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The Roar

Lewis Atkins

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Joined October 2019

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Cricket and Manchester United

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I don’t no. I say broadcast rights profits need to be distributed fairly so those countries can build infrastructure to improve their quality. Not going there will just make them poorer. Also, australia just got slammed by west indies and Bangladesh in white ball series; we drew our last test series in Bangladesh; and if we do end up touring Pakistan for tests, I’ll bet we’ll lose. We never bet them in the UAE.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

You do realise that you pay tax on Centrelink payments, yeah? Provided you’re above the tax-free threshold

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

True, and I’m more of a fan of T20 than ODI. I think it’s more tactically intense while also being more entertaining, which is important. I also think that T20 is a natural evolution of the experimenting that takes place in cricket. Tests have fluctuated between 3-unlimited days; first class 2-5 days (possibly more, I don’t really know); one dayers have been 40 overs, 50 overs, 55 overs, 60 overs; T20 fits into that. I think you’re right I may have been unfair there but it definitely applies to The Hundred, which is a crass bastardisation that almost feels ashamed to be cricket. The 100s-of-millions of pounds they sunk into it could have created two of the best T20 leagues in the world (men’s and women’s). The English men’s domestic T20 consistently sold out games and the finals were often sold out before people knew who were even playing in them.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Who operates the equipment? Who builds the equipment? Who programs the computers? Also, I haven’t said there shouldn’t be formats other than Test cricket. I’m a big fan of T20. No where do I say it shouldn’t be played or players are greedy. But, we have a stuffed playing schedule that is running players into the ground and more is continuing to be added. It’s being added not for the benefit of cricket as whole but for commercial reasons. Equally, rich boards are unilaterally cancelling tours to nations where they don’t think they’ll make a profit. Not-for-profit organisations are making decisions that are primarily designed to generate profits rather than grow the game at home and around the world.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Of course it has always played a role and I don’t think the administration of yesterday were wonderfully competent and altruistic. But now that those sides you have mentioned are well established, and cricket is a more truly global game, there is a greater responsibility to tour. Do we really want Australia to never tour Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ireland, or the West Indies because it isn’t commercially viable? Or do we want to see how our cricketers fair in varied environments against varied oppositions. And if the quality in those countries is poor because they can’t afford the infrastructure, perhaps we and the other rich boards should help them so they can improve, rather than hoard our wealth like an oil Barron. We haven’t been to New Zealand since 2016 and they may very well be the best side in the world.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Try paying rent without a job. Try eating. Try living a life of basic comforts. Even with a job huge numbers of people struggle, and that number has increased in the last ten years especially. It’s not individuals coercing people, it’s the structures of our society.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

But do fans only want test cricket played between the biggest countries. Of course they also want T20 but I don’t mind T20, I think they can coexist. And I don’t think players should be paid less. I don’t think that administrators should get bonuses for a fourth format no one was asking for. I don’t think they should be allowed to put sections of cricket behind a paywall so they can hit a cosmetic target, especially when they have an offer to put all cricket on free-to-air tv. I think the current generation of administrators are taking decisions on a purely commercial basis and that they are harming the game for short term profit.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Someone earning a salary, even when it is 300k, is very different to the Elon Musks and Jeff Bezos of the world. And the people who run cricket now come from industries that exist to generate insane wealth for people who don’t work. Let’s not forget we’re talking about not-for-profits being run like venture capitalist firms.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

They didn’t make it. Worker’s generate their income. That’s what a capitalist is; someone who earns income without having to sell their labour. They earn through it rents, interest, and the profits generated by the workers at their companies.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

If Test isn’t played with the poorer countries then it will become a stale, elitist old shop. CA, the ECB and the BCCI can all afford to tour those countries. They choose not to to maximise profit, despite being non-profit organisations that are supposed to protect and nurture cricket as custodians of the game. They’re not supposed to sell it off to the highest bidder.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Allen Stanford is a cautionary tale.
T20 may be a symptom (though I don’t believe it is), but it’s not the disease. It was invented in 2003 (2002?) by administrators who wanted something new to sell to broadcasters. As I said, putting English cricket behind a paywall in 2005 did far more damage and made the game a far more narrow place.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

I refer you to the Pandora Papers linked above. The capitalist class do all they can to avoid paying taxes, either on their businesses or the income. The people who fund welfare, education, and roads are ordinary working people with much less to give. We built this world, we maintain it. We should have control of it and of our own lives.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Totally agree. BBL used to short, intense, and exciting. Now it’s the odd plaything that drags on way too long.

T20 isn't killing Test cricket, capitalism is

Eight Tests and three five wick hauls. He’s not overrated. Joe Root flogged him in New Zealand to the point where he broke his elbow, because Root is a very average captain. Also because he was forced to bowl despite complaining about the pain he was in. Blackwood hardly handled him with ease in that second innings, where Archer was brilliant. He’s young and new to Test cricket and probably the most exciting bowler in the world.

Jofra Archer is the most overrated bowler in England

Dan, you are my new favourite sports writer 😂

Time for sport to realise climate change is its fight, too

Great article, Dan. Our sporting history and social history are inextricably linked.

Time for sport to realise climate change is its fight, too

My issue is that the title sets the tone, so everything written is understood through that prism. There’s clearly nothing pious or lecturing in the body of the article, but the title can easily cast that shadow

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

Thank you, Isaac. If I wanted to write an inflammatory article I easily could have. But it wouldn’t have been how I felt in this context. It’s more a lament than anything. It will probably be less on the nose tomorrow when the smoke is back, if things go as forecast.

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

I didn’t do any of that. Read it again. It is only about how I ended up not watching any cricket because of this crisis. One of the final paragraphs: “I didn’t choose to not watch the cricket, and I’m not saying I’m great or special for not doing so. It’s just that for the first time I didn’t feel that urge, and I’m certain there were many others.”

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

The same Abbott who says we are in the grip of a “climate cult”, and our tinder box of a country is a natural state? Good on him for getting on the front lines in the past, but now he’s not standing for election in the next three years where is he?

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

Cheers, Paul. Many thinking I’m saying, “how dare you enjoy life!” When I’m not at all

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

Editors didn’t touch the body, just the title. But the title sets the tone before you read anything else. A better title would have been “I didn’t watch the cricket today”

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

I also wrote, “There’s nothing wrong with escaping from the bad into a pleasurable pastime. In times of tragedy and crisis, people gather for small moments and sometimes find themselves forgetting before reality brutishly sets in.”

And, “I didn’t choose to not watch the cricket, and I’m not saying I’m great or special for not doing so. It’s just that for the first time I didn’t feel that urge, and I’m certain there were many others.”

That’s what this article is about, really, just that these are truly exceptional circumstances and i just didn’t feel like watching cricket. For me that is a very strange feeling and made me very uncomfortable when i did switch over. Not saying I’m better, not saying I’m more empathetic. Just saying I feel strange, my philosophy is that sport does not exist outside of society, and those who write about it should do so in a way that documents both sporting achievement and social history. That is what I endeavoured to do. Cheers.

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

Thank you, Isaac. That’s all this article is, the current events are so exceptional that they disturbed a connection I held and had supposed was immune from disturbance. No judgements on any others, not announcing a boycott, not saying those who watched every ball are bastards. I even explicitly state I didn’t make a conscious to not watch, it just ended up happening because there was something more important. It’s just a method of documenting our nation’s history through the lens of our nation’s sport.

Why I'm not watching the cricket today

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