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Introduction:

My report will analyse the direction the sport of cricket is heading in the next few years internationally and here in New Zealand.

It will look at what effects money is having on cricket, the emergence of Twenty20 cricket and the future of test match cricket.

Money’s effect on cricket:

Cricket is the world second most popular sport. See here. It brings in billions of dollars in sponsorship deals and ticket sales world-wide each year. The majority of these funds come in the Sub-Continent, with India’s Premier League Twenty20 tournament raking in the cash.

This side of the game is now run by entrepreneurs. See here They see cricket as a business rather than a sport, and players are starting to view cricket as a viable financial long-term job. The money a player can earn by playing Twenty20 for 6 weeks is more than twice the amount they can earn playing for their countries. See here The money on offer has also led to the early retirement from international cricket of some of the finest players in the world. Andrew Flintoff, Andrew Symonds and others have left their country sides to play in the rich and ever growing Twenty20 tournaments. See here

Because the best players are deciding to play the rich tournaments rather than international matches, crowds are dropping for international matches. See here The growth of cricket is looking bleak if the best players are not on show, as the money keeping the players with their country is not being bought in by the crowds, meaning advertisers are reluctant to sign any worthy deals. It is a big bad circle. See here

With the money on offer, some cricketers are altering the idea of an international cricketer. For instance, Andrew Symonds is now a freelance cricketer. He plays for the team who offers him the highest bid. One week he will play in India, the next he will be in England, and then he will fly to South Africa for another tournament. See here By doing this he can earn more money in one year then some players earn in a career of cricket.

The goals of aspiring cricketers are being altered by the introduction of the large sums on offer in Twenty20 cricket. Young Australian cricketers fill out a form each year, putting their main goals in a list. See here Ten years ago players would state that they wished to play test cricket at the level of their idols, such as Ricky Ponting or Michael Clarke. That has changed now, with the goal of making India’s Premier league and being paid large amounts trumping and skill related goals. The focus is now on money, not so much the cricket.

Twenty20 cricket:

Twenty20 cricket was first introduced in 2003 as a new competition in the English County leagues. It was invented to create a more exciting and time friendly game to attract people to the ground and on TV. See here In 2006 the first T20 international was held between New Zealand and Australia, and since the international game has taken off. There is now an annual world cup for the format, and in 2008 the Indian Premier League began, bringing the best cricketers in the world to one tournament each year.

The format has succeeded in the goal to bring crowds to the events. Interest in cricket, Twenty20 in particular, has soared since the introduction of the format. See here As twenty20 cricket grows, some feel the longer form of cricket, Test Matches, are fading away.

The short form allows the underdog more chance of victory in games. See here The Netherlands sprung one of the biggest upsets in sport when they beat England at the World Cup in 2008, and the Afghanistan team have qualified for the 2010 world cup, beating the United States of all countries to make it. Some say the game is like a lottery, because anyone can win it. See here This is one of the biggest appeals to fans, that underdogs can triumph against the big boys.

When the Indian Premier League was introduced it revolutionised cricket. Never before have such sums of money been discussed in cricket. See here Players are now earning over $1 million US dollars for six weeks of cricket each year, and that amount may rise when the next auction is held in 2011. See here The amounts are said to be more per minute then the highly paid premiership footballers in English football.

Twenty20 cricket is bringing in new markets where cricket has never traditionally been seen. There have been discussions about starting an American Twenty20 league. See here It is hoped that countries like China or America could become a force as cricketing nations in the future. See here

Test Match future:

The future of test match cricket is currently up in the air. As one day and Twenty20 cricket take more significance, tests are sometimes forgotten about. See here There are a few reasons for this.

Cricket fans at this time are generally more interested in the fast paced, four and six fest limited over games then test matches. See here They feel there is no meaning in the majority of test match cricket. The only matches that seem to have a meaningful buzz about them is when Australia and England are fighting for the ashes. When people watch a shorter game, fans can see players enjoying themselves, and fighting harder for the win.

With the lack of interest people are showing to test cricket, the money it generates is diminishing. If there is no financial gain to be made from staging a test match, crowd pleasers like Twenty20 are played instead. See here

One issue test matches have to deal with is the time of the day they are played. Most of the game is played while people are at work, or in school. Day/Night test matches are being proposed as a way to get people along to the match after work finishes. See here Because the red ball is too difficult to see at night, a pink ball is being trialled in coming months. See here If it is a success it may be introduced in the summer of 2011.

Conclusion:

This blog has shown where the future of the world’s second most popular sport is probably headed. It clearly shows that the shortest and newest form of cricket is currently the most successful. The crowds are flocking to Twenty20 cricket in droves and pushing test match cricket to the back of their minds.

Because of the mass interest and enjoyment in Twenty20 cricket for players and fans alike, advertising revenue is massive for these matches. It makes it difficult for test matches to get advertisers. If the money is not coming through the gates, test matches are not financially viable. Over a five day test match the revenue is less than a three hour Twenty20 game filled with excitement.

It is hoped that to revive test match cricket, Twenty20 cricket will have to do exceptionally well, invading the American and East Asian markets. This would bring new interest and possibly kick start the test game again.

If the interest in cricket continues new talent may emerge, and with better players we will see better games of cricket. One issue with test matches is the quality of the cricket, and if new talent is unleashed this problem can be solved.

Howzat?

The Irish team are losing their top players to England because they are unable to gain test status, pitting them in elite forms of the game.

The Independant reports that top quick Boyd Rankin is heading across the ditch to play for England Development, a sure sign he will be wearing the English Whites very shortly.

The reason he is heading to play for the poms? He wants to play a higher form of cricket, which Ireland cannot get without playing test match cricket.

It is interesting that players like Rankin, Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan are leaving Irish cricket to play in a higher grade of cricket, which is also the “dying form” of cricket.

Stu has been drinking too much it appears

Stu has been drinking too much it appears

If you have been having a bad day and would like to lighten up that bad day, take a look at MacGill’s slightly warped view of how the Ashes went.

On SBS.com MacGill states how Johnson did fine in the ashes, Aussie picked the team for the future, and that it was the worst England side he has ever seen.

Somehow, and I couldn’t tell you how it has happened, but Australia are looking at a positive future and didn’t play all that badly, despite losing to the “worst England team ever”.

If someone understands what he means, I would love to hear from you, but he seems to make no sense whatsoever in this and I just had show off his genius.

It would appear that younger cricketer’s idolize the world’s top players, but aim to be more like the mediocre six smashing players gaining 6 figure IPL contracts.

According to an article in The Daily Telegraph young Aussie cricketers are now putting an IPL contract above a baggie green in their future wish list.

They don’t have belief that they can be as good as the Ponting’s and Clarke’s of Aussie cricket, and will settle for the David Warner approach.

With players no longer pushing to become top test players, like was the case 10 years ago when Clarke was a youngen, the future looks grim for test cricket.

Wump wump wump!

The day-night test proposed for next May between England and Bangladesh has been put on hold because researchers are unable to find a suitable ball.

According to the article in the Sydney Morning Herald a pink ball was put forward, but due to a touch to much movement and difficulties gripping the rock, it has been deemed to dangerous to even trial.

This is a set back for the future of the game, as of the two options presented by the MCC, this was the only accepted by all teams.

The other idea, of a World test championship, was poo pooed by India and England as they didn’t want to share the television profits with the rest of us.

Where is the love guys?

Yeah you read that right, a Twenty20 test match could be a possibility in the future.

An article on rediff.com states that the so called Twenty20 test is being discussed by many in the cricketing world as the future of cricket.

The format is very simply two innings per side with a 20 over limit in each innings.

So another match that would be shorter then a One day international.

It might draw in the crowds, but looking at how Max Cricket was taken by some in cricket, I can’t see how something this similar would fare much better.

Maybe Max Cricket came about too soon?

Howzat?!?

UmpI’m back following a very slack period, apologies.

The Sunday Times has an article quoting former test umpire Peter Willey with his fears for Umpires future in the game.

He has it in his mind that with the new referal system set to be introduced next month, the men in charge may forget how to make decisions out in the middle.

If this is the case, I don’t look forward to having to glance over the the big screen every five minutes to see what the result is.