May 9, 2006

Television

Dish the dirt on cricket's greed

Martin Williamson

In the Guardian the excellent Frank Keating points out that this week sees the start of Sky Sports’ domination of English cricket coverage. But he doesn’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

“Greedy county club chairmen, a pusillanimous England and Wales Cricket Board and a double-crossing minister of culture are perceived as the collective culprits by cricket lovers. Will Thursday be the day that goads the fans to hit the shits? Or shall we, as ever, just shrug and get on with real life?”

He points out that a Sky subscription is no more expensive than a grandstand ticket for a Test (although many would argue that even that is grossly overpriced). And what about the absence of Richie Benaud, after countless summers of commentating on the English season?

“Oh, and sacrilege I know, but thank heavens the hagiolatry of that Aussie ancient of the muttered monosyllable is now, also, a thing of the distant past. So are romantic ideals of television coverage. Realists should stop moaning, cough up and get dished. There is no going back.”

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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