Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 3rd day

Slim crowds, critics raise chairman's ire

Daniel Brettig at Bellerive Oval

December 16, 2012

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A

Dark clouds hover over the Bellerive Oval, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 3rd day, December 16, 2012
The rain in Hobart has not helped crowd numbers over the course of this Test © Getty Images
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Tasmanian cricket's chairman Tony Harrison has scoffed at the suggestion that Hobart might be in any danger of losing its share of Australia's home Test matches. He also proffered a slogan in response to media criticism that seems likely to end up on a bumper sticker: "If you don't like Tasmania, don't come here."

Granted the opening match of the series in mid-December before the Boxing Day and New Year's Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, Bellerive Oval has been host to attendances of just 6221 on day one, 3810 on day two and 4388 on day three. This is against Cricket Tasmania's budget estimates of around 9000 on the first day and about 7000 on each of Saturday and Sunday.

Harrison admitted that 23 years after hosting its first Test, also against Sri Lanka in 1989, Tasmania was still to develop a strong "Test match culture", something not helped by the five-day game only making periodic visits to the island state's capital.

Among various mitigating circumstances for the slim turnouts, Harrison cited the fixture's close proximity to Christmas, ticket prices that outstripped those on offer for popular Twenty20 BBL matches at the ground, and Hobart's changeable weather, which was overcast on day one and caused rain breaks on each of days two and three. By way of a concession, Harrison said general admission tickets for Monday's fourth day would allow the bearer to sit in the southern stand, rather than simply to stand on the hill.

However he flatly rejected any potential for the state losing its share of Australia's home Test matches, typically receiving the sixth match of the summer when two touring teams make the journey down under.

"I think that's a ridiculous suggestion quite frankly," Harrison said. "I've heard that said, and that is nonsense. We are one of the owners of Cricket Australia and CA has a philosophy in its programming to spread the game around the country, and Test matches [in Hobart] are not in question, not in doubt.

"There are no guarantees, we don't know what the programme will look like in three, four, five years' time. But at the moment our philosophy is to share the game around the country, to give people around the country the opportunity to see Test cricket. Our job as Cricket Tasmania with CA is to promote the game and get more people to come along to it. That's problematic when you get a fixture so close to Christmas and the weather interferes."

Another issue for Tasmania and Western Australia in particular is the lack of a set position in the calendar for their Test matches. While residents of Melbourne and Sydney know instinctively when to clear room in their calendar for the annual Test, other states have less certainty, something commonly reflected in oscillating crowds depending on the time of year and the touring team.

"We can't always be certain when teams will come and play, but one year we've got a Test match in the second week in November, and the next week it's the third week in December," he said. "So it's not like Sydney and Melbourne where on Boxing Day you know its the Test, doesn't matter who plays, and it's an event. Similarly in Sydney you have the New Year's Test.

"Adelaide doesn't have it always, Perth doesn't have it, Brisbane gets the first Test of the summer but dates vary … so that's an issue too. We need to develop a Test match culture."

As for some unkind depictions of Tasmania on the ABC radio broadcast beamed live around Australia, Harrison was pugnacious. Happy with how the local media had promoted the fixture, he more or less raised the drawbridge to those not expressing great enthusiasm for being in Hobart.

"I should pay tribute to the local media because I don't think the promotion could have done anymore," Harrison said. "But I'm a bit disappointed at some of the comments I've heard on the radio in the last two days, not only critical of the crowds, but they're critical of Tasmania. What I'd say to the commentators who do that, if you don't like Tasmania, don't come here."

Unless Tasmania can find a way of developing a greater affinity for Test matches, there remains a chance that in future years they won't have to.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 18, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

@Narbavi, if DRS was used against Pakistan I agree they would have won 1 test match for sure, the rain hit 2nd test. Galle test we were clearly the best. Third test was not affected by umpiring and you cannot be a psychic to predict what would have happened. India simply did not know how to make use of the referral system in the 2008 tour of SL. In the England tour of 2011, well dont forget hawkeye was not there and DRS was too limited. DRS has improved the umpire correction rate and high time ICC makes it compulsory.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 18, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

@Drop_Thunder: Why do u say that? the money thing is being handled by the organisers, players still want to play test cricket, is it a sin if a team goes through a rough patch or its just that we have set high standards always that whenever we fail people come at us hard?

Posted by Narbavi on (December 18, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

@Sinhaya: Then why didnt srilanka use it against pakistan recently? why are u not mentioning the true fact that u won that series with so many decisions going against pakistan? and we all know what happened to india in 2008 with drs and again in 2011 in england, it didn't provide us the right results, decisions which should have gone our way went completely against us surprising everybody

Posted by Drop_Thunder on (December 17, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

@nrabe- fair point mate.... Cric AUS should look into it. @Sinhaya - Totally agree with ya. In terms of contribution to cricket, Srinlanka contributed a lot in short span of time compared to India and even Bangla will catch up soon. I think India is sort of pigion holed into the IPL hype. It's more about money than the love of the game.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

@Narbavi, DRS came in 2008 and after that it should have been used non stop in all international cricket games since then. But ICC is toothless to make it mandatory. All cricket games in the 60s, 70s and 80s were bound to have umpiring howlers but with poor media coverage back then, not much details are known. Hey going by your definition of minnow remember India never won a test match in Pakistan until 2004. We won test matches in Pakistan in 1995. So going on that logic, India was a minnow until 2004. Pakistan is one of the greatest test playing nations of all time and important to register test wins there too and we have 6 test wins there out of our overall 9 test wins against them. Remember Hobart tests wont attract crowds as shown by last year's test against NZ. When Wasim and Waqar starred in the 1999 Pak tour of Aus, not many came to watch it either.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

@Ranveerrsingh, haha we won both the test and ODI series against Pakistan held in June and July this year. Understand? I have answers always. Your memory is too short buddy HAHAHAHAHA! We also won the ODI tri series in August 2010 which featured SL, NZ and India. Research more please. We also won the bilateral ODI series against West Indies 2-0 which was held just before the 2011 world cup.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

@Chris_P, thanks a lot for your compliments and I simply enjoy your posts a lot on cricinfo. Even your fellow fan Meety is great too. I look forward to seeing more of your posts over the Aussie summer.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@cricindian.com, haha yeah as if India won their first ever test match in Australia. Keep dreaming non stop. I know you predicted a 3-0 whitewash last year for us in South Africa and all Indian fans were hiding after we won in Durban. So keep dreaming again. I know Aussies are very tough and I give my full respect for them. Our players will do all they can to avoid a whitewash as a way of stinging the Indian fans. Basically if we draw against Aussies in Sydney, we see it as a chance to have dig at Indians and nothing as such towards Aussies.

And I was right in answering Batmanian by saying I want to keept talking about India when Indians trash talk about my team. I never opposed Indians coming. I have the right to respond to people like you indeed. I never said people of some nationalities cant post comments here.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Cricket Australia must realise that the problem with cricket crowds in general is that there is way too much cricket. When there is too much of something, each game loses its novelty factor. The odi series in england after the windies tour is just one example of a pointless series. There are many. Another includes the T20 international this season against sri lanka. It is simply just a money making sheme. Furtheremore, why is SL playing a 3 test series, they have never won a test in Aus, they should be given a two test series.. Cricket Australia's marketing for this test was also rubbish. There were no adds igniting the Warne-Murali rivalry, the Ranatunga run-ins, the memeries of yester-year, Sangakarra's last innings in Hobart in what was almost a historic match. We saw none of that in the lead up to this test. Poor marketing by cricket Australia

Posted by duralsumo on (December 17, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@Matt O'Neill unless Hobart gets its act together might well be the stimulus that Hobart might need. Mr Pudd lots of good points it is hard to go to a test when you have to play on the same day. It is also amazing how the Top End series has gone by the wayside a good opportunity for Zimbwabe and Bangladesh and possibly throw Townsville in for the Third Test as a Two series is an insult to the visiting nation. (Would not consider NZ for the Top End as there is too much Rugby to be watched so they would not get the attention they deserve although the same weekend as a Bledisloe would make it interesting!) Further Popcorn has the right idea about scheduling as well. Maybe we could play the BBL in January and February and ensure that the first class and test matches are finished? Fixed scheduling would also help the fan who likes to go to other test grounds and allow us to take advantage of early bird packages? This might be too convenient for cricket fans for Cricket Australia to accept?

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

I like Hobart, and don't mind Tasmania as a place to visit, but when it comes down to it, I'm sorry guys, I just see more of a future in Canberra than in Hobart in terms of getting a crowd to the game.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

Should Canberra and Hobart rotate as the 6th Test venue?

Posted by MrPud on (December 17, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

No one has mentioned whether grade and club competitions were operating on the weekend. This would have a far greater influence on attendances than the occasional sprinkle of rain. The club comp that I participate in in Adelaide is suspended during the Test, allowing the more passionate cricket fans to attend. $43 entry for general admission is outrageous. Winter Tests in Darwin and Cairns would be fantastic as would the World's first indoor Test at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.

Posted by popcorn on (December 17, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Tasmania has given Australia the second best batsman -after Sir Don Bradman,and many otherts, notably,David Boon,Ben Hilfenhaus,Tim Paine,George Bailey.Tasmania has also won the Sheffield Shield Title. Cricket Australia should ENSURE SIX Tests every Summer so that ALL venues get their chance to host Test Cricket,and during a SPECIFIC period.Gabba third week November,WACA December first week,Adelaide third week December,MCG Boxing day,SCG January 3, Hobart January 2nd week.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 17, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

@Sinhaya, I wouldn't worry about them, unlike you, their cricket knowledge is very limited. They post for a reaction, that's all.

Posted by Meety on (December 17, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

@mamboman on (December 16 2012, 08:17 AM GMT) - that was a pretty poor comment. SL have a strong following over the last 10 years in Oz on ODIs, to base a comment on Hobart is pretty clueless.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

I would of gone very day if the ticket prices weren't so pricey!!!

Posted by Ranveerrsingh on (December 17, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

When was the last time SL won a home series.....cannot remember at all, Sinhaya will answer this for us!! Waiting for your answer Sinhaya....

Posted by cricindian.com on (December 17, 2012, 1:54 GMT)

Sinhaya, you calling a fellow Srilankan useless and 3rd grade!! This is what we expect from u Sri Lankans!! When was the last time SL won a test match in India or Australia? .....not yet.....what? You must be joking!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Forget Australia....have SL won a test match in India? Hilarious!! It will be 3-0 for Australia with the Aussies crushing SL....

And no, this is not a Sri Lankan forum. This is a cricket website wherein everyone can comment.......irrespective of their nationality....please get your facts right.

Posted by duralsumo on (December 17, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

I enjoyed the Bellerive experience last year however the lack of transport options to get to the ground from the city was an issue on the third day as I was not sure if could get back into to town so connect with my shuttle to the airport for my flight home so I opted to stay in town. Regular buses from the middle of town should be the norm when such an event is held. If the test was at the SCG I would have had no problems going to the match until 5 and then getting my way home. More co-ordination between TCA and Tasmanian transport authorities should be provided and then some of the northern tourists would attend Bellerive.

Posted by redneck on (December 17, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

@MrKricket you clearly have no idea mate! adelaide only had a capacity of 16000 for the south african test. its a bit hard to get more in to the oval if its already full!!! cant remember the last australia day that wasnt sold out!!!!! dont be painting adelaide or perth for that matter with the same brush as hobart. hell id like to see what type of crowd sydney get if they have a test in november? if memory serves based on the world XI in 05 and zim in 03 it wasnt too good!!!and i dare say melbourne would be no different either, wish the eastern seaboard would get over themselves, you get the cream of australian sporting fixtures and leave the crumbs for the rest and then bash them when they dont stack up in your increadably biased eyes @MrKricket have you even been to a test at any of the grounds your knocking??? i doubt you would say that if you had!!!

Posted by Chris_P on (December 16, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

@Sinhaya, unlike you, the trolls that disparage your team have clearly little to no idea about cricket & certainly don't appreciate this great game. Stick to your principles, I enjoy your posts & I don't have anything against passionate, well informed supporters.

Posted by Sparkesy on (December 16, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

If Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania want to get people to the games, then they need to promote it. I live in Hobart and all the cricket promotion I've seen on Billboards and outdoor advertising has been for the Big Bash games. I've seen nothing on TV, heard nothing on Commercial Radio.

If the population (outside die hard cricket fans) don't know it's on, they won't turn up. Give it a chance. to succeed.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Saturday was $38 for an adult to sit on the hill, and Sunday was $43.

Mr Harrison says that Hobart doesn't have a test match culture, so they try and extort the people they think will pay whatever they have to?

I love my cricket, but not enough to be treated like I'm stupid. $43 is utterly ridiculous, so me and my mates watched it at the pub instead.

Posted by dsig3 on (December 16, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

How about you get your pitch sorted mate. Why is the pitch so different to the atrocious state wickets?

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 16, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

They should lose it. Simple as that. The 5 big grounds in Australia have a strong culture. What does Hobart have? New Zealand-like conditions? Why not play in the northern part of the country and have subcontinent-like conditions instead?

Posted by Mervo on (December 16, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Tassie is a great place but the placement of a Test match there must always be a subsidised affair with other states picking up the tab. Which is fine as other states carry NSW and Vic financially anyway.

As for this SL and India thing ... I now find that SL are ranked above India on the test rankings (or will be at the end of today after India lose their home series). At least SL 'try' to develop some pace bowlers and have varied wickets.

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (December 16, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

I think the coast has something to do with the poor crowds. $43 for a GA ticket, when it costs slightly more for a family ticket to the Big Bash? However, I do agree that if crowds in Hobart continue to dwindle, perhaps Tests should be moved away from there. Perth and Brisbane have also had poor crowds recently, so their ability to hold Tests should also be questioned. In a six Test series I'd prefer two in either Sydney or Melbourne, with the top end (or perhaps a country venue or Canberra) to be used for matches against poorer drawing teams.

Posted by Nerk on (December 16, 2012, 20:23 GMT)

Prices for test matches are pretty bad at the moment. Since most of the money comes from advertising and broadcast rights, you would think they would put the price down a bit. In the old days, if they wanted people to come to a test match, they would put the price down. And why are there so many comments about India? This has nothing to do with you.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 16, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

What else does cricket Australia expect? They are not playing India, England or South Africa to draw large crowds, or even their local rival New Zealand, they are playing a minnow team, people don't come to watch minnows play, when i say minnow i say it with a reason, they haven't won a test match in australian soil, infact they haven't won a test match in india too!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 16, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@Sinhaya: We won in durban because of DRS? Wow, so we always win because of absence of drs? where was your till few yrs ago? ok then according to u, we won the world cup in 2011 by fair means because DRS was there but lanka won in 96 at a time when there was no DRS, so lanka didn't deserve right? because who knows lot of decisions would have been made favourable to them, that's what your logic says!!

Posted by Narbavi on (December 16, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

@Sinhaya: I dont know what makes u compare the cricket in 60's and 70's with the modern day game, those days teams rarely played, didn't have much facilities etc, modern day game is entirely different, no comparisons!!

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

@Batmanian, Indian fans keep coming to Sri Lankan forums to talk trash about my team. So I am forced to respond.

Posted by Batmanian on (December 16, 2012, 15:46 GMT)

Again, why anything at all about India in this thread? India will always draw great crowds in Australia (although 70k last Boxing Day wasn't so crash hot... then again, neither was the weather). I predict 60k+ for SL this Boxing Day, especially after the fairly even contest between SL's effective batsmen and Aus's patchy bowling.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

@gsingh7, India certainly cannot get Alastair Cook out without the help of that 3rd grade umpire Kumar Dharmasena. Cricinfo heading today should have been "Kumar Dharmasena breaks England's opening stand". It shows that Indian bowling is nothing but worse than school boys. My school bowling attack is streets better than that of India. If not for useless Kumar Dharmasena, Alastair Cook was pre programmed to get twin tons in the Nagpur test. There is always a cache behind Indian wins looking at history. Pakistan can ram through India shortly as Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are alone enough to maul the 3rd grade Indian bowling.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@gsingh7, India won in a green top in SA in 2010? Haha thank Asad Rauf for helping you all win as if DRS was used there, Boucher and De Villiers would never have been given out and SA would have won that test match. So it was Asad Rauf the bowler that won you the test match in the turning Kingsmead on the 29th Dec 2010. India was number 1 in tests all due to BCCI pressure. We have never lost 8 tests in a row since getting test status haha. How long did India take to win a test match in Australia? Answer is 45 years after getting test status which was in 1977. So we are ok still not to have won a test match.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

At Indian fans who say we are minnows, remember in our 30 years of getting test status, we have achieved much more than what India had achieved by 1963. gsingh7 and fan_2_fans live in a mythical fantasy illussionary world.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 16, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

@ Test-is-the-best, Indeed, Some fans can never get over the ODI whitewash Australia suffered at the hands of England last year, and the countless innings after innings defeats England inflicted on Australia down under. How the tables have turned. Question is, with Aus having been Minnows for so long now, how long will they remain as terrible as they are?

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

@mamboman, man I saw so many Aussie cricket fans come to my country last year for the Aussie tour and this year for the T20 world cup. They loved Sri Lanka indeed. No Aussie hates Sri Lanka at all as we have inflicted no harm at all on Australia.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 16, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@gsingh7, HAHA there were full sell out crowds when India toured Sri Lanka. Dont you know that Christmas is looming and people want to save now to spend money for Christmas? Did you watch the previous tests in Hobart where Pakistan, NZ played? Hobart tests have not attracted crowds anyway. Haha learn the definition of a minnow first of all. No way will a minnow enter world cup finals. Since you all failed to make it to the world cup finals, you are smaller than minnows haha. You all took 19 years to win a test match, but Bangladesh did not take that long haha.

Posted by Herath-UK on (December 16, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

How come Test cricket showcase when another asian side is getting hammered by England at the same time.Tasmanians would have thought the Lankans are of the same but now only understand they are of a better breed after watching Dilshan's epic knock.! Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by nrabe on (December 16, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

I love test cricket at Bellerive... but $76/day for two people to sit on the hill... in one of the lowest income, highest unemployment parts of Australia - seriously?

Posted by kumar_anindian on (December 16, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

Sri Lanka had never won a test match in India since its entry to International cricket,whereas India had won 5 test matches in Sri Lanka.So My dear Sri Lankan brothers,stop underrating Team India.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 16, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

@ metro , indian test team won in 2010 in green tops of sa, india also whitewashed aus in india in 2010 , sl have never won single test in aus or india, so i reffered them as minnows , india was number 1 in tests for 2 years till last year, tell me if sl ever reached within top three, thats the reason for being called minnows in cricket

Posted by PFEL on (December 16, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

How is it that there are so many comments about India? This article has nothing to do with India . . . srsly

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (December 16, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Its so funny to have hatred comments from those who had a bitter taset of white washes in England and Australia...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

indians should go and look at the scoreboard of india vs england test and look at wat great achievements they have made in test cricket....then speak of other nations capabilities....

Posted by Metro-ant on (December 16, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

It's funny when Indians consider Sri Lankans 'minnows' at test cricket when newsflash when was the last time you beat the proteas in a test match away? and how many test matches did India win down under or in Britain? Sri Lanka has only played test cricket for 30 years which is a considerable less compared to other major test playing nations yet we still manage to punch above our weight and not hardly make it an issue.

Posted by Doonish on (December 16, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@I-like-cricket - Hours away? Like from Sydney?

I think it's reasonable to consider having internationals in Canberra, but from my perspective, locals there do have relatively easy and cost-effective access just up the road.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

it's high time to consider adding tests in canberra and townsville (in winter)

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (December 16, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

What about Canberra? They're the nations capital and I know for a fact people would come from hours away to see a test

Posted by Stumay on (December 16, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

fan_2_fans, you are spot on. I mean really, why should people want to go and watch a minnow like Australia these days?

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 16, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

minnow sl wud not draw good crowds anywhere , even when india went in columbo no spectator were there as india won 4-1 ,same thing in aus , whitewash imminent

Posted by popped on (December 16, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

@ fan_2_fans any chance to bash SL eh?? do you even know what minnows are?, stick to cricket will ya? we don't need your petty mindset here, a s for the crowd issue it was lousy weather, besides Hobart is funny in the spectator issue anyway

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

When cricket season comes around I wish I still lived in Hobart. I used to spend all five days of the Test match out on the hill, as well as going to see Shield matches. Its a beautiful, calm and relaxing day.

I've lived in Melbourne for years now, and never had any desire to go to a Boxing Day Test. Tens of thousands of people in a concrete castle just has no appeal for me.

I wonder if promoting it more as a family picnic day would get people in? It really is a lovely ground and a lovely day (if the weather holds, at least!).

Posted by Batmanian on (December 16, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

@mamboman, that's misinformed nonsense. Among test teams, Sri Lanka would have the fourth largest diaspora in Australia and considerable fanaticism - behind Ind, Eng, NZ and RSA (in that order - as English tend to become unambiguously 'Australian' faster than others...). You have to remember that about 99% of Sri Lankans love cricket, so their diaspora hits above its weight. Not many Pakistanis in Australia, although Australian cricket lovers do respect them when they're trying. All Australians would love to see more consistency from WI, of course; if they had eleven players with Sammy's old school attitude, they'd wipe the floor with Australia, and Australians would love it. And Bangladesh - with another ten years of progress behind them, they'll draw Bangladeshi Australians, no problem.

Posted by fan_2_fans on (December 16, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Its not the rain,its SL.Well who would want to see a minnow play against a top side.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 16, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

They need to keep having tests in Hobart. After all it's part of the country. CA need to promote it more locally.

Posted by Simoc on (December 16, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

The crowd numbers are ok. The ABC commentary team is in a 'worst ever' phase for quality for at least the last 50 years, apart from the visiting commentators, who show up our lot. The TV ratings matter and taking the game there matters.

Posted by lukecannon on (December 16, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

@mamboman- You clearly have never seen a game played at the MCG. Melbourne is swarming with Sri lankans.

Posted by Doonish on (December 16, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Granted the crowds could be better, but it's an average of just under 5000 per day, which represents about 2% of Hobart's population. The equivalent crowd would be 92,000 per day in Sydney, 83,000 in Melbourne, 42,000 in Brisbane, 36,000 in Perth or 25,000 in Adelaide.

In other words per capita, Hobart more than pulls its weight. Especially when you start to consider test attendances in, say, India recently.

If all you care about is huge crowds, then you'd never have brought cricket to Hobart in the first place. But if you care about sharing a good thing...

Posted by mamboman on (December 16, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Sri Lanka will never draw big crowds here in Australia - they are probably the least popular team in world cricket in this country.

Posted by MrKricket on (December 16, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

The grounds other than the SCG and MCG have generally poor Test crowds apart from Ashes Tests in the last decade. It's nice to spread the games around but if these places complain about not getting enough games and then no one turns up, that's their bad luck if they lose them. Ticket prices are way higher in Sydney and it's always a good turn out. Not that I agree with the rip-off pricing at the SCG! They could certainly offer discounts for people turning up for the last session, that would boost their figures.

Posted by one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on (December 16, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

@Tyjay....so was Dilshan when he smashed the covers off a Siddle delivery....such is cricket.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Hobart has a population of under 250 000 people, and the oval holds just under 20 000. So a fair percentage of the city's population would have to turn up for the ground to be full each day. It's a worry, and even the ODIs don't seem to pull large crowds, there will be big crowds in Melbourne though, because all the Sri Lankan fans will be there as Melbourne is a hub for Sri Lankans it seems.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

The Hobart Test is always a strange one. Its not always there, and when it is, people tend to forget its even on. Or at least it seems that way. Whilst it's great to spread the game, if people aren't going to go to it, then why have it there? Seems a little pointless.

RE: set times for the other games - I think that's a great idea! Why not have it set up so Brisbane is the 3rd Friday in November, Perth is the 2nd Friday in December, then Melbourne, Sydney in their usual spots and Adelaide gets the 3rd Friday in Jan. Works for me.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 16, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

I went to the previous Hobart test against Pakistan & found the ground one of the best grounds to watch cricket. The conditions are incredible, the people laid back with easy access to the ground far superior to other test grounds I have been to. Too bad the locals haven't embraced test cricket as much down there.

Posted by Batmanian on (December 16, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Two tests in Melbourne would work. If they ever get day/night tests happening, may as well start under the roof at Docklands and set another precedent. If they can kill the ODI, I think two minnows Tests in the Top End off season, a four match series vs Eng, Ind or RSA (MCG, SCG, and two of Ad, Gabba and WACA) and a three test series vs a lesser draw (Docklands D/N, one of Ad, Gabba and WACA, and one of Hobart, Canberra and Homebush/SCG D/N). Three-test series aren't great and two-test series are pointless.

Posted by TYJAY on (December 16, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Cowan was out. Poor Jayawardane did not review !!! Very poor captaincy !!!!

Posted by dinosaurus on (December 16, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

Sometimes I feel a great sympathy for our Sydney based media types venturing into the "provinces". Imagine the indignity of not being able to be seen in the places where one strives always to be seen.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

Tasmania has always been pathetic for crowds. Dont know why they bother going there. Not to mention the constant bad weather.

Posted by Meety on (December 16, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

I think it is fair to say that the weather COULD influence the numbers of crowds at a Hobart Test. I think this means that Cric Oz should look at other options, maybe a Canberra Test - even Newcastle? Hobart can't have an Ashes Test, it would end up being over run by the barmy Army! When I say Cric Oz should look at other options - I DO NOT mean take Test matches permannatly away from Hobart, just maybe slightly reduce the rotation & throw in another location during the summer. Only problem would be, Oz players would not have great knowledge of the pitch if it isn't a Shield pitch!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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