Big Bash League 2012-13 December 25, 2012

Dullsville at the Big Bash League

The first half of the BBL has been lukewarm, but it has been good enough to inspire poetry

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Yet the television was alive with Fox Sports on the box,
Shane Warne was bowling with his thinning blonde locks.

He gave commentary too as he bowled to Aaron Finch,
But the Renegades captain had Warne feeling the pinch.
Sixes here, there, and everywhere saw Finch to a ton,
Leading the Renegades to four matches won.

It is half way through now and it is time for a break,
Although a short one at that with so much at stake.
On Jolimont Street Cricket Australia officials saw red,
Twenty million over two years has so far been bled.

Crowds have been dwindling through the tournament so far,
Rain has caused matches beyond the bizarre.
The first eleven matches went to the team giving chase,
Predictability is the last thing you need at such frenetic pace.

The lack of great deeds is a source of frustration,
Save for Finch's century and Malinga's devastation.
Mike McKenna, BBL chief, must wonder when things will turn,
With the next broadcast rights CA have ambitions to earn.

What can be done, can anything change?
The Thunder, for one, can't get 5000 to a game.
The strategy of eight franchises was meant to excite,
To create local derbies, and allow games every night.

But the vision of Jolimont must have turned to a frown,
As not even the IPL had gambled with two teams to a town.
The house is divided with separate forces at play,
Big Bash at night and Tests in the day.

The lessons of history forgotten from the World Series years,
Test players "quarantined", pleas fall on deaf ears.
No Warner, no Clarkey, or even Mr Cricket,
What the Sixers would not give for Mitchell Starc to take them a wicket.

So what should be done to fix this Christmas malaise?
The show must go on and the gun's games, they must raise.
On Punter! On Warney! On Gayley! McKenna shouted,
Whilst quietly hoping Warne's pay-cheque is not outed.

The fireworks, the dancers, the DJ's will stay,
But in reality good cricket will keep the wolves at bay.
Because no matter the demographic, it's what the fans want to see,
Great batting, great bowling and the genius of Murali.

Excitement, tense moments, fluctuations in fortunes are what's required,
For cricket of any level or format to be so richly desired.
For great cricket is special, something majestic to sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Scott on December 27, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    "No former big name superstars save for ....... Marsh Bros?"

    Excuse me? Chamara Severinatke, that is a classic!

    A ton on Test Debut does not make Shaun Marsh a superstar and his Brother whilst a huge talent has played very few games in the short form for Australia.

  • Girik on December 27, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    The team which gets the best crowds for its population is Hobart which is not surprising as the city doesn't have its own sports team in any major Australian league. The teams with the worst crowds are the four Sydney/Melbourne teams since the people's loyalty is divided. I thought like others the whole point of replacing states with cities was so you can include more cities (non-capital ones) into the competition. Canberra, Darwin, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Geelong, the Central Coast, Townsville. The Sheffield Shield will be always be stated based and in that sense preferential to the state capitals but T20 was the perfect opportunity to spread the game elsewhere. The expansion has been a massive failure. At the very least call the Thunder "West Sydney" or something like that. The flashy lights in the stumps is the one bright spot though. Not only the novelty factor but great for runout 3rd umpire referrals when the camera angles aren't good enough (eg bowler blocking the stumps).

  • brenta on December 26, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    I used to go when it was state versus state but could not care less now they are franchises. I still look through all the scorecards but never watch it.

  • Jordan on December 26, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    The BBL organisers seem to be in two minds - they want city-based loyalty from fans, but they wan't to distance themselves from the domestic one-day and test teams that fans have supported for so long. As a South Australian, the BBL organisers want me to support a hodge-podge team of local, international, interstate and second-string players while one of SA's best T20 players, Dan Christian, plays for Brisbane! The team is called the Adelaide Strikers, yet they dress like they're from NSW or Victoria (seriously, which executive thought *that* was a good idea for a team based in SA?) while the Melbourne Renegades wear SA's colours! Why should I care about this team? Give me our best local players, wearing SA's colours, who care about SA cricket and less big names chasing quick cash. Between this, Adelaide Oval being torn apart and a South African ring-in skipper it's not fun being a South Australian cricket fan at the moment.

  • Edd on December 26, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    What was wrong with the old 6 state based Big Bash? It also seems ridiculous to give Melbourne and Sydney two teams whilst Canberra, Cairns and Darwin don't have 1 between them.

    Also bagels.a you are talking nonsense when you say 'just remember Cricket plays 4th fiddle to likes of Football,Rugby,Olympic sports in popularity stakes in England.' Yes football is the be all and end all to many people but Cricket is the second biggest participation sport in England according to a survey from earlier this year, and ranks ahead of rugby and WAY ahead of any Olympic sport in popularity. No one gives a stuff about rowing, cycling or even athletics apart from once every 4 years! Just wait till you see the crowds at the Ashes tests in England next year, and the 20,000 or so Barmy Army supporters that'll be in Australia in 2013-14 and try and tell me that cricket here plays 4th fiddle!

  • Bob on December 26, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    T20 is to Test cricket what draughts is to chess. No comparison yet each attracts it's own brand of loyal supporters and long may that continue. Having said that, the IPL seems to have had a deleterious effect on Indian test cricket as witnessed by their rapid decline in the ratings. My suggestion would be for the two formats to do what rugby did all those years ago and form themselves into two separate entities which seem to co-exist quite confortable and each enjoys considerable success. At the moment cricket is stagnant worldwide with very few new nations taking the game up.. Maybe a T20 World Cup under the auspices of a new controlling body might tempt other nations to try the sport, whereas now, with the ICC restricting participation, few nations see much point in taking up the game. In simple terms the ICC itself is too elitist.

  • jayaesh on December 26, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    I agree 100 % with what @ArchieTambo has said in particular his lines " Cricket has suffered for 100 years from pompous elitists who want to keep the game "pure" (i.e. dull and stuck in the past) and away from the debasing influences of the supposed lower classes. " are so spot on. Another typical examples of this Victorian snobbery can be seen in @Chris_P reply aimed at @samerwards and i take great offense to his comments that many of the Indians lack knowledge of the game ..., condescending and disparaging.CA decision to quarantine test players sends a wrong signal to watching public,CA are undermining there own tournament.Is the CA trying to compeat with England to show who are more purists of the two, English are custodians of test cricket and CA want to emulate them fine, but just remember Cricket plays 4th fiddle to likes of Football,Rugby,Olympic sports in popularity stakes in England.unfortunately CA and cricket in Australia are headed the same way in coming years.

  • Michael on December 26, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Chamara Seneviratne: "Maybe we should do what the English have done ... each side having 2 imported superstars." It works in England because nobody else is playing much cricket then. Australian domestic season is peak cricket time, with more domestic leagues and international tours. The superstars are already busy! The available imported players are already here, and not standing out greatly from the home grown players like Finch, et al.

  • Archie on December 26, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Pretentious preening nonsense. I've been an avid consumer of the Big Bash stuff because, although I am 45+ and played 100% conventional cricket, I am open to new concepts and the reality that cricket suffers from format issues and time fatigue. So its a bit over the top occasionally, so what? Kids love it and its a quick cheap night out for families with limited free time and disposable income. The cricket has also been much better than its being given credit for, and new technology like the flash stumps are great innovations which the elites will of course sledge initially and then take up later after supposedly "civilizing it." Cricket has suffered for 100 years from pompous elitists who want to keep the game "pure" (i.e. dull and stuck in the past) and away from the debasing influences of the supposed lower classes. I will however concede that Mark Waugh is perhaps the worst commentator of all time.

  • Dummy4 on December 26, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    The first Big Bash League was a real success the first time around, but thanks to factors like weather and the fact that most of the best players in each squad make up the Australian Test/ODI side (Thank you hectic international schedule), its almost pointless to watch the games with too many young unknowns and almost no former big name superstars, save for Warne, Paine, Ponting, Lee, Haddin, Marsh bros etc.

    Maybe we should do what the English have done and completely revamp the Domestic One Day Competition, by making it a 40/40 tournament and each side having 2 imported superstars, as I enjoyed watching Phil Hughes playing for the Worcestershire Royals in England's Pro40 competition via Foxtel. Also I noticed that the Crowds at these English County games are pretty big, which is a far cry of the the crowd sizes at the Ryobi Cup matches, where on a good day up to 200-300 or so people turn up.

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