October 20, 2009

It's our game

 
53


It's the banner wavers who make the game possible © Cricinfo Ltd
 

Who’s the most important person in cricket? I’ll give you a clue. It isn’t His Modiness. It isn’t Freelance Freddie, Lord Sachin or even Jowly Giles Clarke (bless him). Geoffrey Boycott thinks he’s quite important. But he isn’t.

It’s you. And me. And everyone else who spends their spare sofa time gawping at Cape Cobras versus Delhi Daredevils or sitting on a plastic seat in the drizzle, watching Leicestershire’s middle-of-the-table tussle with Glamorgan. Without us, buying our match tickets, cable subscriptions, biographies and IPL-themed underwear (Kolkata’s gold-lamé knickers look particularly alluring), there would be no cricket.

But the game’s upside down right now. Players are at the top of the tree, and then come administrators, franchise owners, television executives, coaches and commentators. We plebs are at the bottom of the heap and we have to like what we’re given. So we get major international tournament finals on a Monday, we get players hiding in the dressing room because it’s a bit wet/chilly/slippery/bee-infested, we get pay-through-the-nose match tickets, we get inane television commentary; and we get adverts, endless bloody adverts on top of exorbitant satellite subscription fees.

And if being treated as a cash machine, a sack of disposable income or an economic unit isn’t bad enough; those above us in the cricket food chain always seem to know what’s best for us. English hacks are the worst for this. Take the Natwest Series between England and Australia. No one cared about it apparently, no one was interested, it was a giant snoozefest. Really? Try telling that to the thousands upon thousands who paid £70 and upwards for a ticket and sat shivering in the stands. Apparently, we need less international one-day cricket. Why? We like it.

But we don’t count. Our job is just to appear in cutaway sequences, to make television producers’ lives easier by turning up in wacky costumes, waving badly spelt banners and sometimes setting fire to effigies. Oh and we just happen to pay for the whole thing. So why do we get treated like peasants? Because no one in the game has taken the time to understand us. Players think it’s them we love. Commentators think we need them to explain the game to us. Journalists think we’re too stupid to do what they do, and administrators think we’re too lazy to climb the greasy pole.

And the truth? Well, when it comes right down to it, I can only speak for me, I suppose. Maybe some of it will strike a chord. But I didn’t borrow a book from our village library and copy the freeze-frame pictures of Richard Hadlee’s bowling action because I wanted to BE Richard Hadlee. I didn’t spend hours every rainy summer day playing tape-ball cricket with my brother in our living room because I hoped some day to earn my county cap. I didn’t catch a bus into town to buy the Playfair annual every April because I wanted a job with the ICC, and I don’t write this paltry blog because I’m hoping to bump into Gideon Haigh at a cocktail party

Millions of us love the game for its own sake, not for what we can get out of it. It’s about time we were listened to, because we ARE cricket.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Darren on October 22, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    Thank you - beautifully written

  • vin99 on October 22, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    Nothing on the internet has really stirred me enough to actually comment on something...UNTIL i read this article. This article does not do justice sitting on cricinfos page two site, instead it should be framed and hung on every office associated with managing this great game.So the insanely stupid green eyed administrators that 'run' this game don't lose sight of what is the lifeblood of the game....the fans. I don't think they understand the power that the fans have over the game of cricket.We have the power to ensure that cricket dies...just as much as we have the power to make it flourish.All we have to do is switch of our tv's and stop attending games...it's something that i never would have fathomed before, however everytime i see a citi moment of sucess, a dlf six or watch on in disgust as horrible commentators with no skill whatsoever attemp to weave in a sponsor into there conversation, i cant help but think that cricket is one big glorified commercial.Cricket makes me sick

  • Bob on October 21, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    James Smith's comment is typical of the Western paranoia that is felt by a lot of English and Australian cricket fans, when they talk about the so called "sub continent mafia". It may come as a shock to you, but plenty of Indians don't like Modi, or the consumerism that is promoted by the OTT IPL. However, we get these English supporters who act as if India is this evil entity that is destroying the fabric of the game. Complain about the BCCI all you want, and a lot of Indians will agree with you (myself included) but don't generalize as if all Indians are in favour of the BBCI's actions. It just betrays your true agenda when you do that. Moreover, you don't even make clear that you are referring to India ruling the cricketing world, as you just mention India "ruling the world". If you believe that, then that is a bit sad. Open your eyes and you will see what countries genuinely have the biggest influence politically, economically, socially, legally, etc.

  • slightly less selfish fan on October 21, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    What a piece a self-centred rubbish. I am sure you love the game Andrew, but it isn't yours. You get your enjoyment from observing the endeavours of others. Cricket NEEDS to be played not watched. Sure the players love when there is a huge crowd with lots of excitement and I am sure they love the money generated because of fans like you and me BUT they turn up and play just as hard when the stands are empty. Do you still turn up when you know there is going to be nobody there? Just because you spend lots of time and money watching other people do what they love doesn't make what they do yours. Cricket is a game played by people busting a nut to do their best ... that's it. That we get a chance to interact with them while they do it is just a bonus for us. By the way I didn't catch much of a reference to Women's cricket in your blog. Is Women's cricket yours as well or can they have that themselves since it doesn't sound like you have much interest in them.

  • Rukshan on October 21, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    His Modiness!!!...hahaha....loved ur article....keep it going....we need writers like you!

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on October 21, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    @ Karan: Man you are hilarious!! I totally agree with.

    In general i think none from the current commentary lot should exist, most of them don't even know what they are talking let alone the game aside.

    I am of same ideas shared by Andrew Hughes. I must say i was enjoying every bit of it. Great work and keep em comming!!!!

  • Ram on October 21, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    At last we see an article that talks about an issue that no one talks about. Hat's off to Andrew. You cannot overstate the pathetic treatment meted out to cricket fans, be it in England, or in India. But thats where the comparison ends. I agree that quality of life and the luxury aspect of an average Indian fan may not compare to our western counterparts in daily life. But the fervour and passion towards cricket that is displayed by the Indian fan is compares with the bast of fans in any sports. Hell, the money that an average fan shells out in India to watch cricket is enormous when compared to the average per capita income in this country. It was pathetic when they telecast fans drinking water out of a tap during a match in Rajathan, in the inaugaral season of the IPL. Mr.Modi obviously thought that cheerleaders in skimpy outfits are a higher priority, than basic clean drinking water for the fans, and maybe he was right as far as sponsors,broadcasters and commentators were concerned.

  • Looch on October 21, 2009, 3:03 GMT

    Brilliant article Andrew, couldn't agree with you more!!

  • Brendan Layton on October 21, 2009, 2:43 GMT

    Bravo Andrew. A very good point to rise and well made.

    Wouldn't really be making any money without us would they?

  • Nomi on October 21, 2009, 1:52 GMT

    I didn't even know I had these thoughts inside my heart until you wrote them in this piece. Thank you, Andrew.

  • Darren on October 22, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    Thank you - beautifully written

  • vin99 on October 22, 2009, 0:07 GMT

    Nothing on the internet has really stirred me enough to actually comment on something...UNTIL i read this article. This article does not do justice sitting on cricinfos page two site, instead it should be framed and hung on every office associated with managing this great game.So the insanely stupid green eyed administrators that 'run' this game don't lose sight of what is the lifeblood of the game....the fans. I don't think they understand the power that the fans have over the game of cricket.We have the power to ensure that cricket dies...just as much as we have the power to make it flourish.All we have to do is switch of our tv's and stop attending games...it's something that i never would have fathomed before, however everytime i see a citi moment of sucess, a dlf six or watch on in disgust as horrible commentators with no skill whatsoever attemp to weave in a sponsor into there conversation, i cant help but think that cricket is one big glorified commercial.Cricket makes me sick

  • Bob on October 21, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    James Smith's comment is typical of the Western paranoia that is felt by a lot of English and Australian cricket fans, when they talk about the so called "sub continent mafia". It may come as a shock to you, but plenty of Indians don't like Modi, or the consumerism that is promoted by the OTT IPL. However, we get these English supporters who act as if India is this evil entity that is destroying the fabric of the game. Complain about the BCCI all you want, and a lot of Indians will agree with you (myself included) but don't generalize as if all Indians are in favour of the BBCI's actions. It just betrays your true agenda when you do that. Moreover, you don't even make clear that you are referring to India ruling the cricketing world, as you just mention India "ruling the world". If you believe that, then that is a bit sad. Open your eyes and you will see what countries genuinely have the biggest influence politically, economically, socially, legally, etc.

  • slightly less selfish fan on October 21, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    What a piece a self-centred rubbish. I am sure you love the game Andrew, but it isn't yours. You get your enjoyment from observing the endeavours of others. Cricket NEEDS to be played not watched. Sure the players love when there is a huge crowd with lots of excitement and I am sure they love the money generated because of fans like you and me BUT they turn up and play just as hard when the stands are empty. Do you still turn up when you know there is going to be nobody there? Just because you spend lots of time and money watching other people do what they love doesn't make what they do yours. Cricket is a game played by people busting a nut to do their best ... that's it. That we get a chance to interact with them while they do it is just a bonus for us. By the way I didn't catch much of a reference to Women's cricket in your blog. Is Women's cricket yours as well or can they have that themselves since it doesn't sound like you have much interest in them.

  • Rukshan on October 21, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    His Modiness!!!...hahaha....loved ur article....keep it going....we need writers like you!

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on October 21, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    @ Karan: Man you are hilarious!! I totally agree with.

    In general i think none from the current commentary lot should exist, most of them don't even know what they are talking let alone the game aside.

    I am of same ideas shared by Andrew Hughes. I must say i was enjoying every bit of it. Great work and keep em comming!!!!

  • Ram on October 21, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    At last we see an article that talks about an issue that no one talks about. Hat's off to Andrew. You cannot overstate the pathetic treatment meted out to cricket fans, be it in England, or in India. But thats where the comparison ends. I agree that quality of life and the luxury aspect of an average Indian fan may not compare to our western counterparts in daily life. But the fervour and passion towards cricket that is displayed by the Indian fan is compares with the bast of fans in any sports. Hell, the money that an average fan shells out in India to watch cricket is enormous when compared to the average per capita income in this country. It was pathetic when they telecast fans drinking water out of a tap during a match in Rajathan, in the inaugaral season of the IPL. Mr.Modi obviously thought that cheerleaders in skimpy outfits are a higher priority, than basic clean drinking water for the fans, and maybe he was right as far as sponsors,broadcasters and commentators were concerned.

  • Looch on October 21, 2009, 3:03 GMT

    Brilliant article Andrew, couldn't agree with you more!!

  • Brendan Layton on October 21, 2009, 2:43 GMT

    Bravo Andrew. A very good point to rise and well made.

    Wouldn't really be making any money without us would they?

  • Nomi on October 21, 2009, 1:52 GMT

    I didn't even know I had these thoughts inside my heart until you wrote them in this piece. Thank you, Andrew.

  • Matt Walker on October 20, 2009, 22:29 GMT

    You couldn't be more right, this is a phenomenal piece and should be read by everybody involved with the organisation of the game. It makes me so angry that we're treated like so many imbeciles, and I thank you for pointing out that the game is being destroyed in this fashion.

    To all those of you in the ICC and beyond, pay attention for once!!

  • ump_sd_hkg on October 20, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    Damn straight! Best article ever. I agree with every point you've made, Andrew; spot on!!

  • tonoy on October 20, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    Dude, this is one of the best piece of writing from cricinfo since a while. Thanks Andrew.

  • Assad on October 20, 2009, 20:39 GMT

    What a brilliant, inspired article...I personally am failing to understand why such a fuss is being kicked up about one-day cricket...It's going to be obvious even in the 7 match one-day series between India and Australia that the crowds are going to be poring in...The one big improvement that can be made is to end the IPL,ICL, the Champions League and reduce India's financial clout over cricket...I would even say put England back in charge of cricket...at least this shameless commercialization of cricket will end....It's amazing how a mediocre cricketing nation like India is getting to run cricket....

  • Nick on October 20, 2009, 18:25 GMT

    This is the single truest word ever spoken in the name of Cricket. Andrew, a truly beautiful piece and one that i could not agree with more.

  • Rahul on October 20, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    This article tells the truth! And its about time the guys at the top listen. We (viewers) pay for everything. We buy the sponsors' products, we pay for tickets. As far as watching cricket goes, I am lucky I don't have to watch the games in India. I've heard stories of ads starting even when the ball goes high up in the air. Holy Crap that must be irritating. I would want to smash the TV every time that happened.

  • Deepak on October 20, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    I have just one word to say for this article : MARVELLOUS

  • Ajay HR on October 20, 2009, 15:32 GMT

    This is the best article i've read this month. Hughes is so right. WE ARE CRICKET. But still we fans get treated poorly. To give you an example, I'm an indian and stadiums are so bad here and the toilets stink all the time. Where is BCCI's big money being used?

  • Rohit Patel on October 20, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    Hi Andrew,

    Nice article. It is true that we are treated like some consumer who can just take whatever thrown to us. Since we love cricket and can do anyrhing to watch they try to exploit it. Specially in India when most of the revenue comes but if you got to any stadium and you will see most basic amenities missing. What should we do ? Is there any viewer association or is it feasible to create one ? The whole purpose of this association should be to force cricket administrator to provide better viewing experience for spectator in stadiums. My suggestion is a mass protest of couple of matches where only administartor sit in air conditioned boxes and watch the match alone and very low TRPs. I think it is just wishful thinking but if there is such protest from us viewers then I am ready to play my part.

    Thanks

    Rohit

  • Zohaib H. Shah on October 20, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Excellent article, one of the best on page 2, certainly the best so far in 'The Long Handle'.

  • raja on October 20, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    "So why do we get treated like peasants?"

    Because you keep paying for tickets even though they treat you like dirt?

  • Surya on October 20, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Touche', Andrew. Is anyone listening?

  • Vincent Sunder on October 20, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Brilliant Andrew, simply brilliant!!

    I wish i can get your email Id to share some thoughts.

    Vincent

  • Aditya Dhar on October 20, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    awesome article. Couldn't agree more!

  • Jay on October 20, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    As 'just' another spectator i could not agree with you more! im from sri lanka and believe me i got some horror stories to tell you about how spectators are treated in this country! they are verbally abused, physically shoved around, baton-charged and finally hand cuffed and arrested when they turn up for matches to support their team. for what reason exactly? no reason really. it isnt really saying much in a place like SL but still its outrageous enough that the crowds have started dwindling at int. matches played here. thanks for the article. it was a timely piece.

  • Chandra Mohan on October 20, 2009, 13:10 GMT

    Amen to that brother!! Yes we are the game and THEY bloody well understand that. But we are to be blamed as well for letting them treat us like s**t. When they cut the match and go to advert before the last ball of an over is fully complete (watch telecast in India for example), we as audiences should have taken up the issue, but we don't or rather we just choose to put up with it. So lets raise over voices so the Administrators and Players and Executives who run the show hear us LOUD n CLEAR.

  • Kapil on October 20, 2009, 13:05 GMT

    WOW!!!!! just three letters signify this extract... The problem is we are being taken for granted and they(Including everyone) don't give a damn..!!! even this article is pushed to the second page of cricinfo speaks for volume of the treatment given to general public like me and you... I don't care whether they'll publish this comment but sure they should get the message LOUD n CLEAR...pay respect due to us or else it'll be just the ICC officials and match officials conducting the game henceforth!

  • David Hoveman on October 20, 2009, 12:24 GMT

    This is all true enough, but it's the same with all other big sports is it not? I'm sure football fans think the same, not that I know any. I've heard it said at Twickers when we the unsubscribed manage to scrabble a couple of tickets for a Baba's game. Apparently an American football match is scheduled around the advertising slots. It seems to become this way when the popularity of a game reaches an all time high, or with a revolutionary change like what we have with the Indian influence on the shortened game, or the professionalisation of Football and Rugby. The earning potential for clubs increases dramatically, players become genuinely rich and the administration start behaving like high street banks. I can remember the likes of Andy Hayhurst, Somerset captian when i was a boy, working for an Insurance company in the winter and being very pleased with his SCC sponsored Rover. How things have changed. Not sure for better or worse, time will tell.

  • Max Powers on October 20, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    I completely agree. No of this would be possible without support from the fans. We own you, we pay you and we select you!

  • Naval Patel on October 20, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    Too right, Andrew. Another item which has recently irked me: TV pictures usually show players back views only as far down as the number, sometimes not even that. Yet in both IPL and in Champions League it was the sponsors' identity that was printed between the shoulders on the jerseys, while it should have been the players names so that we could identify them - is that not the purpose for which the names are printed?

  • Jaydev Adhikari on October 20, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    WOW!! Simply amazing thoughts!! Hats off to you for a great article mate!

  • Robi on October 20, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    Awesome!! Awesome blog!!

  • James Smith on October 20, 2009, 11:38 GMT

    Amen (or is that politically incorrect now that India rule the world???)

  • Lachy on October 20, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS SOME SENSE

  • Samantha on October 20, 2009, 10:53 GMT

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

  • sudhai on October 20, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    very good and insightfull article. without us there will be no cricket. so ithink its time they treat us better. most of the times we cricket fans have to sit in the blazing hot sun and in rain watching cricket. why dont they biuld stadium with covered stands.

  • Rama on October 20, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    Wonderful writing Andrew and I must say that you have reflected the views of the entire section of cricket fanatics like me. I have watched an India West Indies Test Match (the famous riot one at Eden Gardens in 1965) with my friends and we lined up after coming out of the stadium after a day's play immediately in the bitter Calcutta cold, to get tickets and walk in to see the next days play. Fortunately the game did not go the distance. All pains and tribulations dissolved at watching Kanhai play his falling hook, and the incredible Sobers doing everything. Though state of Indian grounds have improved leaps and bounds from the butt toughening cement benches, they still leave a lot to be desired by way of amenities. Toilets are filthy and not maintained and ist an ordeal to get in and out of stadiums. Modi should splash some of his IPL bounty on to improving spectator comfort.

    An aggrived Fan Rama

  • Sriram on October 20, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    Wow! Strong words Andrew, but i liked it, it did sound familiar to me, especially the adverts and commentary..the latter is just getting too much these days as even what they have to say is outsourced..Remember 'Citi Moment of Success'..attrocious..and then you have Modi comming out and saying 'CL' is going to improve Domestic cricket..wonder who let this guy in a cricket stadium..and now we have another useless 7 match ODI betwenn Ind-Aus and if the crowds turn in less number coz they have a work to do on a weekday, the papers will sound alarm 'ODI is dying'..why not just have a 5 match where matches are played on Fri, Sat or Sund over 2-3 weeks. lets make it available for all...

  • Marc Jell on October 20, 2009, 10:23 GMT

    Quite frankly, the best piece on Cricinfo, ever.

  • Vivek on October 20, 2009, 10:15 GMT

    Excellent article Hughes. Loved it. I have been a cricket fan, but watch it only on teh TV and not on the grounds.

  • Kathie on October 20, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Bravo! Well said.

  • Beige Brigade HQ on October 20, 2009, 9:34 GMT

    Brilliant sentiments, expressed articulately. Could not agree more.

  • Jason on October 20, 2009, 9:23 GMT

    Dude...been reading your blog since the start..some posts more than once (specially the brendon mccullum related ones). I loved this piece of scathing bite because your emotional,sarcastic and critical in the right ratios. The Monday final thing bothered me no end and I didn't hear too many people even care enough to make a fuss about it. Keep up the excellent work going..let's stir this place up..cheers from Sri Lanka!!!

  • Waylon on October 20, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    Yes we ARE! Well said.

  • Sachin Kanjikar on October 20, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Wonderful, you have beautifully summed up the pains of a paying spectator. In India its the worst experience, first of all getting a match ticket is the toughest job, even if you get a match ticket by bribing someone or you have some connection at the top....once you get into the stadium, its the survival of the fittest without any food, water, toilets...watching the match under hot sun...the list is endless. I want to watch each and every match happening in my city in a stadium but I will not dare to go because BCCI treats its paying spectators as crap.

  • Amrit on October 20, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    Agree with every word. For too long we have been taken for granted.

  • Preshant Sekar on October 20, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    Gr8 Work!!!! Aptly summarizes a cricket fans pathetic treatment. Watching a cricket match from home results in an overdose of ads, while going to a stadium (in India) means either coping with stench in the galleries which tend to be pretty ordinary or shelling out a month's salary for good seats.

  • Mayur Baruah on October 20, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    Its like Peter Roebuck's book, "IN IT TO WIN IT"...I for one LOVE CRICKET..be it any series..give me to watcha FULL TEST MATCH OF 5 days or a TIME LESS TEST MATCH between BANGLADESH & ZIMBABWE..L do it with smiles and passion to the core..Iam NOT a cricketer..Iam not a journalist that my life would depend on my writings about cricket but YES! my life depends on it personally nand passionately!!

  • surya on October 20, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    Thanks a hell lot for this thread..THis has been something over which i have pondering for a long time..The reality is that we fans are taken for granted..The relationship between fan and the cricketers should be a symbiotic one but its becoming more of a parasitic one..The growth of these administrators with vested interests has only furthened it..The apathy towards the fans shows off in cricket everywhere..be it the poor lavatory facilities in a ground,cricketers rushing to the pavillion as soon they see a cloud passing above and the complete disregard for the aspirations of an average fan,it reflects everywhere

  • Ben B on October 20, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    Brilliant Andrew. you are by far the greatest contributor to Cricinfo. Telling it like it is...(or should be!). Never get rid of ODI's, iv committed too much of my mind to memorizing statistics and players of the past. what a waste it will all be if in 5 years they are obsolete-

  • Karan on October 20, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    viva la revolucion!!!! lol ... We should get cash back from the ICC every time we watch and I want 2 weeks of paid cricket holiday to the Caribbean. The ICC should insure every national of a cricket playing nation against injury received while innocently walking home and getting hit by a cricket ball on the head (those lousy kids!) Also free bat from the government to every new born child but if your child comes out with crooked fingers, then he gets wicket keeping gloves to hide his shame. :)

  • John on October 20, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    Too bloody right, Andrew.

  • Sabah Ibrahim on October 20, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    Andrew, I think I might love you for this. Every single goddamn word of it. It should be framed and presented to everyone even tangentially involved in the production of the game, and for those in the upper echelon, played to them on tape in John Arlott's voice every bloody morning. Also, someone should tell Freddie he's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, and Lalit Modi that he's a moron with a cash register for a brain. And about 90% of current commentators should be frogmarched into the night, given a pat on the back and a release to sign promising they will stay a minimum of 50 feet from the nearest microphone.

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  • Sabah Ibrahim on October 20, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    Andrew, I think I might love you for this. Every single goddamn word of it. It should be framed and presented to everyone even tangentially involved in the production of the game, and for those in the upper echelon, played to them on tape in John Arlott's voice every bloody morning. Also, someone should tell Freddie he's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, and Lalit Modi that he's a moron with a cash register for a brain. And about 90% of current commentators should be frogmarched into the night, given a pat on the back and a release to sign promising they will stay a minimum of 50 feet from the nearest microphone.

  • John on October 20, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    Too bloody right, Andrew.

  • Karan on October 20, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    viva la revolucion!!!! lol ... We should get cash back from the ICC every time we watch and I want 2 weeks of paid cricket holiday to the Caribbean. The ICC should insure every national of a cricket playing nation against injury received while innocently walking home and getting hit by a cricket ball on the head (those lousy kids!) Also free bat from the government to every new born child but if your child comes out with crooked fingers, then he gets wicket keeping gloves to hide his shame. :)

  • Ben B on October 20, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    Brilliant Andrew. you are by far the greatest contributor to Cricinfo. Telling it like it is...(or should be!). Never get rid of ODI's, iv committed too much of my mind to memorizing statistics and players of the past. what a waste it will all be if in 5 years they are obsolete-

  • surya on October 20, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    Thanks a hell lot for this thread..THis has been something over which i have pondering for a long time..The reality is that we fans are taken for granted..The relationship between fan and the cricketers should be a symbiotic one but its becoming more of a parasitic one..The growth of these administrators with vested interests has only furthened it..The apathy towards the fans shows off in cricket everywhere..be it the poor lavatory facilities in a ground,cricketers rushing to the pavillion as soon they see a cloud passing above and the complete disregard for the aspirations of an average fan,it reflects everywhere

  • Mayur Baruah on October 20, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    Its like Peter Roebuck's book, "IN IT TO WIN IT"...I for one LOVE CRICKET..be it any series..give me to watcha FULL TEST MATCH OF 5 days or a TIME LESS TEST MATCH between BANGLADESH & ZIMBABWE..L do it with smiles and passion to the core..Iam NOT a cricketer..Iam not a journalist that my life would depend on my writings about cricket but YES! my life depends on it personally nand passionately!!

  • Preshant Sekar on October 20, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    Gr8 Work!!!! Aptly summarizes a cricket fans pathetic treatment. Watching a cricket match from home results in an overdose of ads, while going to a stadium (in India) means either coping with stench in the galleries which tend to be pretty ordinary or shelling out a month's salary for good seats.

  • Amrit on October 20, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    Agree with every word. For too long we have been taken for granted.

  • Sachin Kanjikar on October 20, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Wonderful, you have beautifully summed up the pains of a paying spectator. In India its the worst experience, first of all getting a match ticket is the toughest job, even if you get a match ticket by bribing someone or you have some connection at the top....once you get into the stadium, its the survival of the fittest without any food, water, toilets...watching the match under hot sun...the list is endless. I want to watch each and every match happening in my city in a stadium but I will not dare to go because BCCI treats its paying spectators as crap.

  • Waylon on October 20, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    Yes we ARE! Well said.