Make Cricket Cool Again: Some ideas for reinvigorating cricket (add your ideas as well, we need as many as possible) #cricket #MCCA

Cricket is the greatest sport known to Man and anyone who doesn’t believe that is a coxcomb. It is an integral part of English life and reversing its decline is of vital importance to anyone who has ever apologised when someone else bumped into them.

Cricket is losing out in the race to attract crowds. County games are sparsely attended, only England matches can be guaranteed to fill out grounds.

What can be done to put cricket at the top of the English sporting pile and make it more popular than premiership football?

TV broadcasting has to be on terrestrial television. Once it goes behind a paywall it is only seen by kids whose parents watch it. Kids don’t want to play something they can’t watch.

Get rid of gimmicks like the Hundred. People know when they are being sold an artificial product. Take away the hype and something so manufactured will die. Stop wasting money on it.

Return to only those born in a county can play for the county.

Play county cricket during the summer months rather than at the extremities of the season.

Subsidise cricket lessons for local kids.

Stop the critical theory inspired attacks on the sport. Cricket should not be a playground for political expression or social engineering.

Link with local football clubs to cross-pollinate support.

England winning is not the be-all and end-all. England players play for their counties. Building a strong county game is more important. It will naturally build a wider, stronger base than we have now.

Stop playing so much white ball cricket. It is like a football team playing five-a-side.

Get influencers onboard. Get all of tiktok reporting from county matches.

Get the message out that cricket is cool.

Make the length of games a strength. The ebb and flow of a four day game is far superior to the wham-bam of a 90 minutes football match.

More clubs not less.

Football is not profitable. It is run by billionaires. Cricket just has to attract billionaire owners…

Champions league style competition between champions of England, Australia, etc.

Encourage cricket in state schools with links to their local club.

Stop focusing on England. In football people love their clubs. Get clubs more involved in local communities.

Stop the dumbing down. If anything complicate up.

Keep the traditions. There can be no argument that people who hit the ball in men’s cricket are men, so call them their traditional name, batsmen. There’s no point in alienating the audience we already have.

Relegation and promotion for all teams.

Promote cricket in the USA. After all the first international was between America and Canada.

Promote cricket in China. This may have the added benefit of preventing world war three.

Reduce ticket prices for late gates at all grounds so kids can go after school.

Play one timeless test every year.

Take a leaf out of the F1 book and make every game a party.

Finally, why not a cricket license fee, modelled on the BBC license fee and paid by everyone in the country whether they watch cricket or not…

It will be politically difficult to make cricket cool again as the leftist agenda is very much to destroy anything that they see as representing England, tradition and Empire. And cricket ticks all three of these boxes. Nevertheless, we must strive to repopularise the game. It is no exaggeration to say that the more people who play cricket the less crime, war and unhappiness there probably is in the world.

What are your ideas to popularise cricket? Please add them below. We need as many ideas as possible.

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In defence of cricket clubs – do they exist to excel at cricket or to run social experiments?

Any opinions that go against current orthodoxy are unwanted and liable to be met with abuse. Nevertheless it is important to consider whether the push for cricket clubs to find players that are not just ‘the best’ but represent certain demographics will have side-effects. We must also consider whether these side-effects are actually what is being sought by those pushing these ideas.

It has been a basic assumption since Gloucestershire played Yorkshire in 1890 that county cricket clubs exist to win cricket matches. It seems the most basic of factual statements that sports teams try above all else to win matches and competitions. It has indeed been the case until recently that selectors in any sport chose their teams based on their players’ ability.

This approach is being rejected at the moment in cricket. Clubs are starting to take diversity into account when choosing teams. The chairman of Middlesex has recently been quoted as saying,

I speak on behalf of the entire Club in saying that our desire is to see a first eleven walking out to play for the Club which is truly reflective of the broadly diverse county that Middlesex is today and that we will do all within our power to make that happen.

This approach means that the focus is no longer just excellence but also diversity. It seems clear that if you have two targets rather than one, it is harder to hit both. People may say that the aim of a cricket club should be to reflect the local demographics, that a focus on diversity is a good and proper aim. If so it must be accepted that seeking excellence is being laid aside, particularly when clubs are called to quickly find new players in demographics that don’t play cricket.

The push for kids who don’t play cricket ignores the fact that most kids prefer football. In an ideal world the names of cricket players would be on everyone’s lips and kids would shout ‘jumpers for wickets’ before having a quick game of cricket between lessons. But in the real world football is what they follow. Everywhere you look, football players are revered and featured in the papers. Kids with no family history of footballing pick it up in the playground. In comparison, even among cricket lovers, there is no doubt that cricket is a niche sport. There is not a weekly Match of the Day showing highlights. Cricket is time-consuming, has complex laws and needs expensive kit that’s heavy to lug around. Players aren’t revered and aren’t all millionaires. All the action takes place in the middle of a field with a small ball that’s frankly hard to see. Kids and adults alike often have to say ‘What happened?’ Umpiring is difficult, too much can depend on a finger raised in mistake. In football a bad decision might put you one-nil down, but there is time to regroup and come back. In cricket if the umpire gives you out erroneously there is no comeback. The afternoon is ruined.

All of which suggests that there are many reasons why a kid who likes football is not going to be seduced by cricket. To succeed you really need a parent who’s obsessed and listens to TMS.

This push to find cricket players amongst non-cricketing demographics ignores the fact that – hard though it is to admit – cricket isn’t more fun than other sports. Of course many of us think that with its five day matches and five match series it is a richer game, but most children who play football aren’t going to suddenly pick up a bat and think ‘at last I have found the sport I was born to play’.

The occasional one may, and clubs should put on coaching and training for all-comers. Cricket can be expensive to play and that can rule out many kids who could be encouraged to play by schemes to help poorer kids of all backgrounds. But though some will like the madness of cricket, many will think it is over-complicated, leads not to riches, adulation and evening games against Barcelona, and prefer one of the many other sports available to them.

Having set up a pathway open to all, clubs should not obsess over the demographics of the kids on their courses or the players in their teams. Teach anyone who comes and take the best onto the next level, regardless of background. To focus on representing the local demographics is to not focus on producing a winning team.

Some may say that the push for diversity is worth it and is a better aim than purely winning. Clubs will come to their own decisions, but it must be recognised that it fundamentally changes the raison d’être of the club.

Clubs have to decide, are they in the business of winning cricket matches or are they running social enterprises. Is getting their hands on the trophy the most important thing, or are the colour of the hands on the trophy most important. Because contrary to the diversity above all else narrative, they cannot focus on both. The reallocation of resources and loss of focus will reduce the level of cricket achieved. A worse team will attract less fans, worse players, will be less successful and will make less money. This push for diversity ASAP, which is couched as the only true desirable outcome could be the catalyst for cricket’s demise.

What do you think? Please leave a comment below?

Wokery has lost England the #Ashes: the Hundred experiment must end and county #cricket must be prioritised

The England Cricket Board cannot complain about the recent enormous loss of the Ashes when its own policies have led to this situation.

The England cricket team relies on good quality players emerging from the county game. The ECB has deliberately made this less likely by pushing the four day game to the periphery. Games are played early and late in the season when the weather is likely to intervene. Players don’t develop because the games are cancelled.

The prime part of the season, when county cricketers should be enjoying good wickets and developing their skills is given over to the Hundred, a format of the game that was never needed and should not exist. It allows no Test match skills to develop but rewards a whack-and-run technique. It appears to be pushed not as a means to develop high class cricketing skills, but to widen the cricketing audience. This would be achieved naturally, if the England team was an exciting team to watch, a team that gave Australia a good game and brought the Ashes home.

Once an organisation takes its eye off its main aim it declines. This is happening at the ECB. They have decided to prioritise getting a wider audience and not improving the test team. It was a conscious decision. Losing the Ashes is a direct result.

The impression is that the ECB do not care about the Ashes anymore. The way the four day county cricket game has been treated compared with the Hundred suggests they are not prioritising test cricket.

For our test team to improve, county cricket must be taken seriously. It must be prioritised above the Hundred.

How to sync radio and TV online: Sync Test match Special and Sky Sports so you can listen to Aggers and co in sync with the pictures #BBCcricket #engind

Sync radio and TV online

In the olden days you could put on the TV and the radio and they would pretty much be in sync. This meant that you could listen to the delightful waffle analysis  of Test Match Special.

Nowadays with everything online it is impossible. The TV and the radio are out of sync by an enormous amount.

However it is possible to do using software. Here are the instructions that worked for me using a mac. Fiddle around and hopefully you can once again enjoy the cricket properly.

Find out the length of the delay. When the commentator on the radio starts describing a shot start your stopwatch and stop it when you actually see the shot on TV. Today for me the delay is a massive 28 seconds.

Download and install Virtual Audio Cable utility.

Click on the Loudspeaker symbol at the top of the screen and choose VB Cable. The sound from the computer should now stop, as it is being routed to the virtual cable.

Download and install RadioDelay.

Choose VB-Cable for the input device.

Choose the delay amount (here I entered 28 seconds)

Choose Output device HDMI Core Audio worked for me.

Now enjoy the cricket!