs like that just means that less fans are able to go to their own teams matches, meaning that they would be more likely to be watching on TV. In general, I’d think the pandemic would actually be a benefit to the TV rights holders, because it’s harder for people to go to games, so they’ll watch them on TV, and lots of other things people might go out and do are still a bit harder to do also, so maybe people are more likely to watch the cricket on TV than go out and do things compared to other summers.

Effectively they’ve lost one test, which was against Afghanistan, so unlikely to be a great ratings puller anyway. (Tests against teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan have been cancelled in the past with CA citing them not being financially viable as they just don’t get enough people watching them to cover the costs. So losing that test might benefit seven!) The ODI’s wouldn’t have been on Seven anyway.

Channel 7 exposed as desperate and naive in cricket’s messy TV stoush

Mitch never really earned his spot, his first class results weren’t good enough, they more picked him on the hope that he looked like the sort of player they wanted. But the fact is that, more often than not, the selectors value a pace bowling allrounder a lot more than a spin bowling allrounder. And Lyon being the main spinner really doesn’t help Maxwell. If our main spinner was a Leggie, then picking an off-spinning batting allrounder might have more appeal when the main spinner is also an offie.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

It would be interesting to compare those averages to the average scores of the games they played in. Because this period of time has relatively coincided with a bit of a jump in overall ODI scoring, where 350+ scores are becoming much more the norm. I suspect that if an average ODI score jumps significantly, then bowlers averages are going to jump significantly too. But no, I’m not going to do the leg work on that one!

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

Allrounder rankings are funny things. Outside the “genuine” allrounders, of which there are few, they tend to just fill up with bowlers who are handy with the bat, because bowlers all get more chance to bat than most batsmen who are handy with the ball will get to bowl.

Broad, somehow, is currently #10 on the allrounder ranking. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to think of someone like Labushagne as more of an allrounder than him, but because bowlers bat more than batsmen bowl, the rankings will rarely reflect that. Unless you are bowling enough to be averaging at least a couple of wickets per match, you probably aren’t even going to get a look in on the rankings.

Which is funny, because often, when we are talking about wanting an allrounder in the side, more often than not we are thinking a batting allrounder who will bat in the top-6 as their primary skill with bowling more as a bonus, precisely the sort of player who the rankings are biased against.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

It’s an incredible shot, but I have to ask, “What’s the point of it?” Generally the point of a reverse sweep is that they are bowling tight at the stumps with fielders out on the leg side, but fielders all inside the circle on the off side. So you reverse sweep it over or through the off side field to get the boundary. If you are just going the slog way back into the crowd, where you don’t care about the field at all, it makes little sense. The ball even turned into him. Exactly the right ball to hit a shot pretty much identical to those first two sixes shown.

All I can think is it’s 100% for show. Playing right into the “Big Show” nickname! I guess professional sport is entertainment, so ridiculous shots can be good for that. But for a shot playing perspective, there was absolutely no need to go reverse on that!

Glenn Maxwell outdoes himself with the most bonkers shot ever

Sean Abbott’s first class batting average is 21.15. Which is less than Starc (22.80), Pattinson (22.97) and only marginally higher than Cummins (20.95). So if Abbott is an allrounder then I guess Starc, Pattinson and Cummins are also. He’s had a couple of good innings on the pretty flat batting tracks they’ve played on so far this year. The one where he got a hundred, Starc was only denied one of his own by the declaration. Hence, he’s a handy tail-ender.

His record in domestic one day and T20 suggests that he’s even less an all-rounder in the short formats, where he averages 16.59 and 10.23 with the bat.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

I don’t know about “horrendous decline”. He’s not in great form a the moment, but I’m sure he’ll come good at some point. He was still the top wicket taker in the last world cup. He sometimes just gets out of sorts a bit, the action goes a little wrong and needs a reset. Hopefully he can get that reset happening soon.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

Abbot isn’t really an allrounder. He’s a bowler who’s a handy tail-ender.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

That’s actually one of the reasons why I like Jhye Richardson for the test team. Really hard to know who you leave out to get him in, because if Starc is bowling well he provides something none of the others do too, and the consistent threat of Cummins and Hazlewood is hard to leave out. But nonetheless, Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Pattinson are all tall, Richardson is more similar height to Marshall.

I noted last time India played here, that some of the pitches they were playing on the ball seemed to hurry onto the batsmen from their shorter quicks more than from the tall Aussie quicks even though the Aussies were bowling faster, and I was wondering if maybe, in some conditions, the taller bowler has the ball dig in a bit more and come off the pitch slower, while the shorter bowler skids off the surface more and that means it comes off the pitch quicker. So while there are certainly benefits to the tall fast bowler, having one shorter quick in the side (and I mean a real fast bowler, not Matty Wade!) who can exploit conditions a bit differently I think can add really good balance to the side.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

Symond’s averaged between 31 and 37 in all forms of the game with the ball. That’s pretty decent for a batting allrounder. Interestingly, Maxi’s T20 bowling is slightly better than Symonds, but he’s significantly worse in all other forms. Could potentially excuse that a bit in ODI’s as the overall scores have increased a bit in that time. But certainly, in both cases they are well and truly in the team for their batting and their bowling is more a handy bonus than a primary skill.

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

Maxi’s unpredictability makes him great for ODI’s and T20’s, but becomes a worry for test cricket. Even most of his good Shield scores have been just going hard and smacking the bowling around. He doesn’t seem to really have any other gears. He just needs to go hard.

But it’s also extra hard, once someone is a fixture in the ODI and T20i side, to push for a test spot because being in those teams causes him to miss so much Shield cricket. And with the likes of Pucovski and Green coming through, and an otherwise reasonably settled lineup, it’s hard to see how he can really make a push for the test side at this point in his career. There’s nothing wrong with being a white-ball specialist though!

Zampa and Maxwell have been key to Australia's ODI resurgence

IPL teams can only have four overseas players in the team per match, so they still have plenty of local Indian players. But if anything, I think your argument is the wrong way around. If you’ve got two players in your side who are both outstanding skippers of their national teams, and still select Warner as your captain, then that surely suggests he’s held in pretty high esteem as a captain, otherwise surely they’d pick one of those guys who’s a proven international captain to be the captain.

David Warner isn't replaceable, so no wonder India are happy

Spruce, I’m not saying he would do that, just extrapolating his strike rate in that innings out as part of the question people often have when someone bats really well at the end of an innings but runs out of balls. Was it a waste them going in so late? If they went in earlier could they have scored at that rate for longer and built an even bigger score?

Mind you, the way things are going, I’m sure it will happen one day where someone who’s smashed a super quick hundred will just keep going and going and get a double off under 100 balls. But I’m not actually saying that if Maxwell went in early enough to face 90 balls he’d have scored a double.

David Warner isn't replaceable, so no wonder India are happy

Yeah, I think the thing with Maxwell is that we don’t have anyone who can do what he can do late in the innings moreso than whether he can do the job at the top. While I can concur that Warner is hard to replace at the top, we probably have more decent options to replace Warner at the top than Maxwell in the middle. It’s been pretty common that we’ve had a logjam of options who are all best suited to opening in ODI’s. For a long time there was Warner, Finch, Khawaja, S.Marsh, Carey all who were considered at their best opening, but obviously only two can do that role. But what Maxi can do late in an innings we don’t have any replacement for.

I suppose the question is always there, when he does something like that 63*(29), was it a waste him coming in so late? If he’d come in 20 overs earlier could have potentially have made 200 from 90 and powered Australia to 450+? That’s always the tough thing with a player like that. Is it best to have them to smash it at the end or could they have just scored even more runs if we gave them more time?

David Warner isn't replaceable, so no wonder India are happy