Just when you thought that international test match cricket couldn’t get more gloomy – there’s too much dreary test cricket – here is Graham Collier, the director of the England and Wales Cricket Board, explaining to the BBC why a test match had to be played so early in the English cricket season:
We had broadcasting contracts in place. And I think it would have been wrong not to have tests prior to us playing in an Ashes series. I think people would have questioned why are we giving the Australians an advantage when we have played no Test match cricket, no four-day cricket immediately prior to the Ashes.
How are Australians preparing for this year’s test series? They’re either on holiday or playing county cricket, which was – not that long ago – the way England’s players warmed up for a summer’s tests. Geoff Boycott wasn’t convinced by Collier’s explanation. ‘Why are you having test matches in the very north of England at this time of year?’ he said. ‘You’ve got to be wrong in your head. Everyone in the country knows it’s warmer down south. The fans haven’t come because it’s too cold to sit. Administrators don’t care, they’re only interested in television revenue. It’s bad for cricket because it doesn’t look good.’
Speaking of looks, what the hell has happened to cricketers’ clothes? You once could tell quite a bit about a player and how they played the game by the way they dressed — think of Viv Richards or Dennis Lillee.Today, every cricketer looks more or less the same, and their whites, when they wear them, make them look like the nurses on Casualty or ER. At least the players will be dressed for the occasion when test cricket is declared dead by the ECB, and the Ashes are nothing more than ashes.