“To the end of the world continues, but every year new people become so stupid that they don’t even know it, as if the fun seems to have just begun. ” could be: a sport that is always in crisis, always dying, dying in some form from the day it was born.
Undoubtedly, in the 18th century, the inhabitants of Broadhalfpenny Down in Hembledo lamented in the evenings about the collapse of military equipment around the innkeeper’s fire, the impatience of young people and how everything could not survive after the invention of the electric telegraph. Even Ashes, the memory of the golden age of Test Cricket and the lifeblood of commercial life, was born from a funeral.
It is tempting to conclude that the End Times and the lost idylls are a natural state of English cricket, depending on its location on the calendar, a sporting season that dies every autumn as the skies darken, where only sunny days are always captured. in the dark.
This drum has been playing louder in recent years. And feeling that the usual notes of suffering coincide with real shrinkage and decay, disappearing from schools, marketing surveys that place cricket a little below lacrosse, and eating sand on a list of favorite activities; a monoculture sealed behind a high garden wall, along with hard, irreversible evidence of racism, elitism, and isolation. At what point do we reach a critical mass?
For all the little chords, there’s something else here. As the current season progresses into the high summer season, as the crowd enjoys and drinks at the exhausted Blast games, as Test Cricket begins to stretch into the corners of the non-football summer, the Hundred promises the first completely new season. items and new sound (plus heavy marketing and cheap tickets), it’s hard to conclude that this thing is very lively for a dying sport.
Contrary to all expectations, the patient is not only vital, but also quietly and healthily in certain places. Despite all its flaws and major inconveniences, people want it. Maybe, maybe, the problem in English cricket is not really cricket.
The guard and Observer sports table ordered a series of articles examining the current state of English cricket. Although there is always an alarm, the depth of the will to protect this game draws attention, as well as the fact that the game itself is good, and its struggles are structural and unique in many ways. Are we really sure that the England and Wales Cricket Council is the best fit to address them?
This is the time for discussion. The ECB does not have a chief executive officer or chairman. In the last few years, his driving force has been Tom Harrison, who turned on the lights, oversaw a major racist scandal, controlled the controlled decline of red ball cricket, took a big personal bonus from the game, and alienated many. supporters of traditional (this is not always a bad word) cricket. Is the ECB still as fit to solve problems as it was? Are we happy with that? Need to solve it and find something new?
This is not a fantastic offer. It is easy to forget that the ECB is something relatively new; and that districts are not simply its subjects. Countries approve and approve the ECB, not vice versa. It is a structure with a defined role in the upper echelons of the British Cricket Administration, but without deep cultural roots.
The ECB is 25 years old. The body he replaced, the Test and County Cricket Board, lasted 28 years. Previously, English Cricket was managed by MCC and Test Match Control Board. Both of these subsequent bodies were created each time for very specific reasons related to money and control.
The TCCB was created to reduce public funding for British cricket as a private club run by the MM. Its successor, the ECB, emerged as another cash flow mechanism to manage paid TV deals in the 1990s.
Thus, the ECB was largely created as a broadcaster of broadcasting rights and from there as a more professional tool for disseminating this powerful new source of funding. The goal on the playground was very simple: to beat England by applying stability, central contracts and a high-performance environment, and thus make your TV product more valuable.
It worked very well for ten years. During the second decade, it worked well with some distractors. Nowadays, it seems to be an increasingly controversial model. There is a limit to all this work. And the world has changed again.
Franchise cricket is the future power. With the ECB’s golden gas, the era of settled satellite broadcasting rights, the British team is no longer the main driver of future revenue. The ECB knows this better than anyone, so the first idea of Hundred is a good idea. And so, in the midst of this changing landscape, we are in a situation where the ECB’s frequent actions are designed to promote and protect the strength of the CBA, as opposed to the health and spread of what other people might recognize as “British cricket.”
This is a classic declining dictatorial behavior. I am the state. What is good for me is good for all of you. Thus, the desire to create a panicked franchise product, the need to cut the counties, follow the setting sun and create your own piece of intellectual property.
Does the ECB, an agency interested in instant growth, eyeballs, and income streams, really understand what is required? Because these needs have changed. The real priority for English cricket as a whole is not to make a little more money from its broadcasters, but to find a way to protect and distribute and share (not sell) the sport that has already made money in the audience of their ancestral ancestors.
The job of any new governing body is to properly address issues such as exclusion, barriers to entry, institutional racism, invisibility, and a sense that the sport no longer belongs to the public, which the ECB has controlled since 1997.
These are no longer side issues that will be managed by rotation. They are critical to survival and need special, expert hands. The ECB tried to turn a blind eye to all this with tricks and slogans. But at the bottom it is run by marketing people for marketing purposes. He can’t solve these problems or find a way, which is not an act of sale.
Any new governing body must keep in touch with India. The ECB has always had a cultural fear of being cut off and overshadowed by the Supervisory Board for Cricket and the Indian Premier League in India. But it’s important to understand that India’s power center is just a reality, and things like the new legal agreement that the IPL is destroying are good for cricket, because that’s where cricket is now, and the English game has to be this way. and this mega-league satellite, not his jealous aunt.
There are many other responsibilities that will be included in the founding articles of the new cricket administration. The abolition of central contracts, which belonged to the old ECB model, is simply a nice payment for each Test played, opening the pool for all active players, re-energizing the district as a way to red ball cricket.
Dealing with the interests of countries and feeding them, not fighting them, accepting that there are places where the game can be spread and diversified, where access can be strengthened.
It would be good for a new body to remember that cricket will always be a product of a certain degree of inheritance, strange and awkward, but still powerful; that it is a power, not something to be ashamed or meaninglessly diluted. A new governing body must, above all, love cricket.
In general, there is a great enthusiasm for sports in this country. The largest Test match crowd is still smaller than the largest weekly crowd in the third tier of English football. It doesn’t take much to make the game lively enough, healthy enough, open enough. The required will, leadership and purposeful body.