0Bangladesh v Sri Lanka CricketCricket: A Testing Future?

The oth­er day I had the brief pleas­ure of watch­ing Bangladesh versus Sri Lanka on the goggle box. It only las­ted about an hour as oth­er fam­ily mem­bers suc­ceeded in pris­ing the remote away from me as soon as my back was turned.

But it was test crick­et at its best. There wasn’t a flurry of wick­ets and only a few runs were scored but from the per­spect­ive of the game it couldn’t have been more vital.

The awe­some and ever green middle order bats­man Kumar Sangakkara had craf­ted yet anoth­er fine cen­tury as he looked to mar­shal the tail to get a mean­ing­ful first innings lead over the hosts. Sri Lanka had a lead of around 40 runs with only four wick­ets in hand. Grip­ping test match crick­et as the game ebbed and flowed.

The sad thing was the crowd – or lack of. I wasn’t there I could only see what the TV beamed back. But from what I could see it was like watch­ing a second XI match in terms of bums on seats. It was the pro­ver­bi­al ‘one man and his dog’ stuff.

This is a great shame. I am an unapo­lo­get­ic fan of test match crick­et. For me it is the best aspect of the best sport in the world. One day crick­et is fun and helps to gen­er­ate decent sums of money but noth­ing beats a closely fought five day match. In Eng­land attend­ances seem to be fairly stable but if the Bangladesh v Sri Lanka attend­ance is any­thing to go by (hardly a sci­entif­ic test, I know) I do fear for the future.

And I wish I knew the answer to get attend­ances back up. Do tick­et prices play a part? Is too much crick­et (in all its forms) played? Are the pitches too help­ful to bats­men so teams rack up 500+ scores in each innings?

My opin­ion? As always it’s prob­ably a mix­ture of the vari­ous issues. Test match crick­et is a pricey busi­ness in the UK but there still seems to be enough people will­ing to part with their hard-earned cash to fill grounds. But in oth­er coun­tries the ques­tion needs to be asked if that is the case? If money is a bar­ri­er then get prices down. Sharp­ish. Get the kids in for free. Too much crick­et is also played across the globe and too many mod­ern day bats­men are grow­ing over-inflated aver­ages they don’t mer­it because of bat­ting friendly sur­faces (these are debates for anoth­er day).

If you have some thoughts then please con­trib­ute to the dis­cus­sion.

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