Big Bash League 2013-14 July 22, 2013

Forget Tests, BBL is where it's at

Despite the disappointment at Lord's overnight, Cricket Australia had its eyes on the main game on Monday morning: a longer BBL in the upcoming home Ashes summer
  shares 183

Four or five hours after Michael Clarke's men crumpled to their humiliating loss at Lord's, Cricket Australia sent out a press release. It contained good news, information that should warm the hearts of cricket lovers throughout the country, the fans who had stayed up over the past four nights, watching the national team's embarrassing attempts at competing with England.

"Cricket Australia's strategy for the BBL is working."

Phew.

"The league has been successful in attracting a new, diverse fan base in its first two years with its mix of big hits, great value and explosive action."

What a relief.

"More than 13% of people who attended the BBL last season were experiencing live cricket for the first time. Families also made up more than 50% of our crowds which is exactly the target audience that we want to attract to T20."

Stats! Great idea! Nobody can argue with figures!

Like, for example, the percentage of Australia's runs scored by last-wicket pairs in this Ashes series (31%). Or the number of years (28) since Australia last lost six consecutive Tests, a run of defeats they matched overnight. Or the number of Australian batsmen averaging over 40 in Tests this year, excluding those who have now retired (0).

Or the number of mentions in the CA press release of the BBL as "cricket" (1), compared to the number of times it is referred to as "entertainment" (3).

Or the number of days from the opening match of the upcoming BBL season until the final (58) compared with last summer's tournament (44). Yes, Cricket Australia said earlier this year they would tighten the BBL schedule up, but now they have decided that a two-month domestic T20 competition over the middle of summer is actually better for the game, fans, players and stakeholders.

Especially when the stakes are so significant. This summer, the BBL will be broadcast on free-to-air television for the first time, after Channel Ten forked out A$100 million for the rights over the next five years. That means that almost every day over the summer holidays, you can settle in for some cricket entertainment from the comfort of home.

If the return Ashes series in Australia from November to January becomes too depressing, you can change channels, watch Aaron Finch or Luke Pomersbach whack a hundred off 50 balls, and marvel at how much batting talent Australia possesses. Young batsmen Australia-wide will be keen to prove their credentials in the BBL, which occupies an exclusive window in the domestic calendar from December 20 until the end of the regular season matches on January 27.

At the start of February a squad will fly out for three Tests in South Africa, and what better way to audition for a role against the world's No. 1-ranked Test team than with six weeks of "big hits" and "explosive action" for Melbourne Renegades or Brisbane Heat? Or the Sydney Watchful-Leaves-Outside-Off-Stump? Sorry, Sixers.

Cricket Australia's press release on Monday morning was accompanied by a series of releases from the various BBL teams, confirming their fixtures or a list of players so far signed. It was good to see how many promising young batsmen will be honing their techniques in the BBL from mid-December until mid-February.

Kurtis Patterson, for example, has signed with Sydney Thunder. In November 2011, Patterson became the youngest batsman to score a century on debut in Australian first-class cricket when at 18 he scored 163 in a Sheffield Shield game for New South Wales. He has struggled in grade cricket since then but will learn some terrific habits during another BBL season, having been part of the Sixers squad last summer.

Let's hope others like Joe Burns, Jordan Silk, Alex Doolan, Peter Forrest and Nic Maddinson work on their batting during the eight weeks of the BBL. For two months, batsmen can put away all those dreary leaves and forward-defensive strokes that they've been using during the Sheffield Shield. How about a ramp shot instead? Joe Root showed its value to Test cricket once he reached 180 at Lord's.

In other player movement news, Shane Warne has retired, and Michael Hussey will join Sydney Thunder. His former team, Perth Scorchers, were "bitterly disappointed" to lose Hussey, a veteran of four BBL games for Scorchers. There's just no loyalty in cricket entertainment these days.

Clearly, Hussey was lured by the chance to fly in to ANZ Stadium in a specially painted Sydney Thunder helicopter, an event of appropriate dignity for one of Australia's finest cricketers of the past two decades. It was well conceived, perfectly timed, and a clear illustration that Cricket Australia's strategy for the BBL is working.

Yes, it's good to know that despite the disappointment at Lord's, Cricket Australia had its eyes on the main game on Monday morning.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • captaincool79 on July 23, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    Excellent article! It is just a reflection of what modern day cricket is all about. Accommodating three formats for a player is getting extremely difficult for any player and unfortunately test cricket is suffering. Hope the administrators take a closer look at this domination of T20 cricket which supposedly brings in more revenue but is slowly causing Australia a great deal of hurt in the way they are performing in the most respected version of the game which is the five day game.

    I would love to see a fantastic turnaround by the Aussies to give the English a good solid fight in the current series!!!!!! Come on boys!!!!

  • tests_the_best on July 22, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    With all due respect, I think people are probably jumping to conclusions in criticizing the BBL in order to find a scapegoat for the test failures. Fact of the matter is these things tend to be cyclical. Eng were a very poor side in the 90s but are a top side now. Ind were pretty bad in the 90s too but were much better in the 2000s. Similarly Aus were terrific during the McGrath/Warne era and they are probably experiencing a low now. The important thing to realize is that this low point of the cycle would probably have happened even without 20/20 cricket around, t20 probably made it a little worse. So fans criticizing lack of quality test players is understandable but blaming it all on t20/BBL/IPL is probably going a bit too far.

  • Styvo on July 22, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    Great irony and sarcasm in the above article....It's a shame the philosophy of the Cricket Australia economic model and the "idiosyncratic" benefits from the resultant condensing of consumption of its marketable commodity mean that Sutherland et al. won´t properly appraise any such comment or make any tangible effort in rectifying the obvious flaws in Australia's talent pool that their model supposes. Australia may not have the best or even a competitive team on the field at the moment which could be in part due to oscillations of generational talent and other factors. Nevertheless it is on the onus of the administration,by means of target and agenda setting and the proper distribution of resources and opportunity to counter such phenomena. Unfortunately there is a chasm between what is projected and what is necessary to right the Aussie ship. Perhaps they should start looking higher up the hierarchy when selecting the right team to save Australia from its current malaise

  • mike.iz on July 22, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Best piece I have read in ages!Test cricket should be given priority;only in Aus that shield cricket is put in the back burners for t20 cricket even India 1st class cricket is played without interruption only after its the IPL starts.The word is "Shane Watson's a cancer but it;s more like t20 cricket is a cancer that is supported by greed of administrators & players alike".Only way Aus is going to get better is to play more FC cricket. batsman need to bat for long periods and score big runs and bowlers bowl for long and get there body used to the work loads plus a few wickets wont be a bad thing.More 1st class cricket=more test success.Even if this wont always be the reason for success at least you will be giving your skills the best chance to improved and making sure you have done everything possible to be up for a fight in a test match.Good luck to the Aussies in there match vs Susex; the way the played they are going to need it.

  • alstar2281 on July 22, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Brilliantly written (as usual) and sums up my own thoughts and I am sure the thoughts of many others. The Australian Cricket team has been in decline since the CA switched it's focus to T20 Entertainment and it seems to be accelerating faster then the run rates in the BBL. Perhaps CA should employ some of the Cricinfo journalists to run the game or perhaps listen to those who post comment after comment lamenting the falling standards of the test team. Maybe the should listen to those who vent their frustration at the games administrators for their short sightedness or the overkill of overhyped T20. CA maybe happy they are attracting new fans but they are alienating those who truly appreciate the game. Perhaps it is just a case of treating us with disdain because they know as true fans we will still watch the test team despite the humblings we are becoming all to familiar with receiving

  • CULTnishant on July 27, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    CA should find a way how to cop up between t20 and tests coz Test is Best it got respect honor pride.

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    @Nite Kat. Let me understand your point. Ashes cricket has stunted cricket in Australia? And this, despite the fact that tests involving England result in many sell-outs & near full stadiums in both countries? So you advocate more tests against countries that don't get the support so we can view these matches in near empty stadiums? Ashes series are outdated, and this after both countries report their best attendances are for these? Interesting...... And you claim to have been watching test cricket for how long?

  • Tinka13 on July 25, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    Cricket Australia, maybe we need another "Packer" to put the game back on level keel again. Maybe Palmer or Tinkler could start up a "SUPER TEST SERIES" to teach young aspiring Australia batsman how to play the proper game of cricket again? You would think that the Australian Cricket Authorities would know what they are doing, but no, they have NO IDEA!!!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 24, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    This was a good read-stitched me up really!

  • swarzi on July 24, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Come on Mr Coverdale, you very well understand cricket politics! This announcement was made to stifle the bad news about that HUGE defeat that Australia suffered in the current Ashes series. It was done to divert the attention of the nation from such abysmal news - especially sports news related to Ahes cricket! However, based on your journalistic vigilance, it has BCKFIRED on CA!

  • captaincool79 on July 23, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    Excellent article! It is just a reflection of what modern day cricket is all about. Accommodating three formats for a player is getting extremely difficult for any player and unfortunately test cricket is suffering. Hope the administrators take a closer look at this domination of T20 cricket which supposedly brings in more revenue but is slowly causing Australia a great deal of hurt in the way they are performing in the most respected version of the game which is the five day game.

    I would love to see a fantastic turnaround by the Aussies to give the English a good solid fight in the current series!!!!!! Come on boys!!!!

  • tests_the_best on July 22, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    With all due respect, I think people are probably jumping to conclusions in criticizing the BBL in order to find a scapegoat for the test failures. Fact of the matter is these things tend to be cyclical. Eng were a very poor side in the 90s but are a top side now. Ind were pretty bad in the 90s too but were much better in the 2000s. Similarly Aus were terrific during the McGrath/Warne era and they are probably experiencing a low now. The important thing to realize is that this low point of the cycle would probably have happened even without 20/20 cricket around, t20 probably made it a little worse. So fans criticizing lack of quality test players is understandable but blaming it all on t20/BBL/IPL is probably going a bit too far.

  • Styvo on July 22, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    Great irony and sarcasm in the above article....It's a shame the philosophy of the Cricket Australia economic model and the "idiosyncratic" benefits from the resultant condensing of consumption of its marketable commodity mean that Sutherland et al. won´t properly appraise any such comment or make any tangible effort in rectifying the obvious flaws in Australia's talent pool that their model supposes. Australia may not have the best or even a competitive team on the field at the moment which could be in part due to oscillations of generational talent and other factors. Nevertheless it is on the onus of the administration,by means of target and agenda setting and the proper distribution of resources and opportunity to counter such phenomena. Unfortunately there is a chasm between what is projected and what is necessary to right the Aussie ship. Perhaps they should start looking higher up the hierarchy when selecting the right team to save Australia from its current malaise

  • mike.iz on July 22, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Best piece I have read in ages!Test cricket should be given priority;only in Aus that shield cricket is put in the back burners for t20 cricket even India 1st class cricket is played without interruption only after its the IPL starts.The word is "Shane Watson's a cancer but it;s more like t20 cricket is a cancer that is supported by greed of administrators & players alike".Only way Aus is going to get better is to play more FC cricket. batsman need to bat for long periods and score big runs and bowlers bowl for long and get there body used to the work loads plus a few wickets wont be a bad thing.More 1st class cricket=more test success.Even if this wont always be the reason for success at least you will be giving your skills the best chance to improved and making sure you have done everything possible to be up for a fight in a test match.Good luck to the Aussies in there match vs Susex; the way the played they are going to need it.

  • alstar2281 on July 22, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Brilliantly written (as usual) and sums up my own thoughts and I am sure the thoughts of many others. The Australian Cricket team has been in decline since the CA switched it's focus to T20 Entertainment and it seems to be accelerating faster then the run rates in the BBL. Perhaps CA should employ some of the Cricinfo journalists to run the game or perhaps listen to those who post comment after comment lamenting the falling standards of the test team. Maybe the should listen to those who vent their frustration at the games administrators for their short sightedness or the overkill of overhyped T20. CA maybe happy they are attracting new fans but they are alienating those who truly appreciate the game. Perhaps it is just a case of treating us with disdain because they know as true fans we will still watch the test team despite the humblings we are becoming all to familiar with receiving

  • CULTnishant on July 27, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    CA should find a way how to cop up between t20 and tests coz Test is Best it got respect honor pride.

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    @Nite Kat. Let me understand your point. Ashes cricket has stunted cricket in Australia? And this, despite the fact that tests involving England result in many sell-outs & near full stadiums in both countries? So you advocate more tests against countries that don't get the support so we can view these matches in near empty stadiums? Ashes series are outdated, and this after both countries report their best attendances are for these? Interesting...... And you claim to have been watching test cricket for how long?

  • Tinka13 on July 25, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    Cricket Australia, maybe we need another "Packer" to put the game back on level keel again. Maybe Palmer or Tinkler could start up a "SUPER TEST SERIES" to teach young aspiring Australia batsman how to play the proper game of cricket again? You would think that the Australian Cricket Authorities would know what they are doing, but no, they have NO IDEA!!!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 24, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    This was a good read-stitched me up really!

  • swarzi on July 24, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Come on Mr Coverdale, you very well understand cricket politics! This announcement was made to stifle the bad news about that HUGE defeat that Australia suffered in the current Ashes series. It was done to divert the attention of the nation from such abysmal news - especially sports news related to Ahes cricket! However, based on your journalistic vigilance, it has BCKFIRED on CA!

  • Yuji9 on July 24, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    Well said @Dr.Vindaloo - CLR James may have pondered "What do tey know of cricket who only money know?" - Yes this certainly is the end. This is the age of the all-rounder - the half cricketer who can do it all but can do none of it as a specialist. When I was a kid my coach once clipped me over the ear for hitting the ball in the air. I bet if I was a kid today the coach would clip me for keeping it on the ground! Cricket Australia is a poorly named organisation. It truly is a corporate marketing unit full of executives and advertising gurus. These people truly hate the long form of the game and will do anything they can to lessen its worth. Strap in for yet another pointless summer of hit and giggle/who cares cricket where poor techniques are celebrated and financially rewarded and quality potential batsmen are turned into worthless sloggers overnight. Guys, kids dont pull or hook full tosses in Australia these days. No they are coached to reverse pull and reverse hook the full toss!

  • on July 24, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    As someone who has spent way too much of my 40 years on this earth watching the 5 day game but who also quite enjoys 20/20, I find it really strange that IPL/BBL is taking a complete hammering from all and sundry!

    Over here in Australia, any time there is a decent Test match (and there have been quite a few in the last few years), commentators/journos ALWAYS have to add a disparaging comment about 20/20. I don't get it.

    Personally, I believe that if anything has stunted the growth of test cricket, it is the Ashes series. It is ridiculous, It is exclusionary, and outdated. And while the 05 series was awesome, let's face it there have been 2 maybe 3 decent Ashes series in 35 years! That's the truth!! And to have these same two teams, play time and time again I believe does a total disservice to the 5 day formate.

  • subbass on July 23, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    Mind you this does also feel like a bit of an excuse. Look at Joe Root, he is the example for others to follow or Dahwan(sic), these guys(albeit in the embryonic stages of their respective careers) have the skill sets to play any format, any time.

    They just turn up and get on with it.

  • subbass on July 23, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    The name says it all. 'The BIG BASH league' well you are reaping the benefits now, they are - Making a HASH of Test cricket. I mentioned this on another article, but without red ball cricket, limited overs cricket would not exist. Just like no-one would exist without their parents. Sure you may not find your parents 'cool' but you sure as hell always love and respect them !

    It's up to those of us who realise this to educate those who do not! And bring on the World Cup for Test cricket. Yes there is the draw problem in a knock out competition, but where there is a will there is a way. I'd go with a(potential) 6th day and if the wkt is that flat you get no result it goes to a simple bowl off. However this could easily be avoided by groundsmen offering pitches that have something in it for the bowlers.

    That is what Test cricket needs as really anytime a team is number one in the world they have loved the longer format, so a 'prize' is important. The race for 4th place would then hot up

  • nottsfan on July 23, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    A very good article. I go to watch the domestic English 20/20 competition but shudder at some of the things I see. Granted the fielding is excellent but how do you learn to bat in such conditions? There is more to batting than trying to find the boundary with every ball. The English administrators should take note and be very careful about managing our own 20/20. Just because we are doing well at the moment doesn't mean that things can't go back the other way again.

  • Chris_P on July 23, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    Great satirical write-up. Too bad it is so close to the truth. Of course, real cricket enthusiasts take T20 with a huge grain of salt. It isn't cricket, never has been, never will be. It is sports entertainment which happens ot use cricket gear. The coming Ashes tests are sell outs, people remember tests, no-one really remembers or cares about T20 games. I don't like the game, neither watching it or playing it. The only thing I am dreading in my upcoming season are the T20 games we are forced to play for whatever reason they seem fit to think we need it for.

  • HatsforBats on July 23, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    What if the BBL isn't the problem? It's only two months long, that leaves ten months of the year free for players to work on their long form skills. I know if I had the talent I'd be investing all that time trying to become the best test batsman I could. The scheduling program is obviously ridiculous and detrimental to the shield season. If we have the talent it will show itself regardless. But of course, the BBL isn't the problem, it's the symptom. CA and James Sutherland are the problem. The scheduling program is obviously ridiculous and detrimental to a prestigious first class system that has been the envy of the cricketing world for so long. It's becoming hard to find enjoyment in my passion right now.

  • on July 23, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    The fact that England's T20 league isn't high profile is a great excuse for CA to get this in there. I feel desperately sorry for the Australian players - this shows that their board couldn' care less about what's going on in England at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how CA reacts to the home Ashes series - will there be the amount of publicity the last home series saw? What's certain is that the grounds will be FULL of England supporters paying over the odds for tickets whilst the Aussie public stays at home.

  • dmat on July 23, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Good article Brydon. Funny thing is that Aus can't win a T20 game either - so CA plan is not really working. I believe serious young cricketers should be quarantined from this format of the game and coached specifically for 4 and 5 day cricket. Then again, perhaps I'm a dinosaur and t20 is what the cricket public want???

  • Dr.Vindaloo on July 23, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    All you T20 enthusiasts out there, imagine a world in which the limit of a young Shane Warne's ambition was to don the green of the Melbourne Stars, bag a match-turning 2 for 33 against the Scorchers at the MCG, and retire with a legendary economy rate of 8.8 per over. In fact there will be no Warnes in this future world, nor Waughs nor Pontings, just a proliferation of Warners and Pomersbachs. You are welcome to it.

  • on July 23, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Best of Luck to Hussey for BBL....

  • MB_Edinburgh on July 23, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Good article, ensuring the commercial success of the sport within Australia is vitally important, however I do cringe with complete and utter embarrassment (not to mention the feelings of frustration and sadness) on how the game is being managed within Australia. I assume T20 is the breadwinner for CA, as it is for the majority of cricket administrators...its a tough one to counter and a force too great to fight maybe but in my mind the commercial reality of T20 is causing damage to the longer format, not an uncommon opinion. Why have we extended the T20 season further than it's current schedule??...given the financial rewards thats a no brainer in CA's eye's....but the effect this has on the first class game domestically, which filters upwards to the test team is clear to see. My confidence in the current CA administration is now vanished. We need balance, T20 has a place, but at the moment it is out of kilter.

  • mhbarber on July 23, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    On one level, I get it.

    I know it was fiction, but, have you seen Searching for Bobby Fischer? I see no reason at all why players cannot perform well in all forms of the game. They just have to train properly, but it's the mental side, and the ability to cope with the multitude of distractions more than "leaving the swinging ball outside off", that are vital. I am interested in triathlon. There are plenty of top athletes who can do well in shorter and longer forms, and there is a lot more fitness involved than a game of cricket! Golfers can play match-play, Major's, Ryder Cup and do well at all. Or not - just look at Tiger. Psychological toughness!

  • sweetspot on July 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    It's the "test" cricket business that is testing us all. It doesn't prepare players for their full T20 potential. Enough of all the plodding around! Unleash your potential, cricketers! Get on those coloured clothes and come out and play hard, have some fun, and give us some fun. Enough already with the monk stuff we've been oppressed by for over a hundred years. Let cricket be all it can be. The future is not white.

  • Knightriders_suck on July 23, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    The reason for dip is not the BBL. England with it's great county culture was a horrible team for 40 years. These guys were beaten black and blue by every team in world. Increasing popularity of the game will be good in long run. You want more people playing the game, hence increasing the talent pool to pick from. And more money is never bad for anyone. Just because Australia is loosing a few ashes does not make them a lost cause. A few years of pain makes one appreciate the wins that will come soon enough a lot more.

    just take a look at the british team, who have not won a single 50 over ICC cup till date. All they get to boast about is winning a few tests after being on the wrong end of them for most of last century. I guess they deserve their 5 years of fame, 'cause knowing the poms, a defeat and debacle is always only a stone's throw away.

  • Moppa on July 23, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    @Sol09, I don't think the author is arguing against T20 in its entirety, just arguing that it should have its rightful place. A 58 day BBL window is ridiculous. In my view, the competition should be done and dusted between Boxing Day and Australia Day. In particular, dragging out the semi final and final over two weekends will ensure that the competition ends with a big, fat whimper. I would split the BBL into two conferences of four, home and away between those teams is 6 games per side, or 12 matches per conference, or 24 all up. With a game most nights and two on some weekend nights, you could wrap up the preliminaries in 20 days. Then have two advance to a 'super four' where they play the qualifying teams from the other conference: four more games, over the course of say six days. 2 play 3 for right to play 1 in grand final, two more games over four days and bob's your uncle, all done in 30 days. I would also play no ODIs during that period to give the BBL (brief) primacy.

  • SlipsGlance on July 23, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Don't you suspect that a majority of the professionals and experts now employed by CA to 'develop markets' and 'grow the brand' just aren't that interested in cricket? That fundamentally they really don't care too much because when it all goes belly up they'll just move on to the next brand and market that for a while.

  • on July 23, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    @salman.ali.rai - well said. I think this is an excellent article. It may overuse sarcasm to make the point, but the point itself is valid. Professional sport is just that; professional. It's entirely logical for the administrators to push the game towards financial rewards.. it's pretty much their job as guardians of the game to make sure it stays viable against competing sports. If T20 offers the best route for that then - much as I personally prefer test cricket - the boards are duty bound to concentrate on the shortest form. As for its impact on the players; the pattern hasn't been established long enough to state categorically that BBL is ruining test batting techniques. If a longer BBL coincides with even worse fortunes in the test arena then, sure, draw that conclusion. For now, this could equally be down to bowler friendly pitches in the shield. And consider a young player who has a limited lifespan in the sport; he needs to pursue the avenue that best secures his future.

  • orangtan on July 23, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    @Sol09, you may well be right that we had better get used to T-20 being the dominant or perhaps the only form of the game. However, don't compare it with baseball which requires a lot more skill and athleticism than the hit and giggle T-20. I am sure Australian audiences will tire of T20 sooner rather than later as indeed Indian audiences are getting tired of the IPL, especially with the spot-fixing scandals revealing the soft underbelly of the format.

  • CrankyofCroydon on July 23, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    +1 Mike.iz

    Australian Rugby is suffering from the neglect of club, grade and the "franchising" of provincial forms.

    I don't know what the cricket equivalent of Twickenham's "but they are so weak" appraisal of the Australian engine room, but it isn't too far away.

    A protracted period at the bottom will follow, as night follows day, until grass roots is strengthened, and academies and "pathways" are an adjunct.

  • Sol09 on July 23, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    Despite your sarcasm, T20 is exactly where the action is, and will be in the future. You are living, like so many test lovers, in the past. What is wrong with sports being entertainment ? T20 is our version of baseball with its music, fanfare, dancing girls, hard hitting, roaring crowds. People, especially the younger generation, love it. It is a game the whole family can go to and have half a day of fun. Also. it is where the money is. Money talks, as does entertainment. As you say yourself, you cannot argue with figures - they speak for themselves. Instead of rubbishing T20, adjust to it. Many players are becoming T20 specialists. It is here to stay.

  • on July 23, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Lets not forget that the players themselves and their desire for IPL money has played its part. There are more Australians in IPL then any other non Indian country. That means players like Watson, Warner etc are playing two major 20/20 competitions a year. Add in the 20/20 champions league and you could easily argue Aust cricketers play more 20/20 then any other country. And boy does it show!

  • spindizzy on July 23, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    They have a corporate strategy that can be summed up as "Look over there!"

  • LillianThomson on July 23, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    The fundamental problem for Cricket Australia and the ECB is this.

    There are millions of cricket lovers who attend Tests and ODIs and are responsible for huge TV revenue. But we view T20 with the contempt we normally reserve for baseball.

    T20 appeals to a "new" audience, but a fickle and disloyal one which only buys discounted $50 family tickets and doesn't watch the Tests whose ratings and TV revenue pay the bills.

    And the more the schedule revolves around T20, the more the traditional fans - who deliver almost all of the revenue - are driven away.

  • zhaggy on July 23, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    "Don't hate the player, hate the game." In this case T20 is the player, and 'making easy money' is the game cricket boards are playing. I think T20 gets a lot of unnecessary flak from "pundits" of the game. It's a completely independent discipline in cricket. Yes, it's arguably more entertaining to a person who may find Test cricket dreary. I don't believe there's anything wrong with that. The entertainment it provides does not make T20 less worthy of being called a sport. I like to think of myself as a cricket fan, and though I was initially skeptical of the shorter format, I've come to accept that it's here to stay.

  • sifter132 on July 23, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Enjoyed the article Brydon - excellent tongue in cheek stuff!

  • Cal88 on July 23, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    Boring negative article. No solutions, just having a cry.

  • AvmanM on July 23, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    The sad thing is, Australia isn't even that good a team on the international T20 circuit.

  • hmmmmm... on July 23, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    CA is the titanic, and the BBL is akin to the band playing on the deck as the ship is sinking! Unfortunately to get more bums on seats in the name of "entertainment" they have short changed everyone on lifeboats by cutting the heart out of the sheffield shield competition - both in terms of time and prominence. One of the biggest errors was going to a franchise model, taking money away from the states and giving it effectively to corporations. CA's mandate should be to be guardians of cricket not money - we have enough companies that can make a fast buck but no one to look after the (disappearing) cricket culture. There is nothing inherently wrong with playing T20, as good players have shown eg. M Hussey but the issue is that an opportunity has been missed in that the "entertainment" could have been used to feed the bigger talent development in the state system.

  • Tige on July 23, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    I've been saying for sometime now that Oz has been following the business model that English cricket used when they fell into a hole. They concentrated on the short form of the game, spread their longer form over a couple of weekends and basically eroded player experience in being able to wait for the right ball to hit rather than trying to score runs off every delivery.

    If CA are going to pursue the short-term $ instead of long-term quality then they'll find very soon that people will start switching off all forms. BBL is a fad but sooner or later people will get bored with it. Then CA will have nothing to fall back on.

    And will channel 9 (or any broadcaster) want to pay mega-bucks to broadcast Ashes/Test series if Australia continually perform this poorly? After all, for them it's ratings & $'s as well. And they'll dump it as soon as it costs money and where will CA be then?

  • on July 23, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Maybe the Ashes can be converted to 9x T20 contests over a 14 day period. Far less suffering for Aussie supporters, which leaves more time for therapy. Everyone wins.

  • RohanMarkJay on July 22, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    I have a confession to make. I have never liked 20/20 cricket. I don't think it is real cricket. But I can see 20/20 really prospering in a country like Australia. Which has very good weather, a mediterranean climate in its summer months. Excellent state of the art cricket stadiums and very big crowds who can get very passionate sometimes and an affluent population and leisure time that has the dosh to shell out to watch these events. Other than the IPL probably the best place to host a 20/20 tournament is Australia. Downside is no doubt their test sides will suffer. But test cricket is not where the market is in Australia.

  • wellrounded87 on July 22, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    T20 might not help our test woes but it's hardly the cause. The complete mishandling of domestic first class cricket is the reason we have no batsmen. The scheduling for the BBL is also ridiculous.

    That being said T20 is a complete joke. It is the WWE of cricket. Offers no real display of talent just entertainment for the masses with attention deficit disorder.

  • alexkrish on July 22, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    I understand the "Test Cricket" is the real cricket and that it really tests cricketers's skills and talent. So what? What about the needs of spectators. The mass spectators are moving on. The younger generation is moving on. ICC too needs to adopt and embrace T20. If a few wants to spend weeks watching Test cricket, let them enjoy too.

    BTW, I will have difficulties to accept a Test cricketer's skills are superior than those of a T20 cricketer.

  • on July 22, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    AB, kallis, smith, Root, KP all play t20's as well so why is it only affecting australian batsman. Infact even with BBL australia number of tests aus have played are on par with any other country. even if its having the consequences they will be seen years later not now. the quality is not coming through in batting for australia thats about it, don't blame the formats

  • on July 22, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    This is a very funny article by Coverdale - cricket writing is alive and flourishing. Certainly it outlines the priorities of Cricket Australia and many other things. Yet there is such a moral panic about the latest travails of the Aussie cricket team. In perspective, for at least the past 15 years the concept of Australia losing has been good for cricket.

  • on July 22, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Brilliant sarcasm from BC !! CA comes across as a bunch of boneheads , especially on the PR front . However the purists amongst us should be worried . Attendances at Indian Test matches have plummeted since IPL began , and no-one attends Australian State games - so what will happen to Test match attendance in Australia ? Can we look forward to an empty MCG in five year's time ?

  • Someguy on July 22, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    @tests_the_best - it's not just T20, but it certainly isn't helping.

    The fact that the backup batsman and bowlers have no first class cricket at all during the test series doesn't help.

    Also a big factor is that the last couple of years the first class pitches in Australia have been designed to get results in 4 days, which means quick bowlers are getting lots of cheap wickets, batsman are not getting many runs (and not learning to build a big innings), and spinners are not getting a bowl because the quicks are doing all the work.

  • fguy on July 22, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    i can bet you that 50% of all those lamenting "t20 destroying test cricket" are 40+ years old. in fact, t20 is going to save cricket. it's the gateway to get the kids, families & non-cricket playing nations involved. after all who wants a game where only 7-8 nations are involved. yes, test cricket is going to be marginalised or even die but that would've happened naturally anyway even if t20 hadnt come around. who, except for retirees, has the time to watch a 40 hour game played over 5 days (at the end of which you may not even see a result!). why do you think t20 has all that money flowing to it. its not falling from the skies. its bcoz thats where the audiences are (ie. what most people want to watch). people crying about tests are like those complaining that "the avengers" makes more money than "tree of life". & if t20 is the cause of Aus decline now than i guess it was the reason Eng were so poor in the early '90s right... oh wait.

  • pat_one_back on July 22, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    Any chance we could get an A-team tour happening to overlap and preserve those with true Test promise from becoming professional entertainers inept in the art of Test occupation of the crease? Actually I don't think it's the format itself rather the adulation bestowed on occassional good fortune amidst mediocrity from young players. Sick of hearing how Aust batsmen should play their natural games, it's test cricket you need to adapt, play to the conditions, the match situation, the ball in front of you, none of which may suit 'your' game of no footwork and loose shot selection. Save your 'natural game' for when you've done your share of the heavy lifting and have earned the right to chance your wicket at no undue expense to your team.

  • recycle-bin-is-empty on July 22, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    continued...and what happens is just natural. Fortunately the solutions are also obvious, say for example a team should only allow 5 batsmen to bat, and I bet that would change much of the problem that lies now. Batsmen with 0 patience, mindless sloggers with 0 technique are not only going to fail, they would hardly even get picked and that would send a strong message to the young domestic players. Just like that only 5 bowlers should be allowed to bowl, each bowler can bowl a maximum of 5 overs (so that the best bowlers will be selected instead of part timers and 5 overs per bowler would test the batsmen even more). This way, the plus points of T20 like its short duration, close finishes etc can still be retained and at the same time the game will also provide entertainment with some good quality cricket. I am sure many more ideas can come out but things are going to change only if the men in ICC and cricket boards can see what T-20 cricket is doing to the quality of cricket overall.

  • recycle-bin-is-empty on July 22, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    Personally, what I believe is the entire game of T-20 needs a complete reformat on so many fronts. Its rules needs to be changed in such a way so that its plus points can still be retained but at the same time the game itself should not look like a joke. The plus points are obvious that attract crowds- its short, so many games end up in last over often giving nail biting finishes etc. (to be honest though I think any short game of cricket would provide that). Just like that, the problems are also obvious why the game itself looks like a joke. Just imagine a hypothesis where 25 batsmen are allowed to bat in an odi (assuming there are still 11 on the field), what would happen ? No batsmen would care for his wicket and everyone will try to just slog, even in tests batsmen will hardly going to bother too much about the basics if that hypothesis is applied. And thats where I believe the main problem lies in T-20, a team is allowed to bat 11 batsmen for just 20 overs...to be continued

  • BRUTALANALYST on July 22, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Helmets not T20 were the death of Test cricket, the excitement and adrenaline that used to be part of the "Test" no longer exist since the introduction of helmets,chest guard arm guards took the "Test" and most of the fight and excitement out of the game. Now it's all just tactics and robotic techniques hence why England are doing so well they have all the latest technology and analytical gear.

  • KARNAWAT33 on July 22, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Brilliant article. T20's should only be played in the World Cup or maybe in an international series right before a ODI series (for warm up purposes). Frankly, t20 is ruining cricket.

  • salman.ali.rai on July 22, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    I don't think that Mr. Coverdale is solely blaming BBL for Australia's miserable recent performances is the white clothing. The point he is trying to make is that the focus of cricketing authorities in Australia or for that matter every where in the world has shifted drastically towards t20 cricket.Right now Aussies are under the pump so people would love to see what CA is doing to get their test team of this hole and sadly there is not much to be seen on that front. I don't mind BBL/domestic t20 leagues because frankly speaking this is where the boards get most of their money from but there should be a revamp of the first class structure. More money should be pored in, players should be forced to play a certain number of games every season, etc. The boards should be seen actively working for improving the standard of test cricket across the globe.At this point, zero priority is given to first class structure in almost every country.

  • on July 22, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    I am an ardent test cricket fan. But, I do not and will NEVER ever agree that T20 is the cause of all of test cricket's problems. Was T20 around when England were regularly trounced by Australia in the past ? Was T20 around when England used to get trumped by India in the sub continent ? I don't think so. It all comes down to the individual players' skills, and temperament to succeed at test level. One fine example are SA whose players play in most of the world's T20 leagues including the IPL. Look how good SA are in test cricket. If anything, their international ODI and T20 sides suffer every time in global tournaments. So that's a solid proof that T20 can never destroy test cricket. The blame should be centred on the domestic competition structure and scheduling in Australia and the rest of the world where players play less first class cricket each day. Get the grass roots back on track and we won't even be having this conversation.

  • gsingh7 on July 22, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    all said and done, aus fans must accept the hard truth that t20 is here to stay as bcci is extending number of teams and weeks in ipl7 with better contracts.icc too will cash on t20 in every way possible. bbl in australia is not the issue.issue is lack ofbatting talents in the country.even new coach cud not prevent ashes loses.its better for cricket fans to accept the changing times and shift priority to t20 cricket which is the present and defi.nitely the future. nowadays no one have time to spend 5 days watching boring tests .3 hours is more than enough for any sport in this world.

  • MartinC on July 22, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    @anshu.s - in answer to your question about why David Lloyd commentates on 20/20 - firstly because Sky pay him to do so and secondly he DOES find it entertaining, just not something to be confused with a high quality cricket match.

  • skilebow on July 22, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    @ baghels.a - no i think what you will find is most people think the timing of it by CA. I'm 25 and i and everyone i know prefers test cricket. There is simply not enough drinking time in a T20 game!

  • bford1921 on July 22, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Very enjoyable. May I suggest that the timing of the BBL promotion is more of the issue than anything else and this is what has annoyed Mr Coverdale. T20 will not help address the test defects and perhaps CA should be spending more time as to how they can address their current issues in the test arena than blowing the trumpet about how much money they are making and how well they are marketing the BBL. The quality of players are not there, time for them to find out why, at present the speculation on T20 isn't helpful. What about better wickets, is youth cricket allowing development of the appropriate skills, time for some research.

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Brilliant. T20 is not cricket and I couldn't be bothered to follow it. CA can call it whatever they like. I will however stayed up all night to listen to Test commentary on the radio.

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Lot of people rubbishing the T20 erodes batting skills theory. But looking at the two sides, of the Aussie top 7 only Clarke didn't played in the Big Bash in Febuary, 2 played in the IPL as well. Of the England top 7 Cook, Trott & Bell haven't played T20 in over a year, Bell hasn't played a single T20 for 18 mths. Pietersen & Prior do play in the international T20 tournaments (and both have had rotten series so far!!), Bairstow in in England T20 side and played for his county this season in T20, Root hasn't played since T20int in NZ. Smith and Root are both young players, played almost identical number of first class games, Root has played 29 T20 games, Smith has played 94. Smith has an IPL contract and presumably has gotten comparatively rich off cricket so far. Why would he need to work on his technique?

  • on July 22, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    People are reading too much into Ashes failures, Australia has its own set of problems. Agreed the performance at Lords was below par. But the blame should not be on T20 cricket. As others were mentioning, T20 is definitely a game of skill. It is not just hit and miss sort of a strategy. It is definitely very difficult for a young team to play overseas. Filling the voids created by Ponting and Hussey is going to be a tough task. CA should focus on overall development of batters. Have more A tours, expose them to overseas conditions and more importantly persist with a set of players long enough. Too much experimenting does not do any good. India had to rebuild after 0-8 white wash overseas and a home series loss to England, work is still in progress though. With time and investment CA should be able to get good batsmen in the team again.

  • Harlequin. on July 22, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    So will tests die? No, I dont think so, T20 may grow and seduce players away from test cricket, so the standard of cricket may drop but so long as there are 11 players in the country who still want to test themselves in the premier form of the game, still want to hold up the traditions and still want to try and walk in the footsteps of Marshall, Bradman and Murali, then test cricket will continue. Even if the game goes back to it's amateur roots then you will still get people turning up to watch, and the quality of cricket and respect earned by the players will still be higher than in the bashball leagues.

  • ThyrSaadam on July 22, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Guess BBL was around during 1984/85... lets stop blaming other formats. SA/Eng/Ind all play t20 and are top test sides in that order. Aus currently dont have the batsmen / bowlers, so even without t20 their side would have lost. It would have been interesting had Aus won the 1st test, truth is that they havent and so all the reactions!

  • baghels.a on July 22, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Mr Coverdale writes an article laced with sarcasm and all test purists are falling over each other in condemning and thrash talking limited overs cricket and prasing the writer for a wondefully written article.I don't understand this lot, are they supposed to be cricket lovers or there heart beats only for test cricket , most of them mainly middle aged or old timers are stuck in a time warp, this very same set of people who call T-20 as rubbish or lacking in skills have no qualms in supporting an AFL or NRL club, surely even T-20 has more skills than these two particular sports which are all about brawn and brute power, my 12 year old nephew finds whole game of cricket boring even t-20 version, he is totally hooked to Football and can't wait for new season of premiership to start , young kids all over cricketing world are not interested in cricket leave alone test cricket. I just hope as a dissenting voice my views are published ....

  • anshu.s on July 22, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    @Martin C , if David Llloyd has such an low opinion of T-20 why does he commentate on them with such zeal and fervour, Skysports always hires Bumble and Nasser as T-20 experts, for goodness sakes he even anchors that silly mascot race at Finals day of T-20...

    @Dylan Young, players changing clubs and playing for the highest bidder is very common in Football,NFL,NBA,NRL,AFL,MLB,NHL etc. I am a football fan also and fans still cheer for there clubs even if entire squad is changed next season and players play with more passion for there clubs than there countries and there are no fake celebrations.You mention hoicking the ball for six,swith hits and ramp scoops and bowlers trying all kind of variations in limited overs are not skills ?? or you only feel that blocking and leaving alone all time in test are real skills, that is test of patience and temprament but surely not skills .

  • zohair00 on July 22, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    What's so wrong about calling cricket entertainment? When did we become wimps getting all emotional about the usage of words? At last check we all watch cricket for entertainment. And T20 is modern cricket. CA and BCCI know where the money and future is, and they are being smart. So the Ashes have a lot of hype, but it is mostly media-created. I for one would rather watch ten T20 games (with ten results) rather than wait for 5 days for a (chance at a) result. Time get rid of Tests and ODIs.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on July 22, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    I do feel sorry for you Aussies right now. When you weren't looking your national game was hijacked by a cabal of marketing men who spout jargon and who are totally divorced from the great traditions of Australian cricket. There is absolutely a correlation between the promotion of T20 cricket and the decline in test standards in Australia. Check out the stats for number of centuries in the Sheffield Shield last season versus ten years ago. Emphatic proof.

  • m0se on July 22, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    T20 has got nothing to do with this. The Indian test team is strong despite IPL. Every country have their own T20 league including South Africa, Sri Lanka etc and they are not affected. Just look at the number of test matches played by each of the players - there are a lot of Aussies just starting their test careers whereas England just have Root and Baristow who are starting their test careers.

  • on July 22, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    what annoys me more in the current Australian team is that players like M Clarke, Haddin, Watson are not playing to their potential. Ok Watson and Haddin are playing all formats but Clarke is more keen in test matches than any other format. Instead of criticising the present team all CA has to see wait for some more years with the same team if no one is injured. Opening slot and 1 down in the batting is big problem, Watson as make shift opener is not a long term idea. Bowling is looking good expect no one can be as lethal as Shane Warne or Gills. Pace attack is doing good but batting is something which is making Australia embrass themselves. Even Team India lost badly after World Cup in the same manner as now the current Australia side doing. I feel test cricket will soon die if a player is not having great Technic. hope for best.

  • on July 22, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    What an article..... sarcasm at its best.

  • on July 22, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Brydon

    All your sarcasm will be lost on the T20 crowd that is there for family entertainment. Yesterday we watched a reeenactment of Agatha Christies' Hollow and the climax of the play when the wife who murdered the husband accidentally ends up drinkiing poison the whole theater erupted in laughter. Such an anti climax and that shows you that all old art forms are dying- tragedy, sarcasm, satire and yes Test Cricket because no one understands it any more

  • on July 22, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    both thumbs up for the writer!!!!

  • SRBW on July 22, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Brydon Coverdale-Respect. Very well written article. Australian cricket is at its lowest ebb since 1984 and its very dissapointing to see the response of the CA to the humiliation of the Aussies at Lord's. According to me, making the Sheffield Sheild by producing more competitive wickets which support both batsmen and bowlers, rather than the heavily bowler friendly wickets we saw this summer. BBL should be a tournment of not more than 3 weeks rather than this 2 month rubbish "entertainment"

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 22, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    I knew test cricket would be dead sooner or later. But, I never saw this coming. Finally, Australia have realised how to become sane. Test cricket is good and all provided if you were living say 20 years ago. In this modern day and age, people need quick results. There is too much stuff to do instead of wasting 5 precious days on a brand of old school, and meaningless cricket. Sure, test cricket may be the oldest format but like everything in this universe, CHANGE is unstoppable. T20 is that radical change and we should embrace it. Loving test cricket is like being a Luddite who is reluctant to accept the mastery and brilliance of modern life and technology. Would those test lovers wish to be looked down upon by the rest of the world ? Well done CA ! :)

  • AjaySridharan on July 22, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    T20 cricket is terrible for real cricket. Everyone is doing it India, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, relegating the true entertainment value of good cricket. I think T20 should strictly be restricted to non-test playing countries, with international players playing in those franchises. That might give the right exposure for the so-called minnows of cricket. Also, if they want to promote women's cricket, they should consider T20 as the platform for that. It is a bad idea to use T20 as the vehicle for promoting crickets to international markets (non cricketing countries). It is terrible marketing strategy that aims to expand at the expense of the core markets.

  • MartinC on July 22, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    What a fantastic article. 100% bang on - 20/20 will kill cricket if we let it. David Lloyd (ex England cricketer, manager and now Sky commentator par excellence) called 20/20 "entertainment played with cricket equipment" ....

    Nothing wrong with some family entertainment but lets not confuse it with or let it get in the way of high level sport.

  • tests_the_best on July 22, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Oh my god, the sarcasm in this piece is unbelievable!

    Deja vu! is all I can say. Indian fans got used to these similar kind of articles after twin whitewashes criticizing BCCI for not focusing on test cricket, BCCI as well as players prioritizing IPL over tests, end of an era, dreams dashed etc etc.

    Seems what was an India centric problem has now spread to other cricketing nations as well. Only England and South Africa seem to value test cricket. What does all this mean for test cricket?

    btw, the recent spate of whitewashes doesn't augur too well. First Ind in Eng 4-0, then Eng in UAE 3-0, Ind in Aus 4-0, SL in Aus 3-0, Pak in SA 3-0, Aus in Ind 4-0 and maybe a 5-0 in Ashes? Seems like only the likes of Zim and BD suffered such fates. The only good thing in the above results are that the teams are both suffering and inflicting whitewashes. But either way, ICC needs to step in to make games more uniform across nations to sustain more interest in test cricket.

  • Andre2 on July 22, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Sad for Test cricket and very good of England, New Zealand and South Africa as these 3 countries will remain the only cricket nations willing to play Test cricket. England and SA will compete for number 1 and NZ will be number 3. Not bad for NZ !Ah and bring on Ireland as a Test playing nation !

  • on July 22, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    Wonderful piece Brydon! Speaking as a fellow journalist I think you have done yourself proud. Speaking as an Aussie cricket supporter you have rammed home the depressing reality that Twenty20 is killing our test team and our administrators seem not to care.

  • on July 22, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Outstanding Article. Hit the nail right on the head!

  • on July 22, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    I honestly don't know how how fans can stay loyal to a team in the IPL/BBL etc, when teams chop and change every year. Isn't the best part of being a fan of a team game watching them grow and improve together each year. Players just play for whoever pays the most - sure this happens in all sports, but IPL/BBL brings non-loyalty to a whole new level. There isn't any passion shown from the players... just fake celebrations when a wicket is taken to entertain the kids and those with short attention spans. There are no true rivalries in T20, and there never will be... T20 isn't even real sport IMO... just a stage show for folk to enjoy... bring the family down to your local stadium and watch cheer leaders and listen to music and watch people dance.. the odd ball smacked into the stands with no real technique or skill. Come down to my local park and watch me and my mates have a hit and giggle and you'll get equal entertainment value. We can hit the ball hard and far.

  • Akash_23 on July 22, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    No words to describe how much I liked this article. I got goosebumps after reading the stats part! Very well written! And yes, Cricket Australia really chose the worst possible time for this release. May be they were afraid of a 5-0 whitewash, but since the next test match is still 9 days away, they could've waited for some 4-5 days before this release.

  • on July 22, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    @cozens - No-one is blaming the players, mate. I think you should read the article, and the comments here again.

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    If it weren't for big bash, theres a good chance we Aussies would have NOTHING to be happy about. At least let us have this.

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    The professionalisation of the footballing codes in Australia is largely playing a part in the rot of quality young cricketers in this country. These sports are AFL, Rugby league and unions and soccer. these sports have become professional careers since. The. Late 1990's which has resulted in the youth of Australian men to choose between a full time football career or cricket, and they find footballing codes more attractive and easier to get into, while Test cricket is viewed as an archaic boring game. this is why Cricket Australia is pushing hard with The Big Bash, as its is a fun exciting version of cricket which rivals any of the sporting codes, this increasing youth participation, but this line of thought has resulted in the formation of short term test batsmen and decreasing the value of the national test team.

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    And this is the problem ! Cricket Australia are expanding a T20 competition to the detriment of First Class and Test Cricket. The techniques of players is being ruined for the short time financial gain of T20 cricket by Cricket Australia.

  • RandyOZ on July 22, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    Brilliant article, one of the best I have read for a while. Lets hope Sutherland is watching

  • Chris_Howard on July 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    I find it intriguing that the last major period of a talent shortage in Australian cricket also followed two identical events to now: The rise of a shortform game (ODI), and the retirement of greats who were masters of the long form (Lillee, Chappell, Marsh).

  • Sandman5five on July 22, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Brydon's rant is so similar to the ones aired by us Indian Test Cricket Fans against the IPL. It's an open secret really. When a Cricket Board starts to care more for a domestic T20 money-spinning tournament than it does for the national game, that is the beginning of the end!

  • chezza on July 22, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    This article makes some good points especially regarding Cricket Australia's double standards regarding the big bash. On one hand C.A. is expanding the BBL, highlighting its growth and success, but on the other hand C.A. cannot accept some responsibility for Australia's poor test batting performances, due to factors such as the BBL being in the middle of the season. For me, the biggest problem in recent seasons has been the poor quality of pitches in Shield cricket in recent seasons, heavily favouring the bowlers (encouraging outright results). Unlike many posters on here I disagree that Australia has poor batting depth. Players such as Finch, Pomersbach, Burns and Marsh are as gifted players as we have in Oz and none have had a decent chance at the top level (some may argue Marsh has). Choosing bit players (who can bowl and bat a bit) such as Smith, Maxwell, Watson is a recipe for disaster. The Australian selectors, curators and administrators need to be held accountable!!

  • baghels.a on July 22, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    @Hammond, although i don't agree with @ Prakhar Sachdeo but your statement "India can play perpetually T-20's has a parallel in American pro sports , nobody outside USA cares to watch it but you know what none of the Americans are bothered about it and is reflected in huge sellouts and multi billion dollar enterprise American pro sport is.10 years down the line Indian cricket can go the American way and i won't appreciate that change but i certainly would not care weather rest of the world is watching or not ...

  • Leggie on July 22, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Yes, it's painful to see Australia getting thrashed like this. But then, at least no one can blame them for carrying on with oldies and not trying anything different. The team is young and sure they have the potential. One has to bear in mind that the pitch became virtually unplayable in the second innings with Swann getting those rough spots outside the left hander's offstump. Give them time, and they will succeed.

  • alarky on July 22, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Mr Coverdale, Brilliant! It can't be said better. But the story about the dog, the bone and its shadow is in play! We also know how short lived the interest that societies show for innovations usually is! I'm predicting that it is inevitable that T/20 Cricket would suffer this fate. And, "not too long from now", sponsors would be weighing in on their cost-benefit analytical experts to know whether or not to invest! Note: all the different formats of cricket owe test cricket for providing the basics to make them look attractive. And as we see, it's not Aus. batting only that is suffering from the technical evils of T/20 cricket; we also see the pathetic nature of the batting displayed by both WI and Pak in their current ODI series! The debaccle warrants this song: "Where have all the batsmen gone - these days missing? Where have all the batsmen gone - not so long ago? Where have all the batsmen gone? T/20 spoilt them, everyone! When will they ever learn? When all their millions done"!

  • cozens on July 22, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Unfortunately cricket is a business. and like any business model you are looking at way to increase profits. BBL will help you do this. yes, a successful Aus test side will of course help, but a lucrutive franchise like BBL will do so quicker. As for players. Glenn Maxwell can earn (probably..I do not know - am guessing) a years wage for 1-2 months of T20 cricket in BBl / IPL. as a young player, and given that opportunity, would you say, ''no thanks, I'd rather practice the leave outside off ?'' I'm being flippant of course, but you cannot blame a player (who may 'only' have a 12 year career) for looking for money.

  • PingCricket on July 22, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    How Cricket could be played just as "Evening / Night" game...

    1. An ODI will be 35 overs per innings match replacing T20 and 50 overs.

    2. "Short" Test will be played over 4 days (Friday - Monday+1) with two sessions of 35 overs each on a day with maximum overs allowed in an innings is 105 overs i.e. 3 sessions. The "Short" tests could be played involving "bottom" ranked Test countries even when "Top" ranking teams are involved as other side.

    3. Test will be played over 6 days (Thursday - Tuesday+1) with two sessions of 35 overs each on a day without any restrictions on the innings. Generally, this will be played when both countries involved are "top" ranked Test countries.

    It can be made mandatory that any series involving Test countries need to have at least 2 "short" Tests and a maximum of 5 ODIs.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on July 22, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    I am sorry,but I don't agree with Brydon. A batsman plays a max of 8-10 overs ( on good form in a T20 over game ). They play 2 games a week, which reduces the average even further to around 16 overs a week , for a batsman in a purple patch.

    Since not there is no "purple patch" ( pretty rare - hit or miss ) in T20, a batsman is expected to play 10 overs a week.

    So Brydon, are you trying to convey that a batsman playing 10 overs of carefree cricket in a week would spoil his technique. Does not make any sense.

    The real problem lies at the grass roots level. When your U 19 team keeps on losing to teams like India and New Zealand and that too at home, that's where the problem lies.

    However, I do agree that the Length of the tournament is a concern.

  • PingCricket on July 22, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    First and foremost, Cricket is only watched and played because it is a form of an entertainment... and each format appeals in its own way. Last time I checked, surely, Cricket is not being played to solve the world's problems...

    Its very easy to say that due to quick bucks in T20 cricket, Boards are compromising on the real cricket et al but at the end of day, whether you agree or not, you need money to play cricket. Test cricket with all its drama has one distinct disadvantage - not that it is long but it is mainly played during the day over a period of at least 3 week days. There is no way, you can contemplate having crowds or TV audience - obviously, there are exceptions but they are just. I feel time has come for Cricket to transform and adapt itself completely as "Evening / Night" game... (Continued...)

  • whatawicket on July 22, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    having a T20 competition in your own country does not i believe hurt the younger Aussie players, but playing in other countries T20 along with your own i feel does. but at the end of the day. if a teen or 20 something cricketer can either put a deposit or buy outright a home, you cannot blame them. Dan Christian for example he a dime a dozen player and i cannot believe the amount of $s hes getting, obscene to be truthful. when i last looked at a game he was playing he had 1 for 53 in 4 overs . but good luck to him i suppose if a teams willing to pay

  • jb633 on July 22, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    What needs to happen in Aus and India if ever their test teams are to become strong again is that big names to to publicly endorse test cricket and slam T20. The likes of Shane Warne, Steve Waugh and Laxman/ Ganguly need to come out and state that test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and they have forged a global reputation because they conquered the ultimate game. The casing point about comparing T20 to test cricket can lie in how the fans react to a loss. Do Aussie cricket fans really care that they lose a T20 game, or does it hurt 20 times more to lose an Ashes test at Lords. Do Indian fans feel the pain that India beat them in their own backyard, can anyone even remember who won the T2O series? It hurt me watching us getting comprehensively beaten by SA last summer and I can't even remember what happened in the t20 series. Seriously when all the dust has settled who ever remembers or cares who actually wins T2O games.

  • Chinthaka_Dassanayake on July 22, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Congrats on the great news for Aussies. As a Sri Lankan I, however had fantastic news. SLPL is off this year!

  • jb633 on July 22, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    Even as an English fan these statements make me feel sick. The fact that so many commentators are suggesting test cricket is dead based on this one game is ridiculous. Only last Sunday every commentator was saying test cricket is alive it will never die etc. Those that comment saying test cricket is boring should stick to baseball. There are more T20 games that are dead in the first 3 overs of a game than a test match. Look at Aus for example when Watson and Warner are out in T20's then the game is up. T20 cricket can never ever be compared to test cricket and give it a few years time, those same people who are suddenly attracted to cricket because of T20 will probably have moved on to the one set tennis games or 5 min football game. It wont last as a phenomenon and if boards such as CA are so short sighted that the only promote T20 they will have no cricket structure left in 15 years time. Boards need to be so careful with T20 domestic comps

  • Mitty2 on July 22, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Disgraceful. Absolutely shocking. (Great article Byrdon btw). We all saw what the BBL did to the promising form of the likes of Khawaja, Doolan and even Hughes... Doolan was averaging about 60 at that stage and had come off a 160* against the world's best bowling attack, but guess what, the BBL takes all priority and that brilliant FC form evaporated and he had a mediocre season from then on!

    Jordan Silk showed brilliant potential for Tas in the back end of the Shield season because guess what, he hadn't played BBL yet! But now, we can expect all of his form to evaporate as well and he be yet another false dawn.

    Just get this... We took Aaron Finch and the Marsh brothers over both Burns and Silk for this current A tour. Yes that's right, not one of the three average above 36, whereas Burns and Silk are both averaging above 40, but they are selected as our next best because they play a little bit of hit and giggle. Actually, why so negative... We can find another David Warner!

  • Wealwayslosethecricket on July 22, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    Exactly. I think this article represents the views of about half the people who follow cricket in Australia. BBL is perfectly fine in my opinion- Just get it out of the way of all the real cricket. What is the point of giving up an entire month of first class cricket, smack bang in the middle of the summer, for a T20 tournament which is only going to disrupt every other form of the game? Since CA is so focused on the BBL being such a financial success, it's only logical to move the tournament to either before, or preferably AFTER the domestic and international seasons finish in Australia. That solves a number of problems. There is no interference with Shield cricket (remember when the Sheffield Shield was a big deal?) or international games, and it also pulls in bigger crowds because all the stars are available to play.

  • pratit on July 22, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Ultimately, all countries are prioritizing T20 cricket over tests for money, not just Australia. And as there are no restrictions, people like Chris Gayle, Pollard and the likes are playing in clubs from Australia, Bangladesh, India, England etc. Ultimately this will lead to an inferior standard of test cricket worldwide as next generation of players will be more oriented to hone their T20 skills than those required to excel in tests.

    Let us be honest. Test cricket is much more mentally and physically taxing than T20 cricket. And the money players get from T20 is a lot more than test cricket. So, it is easy to see what most players will go for

  • jmcilhinney on July 22, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    @anshu.s on (July 22, 2013, 10:34 GMT), I don't think that the author is looking for excuses for the current situation but rather pointing out reasons that that situation is unlikely to change without a change of attitude.

  • 512fm on July 22, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Am I the only one that enjoyed the Big Bash much more when it was just the six state sides?? The problem with the BBL is there isn't enough talent for the eight teams.

  • popcorn on July 22, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    CA's timing of the BBL is pathetic. Sheld Cricket has been pushed to the background.So we can expect " hit out or get out" players like David Warner donning the whites.Sic.

  • on July 22, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    great article, quite an interesting view, certainly points out where Cricket Australia's interest lie!

  • on July 22, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Crowd average for BBL season 11/12 - 18021 ... BBL season 12/13 - 13883 ... Hopefully this trend continues.

  • HawK89 on July 22, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Maybe Australia should just play the remaining test matches like a T20. The field is in, heaps of gaps, heaps of time and probably score more runs. If it is such a success as they say, I don't see why not, nothing to lose.

  • on July 22, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    loved the way the writer crossed cricket n followed it with entertainment. That's what cricket has became due to the greed. The old format of the domestic T20 competition in Australia was far better.In the quest to match IPL's success, the administrators have shot themselves in their foot.

  • Hammond on July 22, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @Prakhar Sachdeo- if it is the end of Test cricket, then it is the end of cricket. Full stop. In 20 years if what you are saying is true there will be no youngsters in Australia or England playing any form of cricket. India can then play perpetual games of sub-continental T20's which no-one anywhere else in the world will bother to watch. Happy days.

  • judeye on July 22, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Maybe it's time to put a real man in charge of the team as captain, and possibly even as coach. Clark is a baby and cannot, for the life of him, bring any sage planning execution to the side.

  • anshu.s on July 22, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    @Neil Taylor , having sellouts means nothing, Everyone knows Football is the overwhelming popular sport in the country ?? it is ten times as popular as cricket.Wimbledon annually is fully sold out , does it mean Tennis is popular in England ?? better indicator of popularity of a sport is TV rights and sponsorship deals .... TV rights value for three years of English premier league is six Billion Euros !!! while that of Cricket by comparison is paltry 200 million Euros... day that figure becomes even 1/3rd of Football that day i will accept your statement that England goes in a meltdown because of any cricket related achievement,talking about crowds almost 70,000 people fill up the Old Trafford for Man United every week, story is same at all other premiership clubs.I am also a diehard cricket fan but i don't live in denial regarding popularity of cricket in England and when i say i am a cricket fan , i mean all three formats and i don't have any bias/preferences ...

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on July 22, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    i dont care abt how many those test were losing, as long as india doing well in odi and t20's

  • Spudaust81 on July 22, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Some good points, but it does sound a little like an English newspaper article in the 90s...more than a little over critical!

  • boredkumar on July 22, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    is it just e or others also think this is so much like the BCCI. After all the champions leaggue is a 'joint venture' of the BCCI CA and CSA. Way to go guys. We have been crying about the same things in India but no one cares. Now everyone is silent because India is doing well. If in SA in Dec the indian team cant hold its own i think another article on these lines can be expected.

  • izzidole on July 22, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    While Cricket Australia's stupidity and poor planning and administration of the game in this country is costing the game dearly to the frustration of aussie cricket fans other sporting codes in Australia are cashing in and are becoming more popular than cricket. For instance the T20 game against Sri Lanka at the ANZ Stadium attracted only 20,000 spectators which could accomodate 85,000 at full capacity. While the soccer match last June against Jordon had 83,000 soccer fans. The State of Origin match between NSW and Queensland also had a around 83,000 rugby league fans as well. The rugby union game against the British Lions was witnessed by around 84,000 spectators. While the exhibition soccer game against the visiting Manchester United last saturday attracted a record crowd of 85,000. Despite this being in the middle of the coldest winter ever. These are startling figures for the future of the game in this country and Cricket Australia has to take the blame for their incompetency.

  • Mandini on July 22, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    With any luck T20 will be a passing fad, for heavens sake let it be a passing fad....I suppose it might reduce the interest in 50 over games so there may be a small benefit.

  • Thegimp on July 22, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    The really sad thing is, there will be a whole generation of cricket supporters who, after being brought up on a quick fix of 20/20 will not, or more critically, can not stomach Test Cricket.

  • OneEyedAussie on July 22, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    This kind of thing is not uncommon with businesses. New manager comes in and guts something to make it more profitable and efficient but not enough to show immediate signs of destruction. Over the next 2-3 years the business outwardly appears to be running spectacularly well - the new manager is praised and is moved upward to a new position. By the time the rot becomes palpable the new manager has moved on to some other project and denies responsibility. The cycle continues.

    This is where I think Australian cricket is at given the current governance by CA. Sure, revenue is higher than ever - viewer numbers are higher than ever. The BBL is a "success". But how long will people keep tuning in to watch or listen to substandard cricket? Of course, by the time we find out Sutherland and co will be well gone and it certainly won't be their responsibility.

  • on July 22, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    It's interesting to see each cricketing board's focus on T20. When England won the World Cup in 2010, it was greeted with vague interest in the UK. Each time we've won the Ashes, the country has gone into meltdown. When touring sides have had their test schedule cut to make room for limited over gamess, the outrage has been almost universal.

    In England, the NZ tests were near sell outs and with the Ashes, even day five has sold out for first two tests. Whenever I gauge interest among friends to buy tickets, everybody wants to go to the tests, people generally aren't too fussed about limited overs.

    Domestic T20 may be worth an evening or two's entertainment a year, but for the English cricket fan, nothing compares to good test cricket. I fear that this sort of focus from other cricketing boards will see us left behind, winning in a form of the game that few others have any interest in...

  • crick_sucks on July 22, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    @Wallfly: So to counter the English strategy the rest of (cricketing) world should stop playing test cricket altogether and just play ODIs and T20. Yeah,.... that should fix the problem.

  • on July 22, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    the biggest boon for OZ's all these years is the first class system when that system has been systematically degnirated by the current admisntrators, then OZs would be no diferent from Windies . what will folow is a vicious cycle. Sponsors would lose intrest, tv rights will fall and australlia will be back to drawing room thinking how we can resurrect the falling commercial intrests. Today OZs cricketers are still reverred world wide for their past acts and people like me in india still follow thier cricket because of the standards they have set, if the current trends continue, people will stop watching . Its time Adminstrators wake up and stop livng in denail about their countries falling fortunes

  • RJHB on July 22, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Yeah, depressing isn't it. And Clyde, have to say you're spot on with regard to the change in Australian cricket mirroring a change of ethos in Australian culture. There's nothing of substance in the way we live, the way we look after each other and the way we look at the future. It's all about the here, the now, the "what I can get out of it", the stuff the tradition attitude, stuff tomorrow, stuff everyone else. The cricket team is not alone in losing its way.

  • WallFly on July 22, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    The English invented cricket.

    So they had someone to tango with, they taught the Aussies to swing a bat and the Ashes was born. By the 2000's, in the middle of a 15 year winless drought and with a team repeatedly humiliated into submission, things weren't quite going according to plan.

    So, in 2003 the English invented T20.

    Now, with the 2013/14 home and away series seemingly in the bag, they look to be headed for their longest string of Ashes series wins (4) since... 1890!

    Distract and conquer! Pure Pom genius.

  • on July 22, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Who needs T20? The world already has a game with horizontal bat shots, for people and players with limited attention spans...it's called baseball.

  • NigelForshaw on July 22, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Great article although it would confuse the living daylights out of Dr Sheldon Cooper :-).

  • maybenonever on July 22, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    So, exactly how much more T20 are aussie domestic crickets playing than the rest of the world?

  • Lees_Legends on July 22, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    This. This is an epic article.

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    there will always be local talent which will find professional and financial success at the T20 level, but are never going to make it to the national side consistently simply because they are not good enough, given the talent pool, like in india. no reason why such players should not find success in other formats. given the shelf life of an athlete, every one of them should secure their future financially however it may be. having said that, australia is simply going to take some time to rebuild around some key players. every team goes through such phases. its easy to blame T20 leagues for trivializing the game, but its just natural evolution of the game as demanded by those who pay for it!

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    One Of the most greatest article i have read on cricinfo.. though i am pakistani and followed cricket much.. but very disappointed by the performance of cricketing giant since the starting of cricket... who would believe that this team just a decade ago was unbeatable and now everything going against them.... Dont know who people are running cricket in australia now days but its just disastrous happening there!!

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    BCCI is much better than CA in this regard. Have to admit it .

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    So BBL has finally become IPL of Australia!

  • Clyde on July 22, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    At first I thought this could be a satire. But, although I am of the Baby Boomer generation, and usually democratically safe, because we have numbers, it appears that this time, in cricket, democracy in the form of new party-goers after 'entertainment', or 'enter-cricket', has pushed me to the outer, where all I have left is the statues of Yabber and Richie. It live in Vietnam and have to consider myself warned. If cricket has changed this much, then the whole country probably has. What is the new Australian ethos, if not in part cricket?

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Thank goodness some cool heads preside in CA. Apart from a smattering of tests between the top nations test cricket is insanely terminal. Worse then that test cricket is a leech draining resources from more well spectated parts of the game. It is not uncommon for more fans to attend a domestic 20/20 which lasts 3hrs then all 5 days of an International test match combined. Someone needs to take a razor to test cricket or cut the life lines ASAP

  • omairhr on July 22, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    This article shows that you can actually write brilliant pieces about cricket without using exquisite words and poetic phrases that have become so common in cricinfo articles.

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    So true Bryan. It's all so sad. What will it take to get CA to part with the BBL cash cow and legislate that a range of old school, 'not-necessarily-result-driven' pitches, have a solid summers worth of Shield matches played upon them? I want to see the figures on how many of these new fans move on to regularly watching or supporting Test cricket.

  • runout49 on July 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    Let's cut the return Ashes series to 3 tests which would be less humiliating for Australia anyway, and that would free up more days for more BBL entertainment !

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    And to think that I was, all the while, under the impression that the greed and stupidityin cricket administration was confined to just the BCCI!

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    Fantastic article, and it's difficult to attribute Australia's decline to a more significant source. Sir Gary Sobers sums up the relationship between formats fantastically when talking about One Day Cricket; '.......it's a form of entertainment, rather than the form of cricket which will develop skills.' Until CA prioritizes Shield Cricket in it's scheduling and contracts, Australia will continue to struggle against the top international nations. And even if they do, it will take numerous years to see these changes take effect at domestic level.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    good piece, aptly sums up attitude of most cricket boards towards the highest form of the game..

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Fantastic article! Spot on the money. Don't fear, channel 10 will be upset when they hear Warney won't be playing BBL next season - they did buy the broadcast rights at top dollar didn't they?

  • runout49 on July 22, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    The coffers mean more to Cricket Australia than the Ashes.

  • heathrf1974 on July 22, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    It's not T20 that are causing the problems. It's the wickets prepared in Sheffield Sheild that are green tops. They need to prepare Test standard wickets and if there are many draws occur, tough.

  • izzidole on July 22, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    This is shocking. I reckon Cricket Australia's main prority is to make a fast buck rather than improve the quality of test cricket in this country which is now the laughing stock of world cricket. What stupidity right in the middle of an ashes series when we have to focus our attention to reclaim the ashes and our lost prestige?. Surely this must be great news to the England cricket team and fans that a 5 nil whitewash of the aussies is already on the cards downunder. Despite the ignominy of getting thrashed by England at present this is what CA has planned for the future development of test cricket in this country. It is not how much money you make playing T20 BBL that would be written in the record books but how Australia fared in the ashes that would count . This is sheer mismanagement and poor planning by Cricket Australia. The future of test cricket in this country looks very bleak indeed under Chief ExecutiveE James Sutherland. No wonder aussie cricket is in shambles.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    After hearing this i am pretty much happy

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Is there any point in caring about test cricket (and hence, cricket) anymore? Cricket Australia certainly don't.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    could not agree more with Coverdale and CA...if you play alone there is no fear of losing. Aus can plan this way and maybe in a couple of years when they start losing to Ireland and Afghanistan in 4 days make the BBL a round the year tournament with a month's window for the Shield...will atleast save the fans from the loss of faces

  • AidanFX on July 22, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    It's too easy to make the link between Australia's woes and 20/20. 20/20 is big in every cricketing nation now so it is a bit problematic to assume its the problem. Having said that, I do believe the code has affected Test standards. The sport can 20/20 can continue without being a negative affect on the Australian team. But they need to do some serious planning at Junior level right up to the domestic first class level.

  • 100_rabh on July 22, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Recent acts of CA and DRS have made me realise how wrong i was in always loathing the BCCI!

  • daplaya1979 on July 22, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Although I am in complete agreement with Mr. Coverdale on the content of this article, I am disappointed that the article has a sarcastic tinge about it. It's not easy having to deal with Ashes' test loss but c'mon, who wasn't expecting this. I mean, Australia couldn't polish off Worcester in the warm ups.

  • Harvey on July 22, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    To think that Australians used to mock England's domestic structure! From a distance I've been watching in disbelief the dismantling of what used to be the world's finest production line of cricketing talent. It's all just a memory now, along with some of the world's finest cricket grounds the SCG, MCG, Gabba and Adelaide Oval all trashed and turned into football stadia. Amusing as it is to watch the trials and tribulations of the current rabble, it can't be good for the future of the game to have an uncompetitive Australian team. Cricket Australia seems not to care about that though as long as TV companies are prepared to pay for meaningless T20 fixtures played for the most part in nearly empty grounds.

  • welovepakistan on July 22, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    pakistan and australia has suffred more from T20 cricket then any other nation!

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Test cricket is dead......not, tell that to the packed stadiums at Trentbridge and Lord's. and the millions of viewers who watched the game online or on tv or those who listened to it on radio. Long live Test Cricket

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    no one cares for tests really. t20 is the future of the game

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    brilliant article. Just the thing that happened to India and that is why we all have been cribbing about ever since those 8 consecutive test defeats.

  • No_1_again on July 22, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Thanks to CA for chasing us from Cricketing world. I subscribed to Foxtel during the Indian series and then stopped it in middle due to our team's performance. Now after day 3 of second test I turned off Ch 90 (GEM). Now I am planning to boycott ASHES in Australia, anyone with me? Need to show CA what people want and want TV stations to push CA for their money.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 22, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    What's wrong with it? After all t20 , Big Bash ,IPL are the future of cricket . It is what the youth love and they are the future of the game and will take shape only along the interests and tastes . Test cricket holds not much of a taste to the coming gen. Its true even if connoseurs find it hard to accept and will not accept anything else as cricket .With future of Tests let alone Ashes bleak as it is and interest waning , what is wrong in accepting and welcoming the 'baby' and give it the care and attention it so deserves? After all, as long as cricket as sport serves its purpose of physical and mental development in youth and imbibing the various life qualities you learn while taking part which helps when you grow as an adult , does it matter if its Tests or t20 ? Afterall test cricket is just another sport made for sporting activity and not otherwise . Not all sport or cricket has to be tests. As long as gen.y are active , more power to them whatever the sport or its form.

  • Thegimp on July 22, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I would advise the current team to complete this Ashes tour playing 20/20 type cricket. Lets face it, with test match fields in place we would be a shoe in to get 200 plus,, with the added benefit of us fans only having to go through the pain of watching our batsmen flap around the centre wicket like beached prawns for 40 overs per test!!!!!

  • srinideva on July 22, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    I don`t know why people don`t understand that T20 is also a one form of cricket...I do believe Test is best form in the game..T20 is a result oriented and you can get the result in 3 hours just like football...Fans want entertainment in sport...so there is no wrong in you calling cricket dash Entertainment. the purpose of sport is to provide entertainment. Without entertainment no sport can survive. People in England do like to watch a football for short duration, but when it comes to T20, it is short..blah blah.. I love test cricket too..

  • AndrewFromOz on July 22, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Yep, welcome to the "New Reality"... And then, depression set in.

  • srinideva on July 22, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I don`t think this is anything do with T20 stuff...For example India, they play max. T20 compare to any other country in the world..Yes they lost to ENG and AUS due to their bowling failures (they don`t have a quality fast bowlers) of course, the so called Great seniors...(VS,GG,ST,VVS)

  • Thefakebook on July 22, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    Well BBL time will be awesome Australia's batters will finally scores hundreds matey!

  • Gupta.Ankur on July 22, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    It seems Cricket Australia is unfortunately following BCCI's model of promoting and staging IPL despite the results of the national team in longer formats of the game.

    In 2011-12 we lost 8 matches on a trot that too very badly most times and still IPL would be held no matter what.

    Coverdale has been spot-on in the article highlighting CA's mis-placed priorities and that too with a tour to SA in Feb last year.

    India still has the luxury of great upcoming talent to make-up for BCCI's misplaced priorities but i don't think Australia has that luxury as yet.

  • venkatesh018 on July 22, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Don't know whether to laugh or scream. Yes, money's important for a cricket Board but when its single-minded pursuit causes so much destruction in the bigger scheme of things, what is the point Cricket Australia?

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    we have officially entered T20 era.It is the end of test cricket. Its sad, but it is the truth.

  • NikSN on July 22, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I have to admit, I'm personally pretty sick of these articles blaming all of the problems of Test cricket on T20. T20 isn't killing cricket, it's saving it by attracting a new audience to the game. Unfortunately, Test cricket is dying because it's no longer relevant in modern society and isn't profitable. Most people can't attend 5 days of a test any more and test cricket now has to contend with many other sports. T20 is the future of the sport, as it's more popular and financially viable.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    I never thought that I'd see the day where, among the major boards of the world, the BCCI was not the most short-sighted or most uncommitted to Test cricket. But, Cricket Australia, you have accomplished that feat. You have destroyed cricket in your country to an extent not even Lalit Modi is capable of imagining.

  • redneck on July 22, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    calling out to any aussie who loves test cricket as the real form of cricket. if this is you please, please boycott anything related to the big bash!!! clearly our cricket board only has one priority quick instant dollars! the only way us real cricket lovers can be heard is if we dont take our families to the big bash! so long as cricket australia have stats that can be used as the reason to neglect our test team they clearly are going to do just that. we need to ensure BBL games are played out infront of empty stadiums and we need it to not rate on tv! clearly our board does not have a clue about how it is damaging the most prestigious national team that this great nation boasts! so we need to show them the only way we can, voting with our feet and eyes by not watching!!! hell ill even boycott KFC for sponsering this annual abomination!!! and thats not easy i love the stuff!!!

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    i think the author has gone ovrboard with his criticism of BBL. ppl will watch what they like. u cant force them 2 watch either test cricket/t20.As for players, every player worth their salt will b longing 2 play test cricket irrspective of how lucrative t20 cricket seems 2 b. As for ashes defeat, the aussie team is simply not good enough led by a cry-baby skipper. so pin the problem where it is rather than blame something else.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    i think its silly 2 blame the aussies horror show in england 2 advent of t20 cricket. the fact is the current aussie team is led by inept captain who is more worried abt installing team culture, discipline, personal stats[as he keeps batting at five i support of his avg], home-work, boring speeches[like i hate losing,etc]rather than winning games. so pls stop being in denial mode. Ppl like johnson, warner, bird r cooling their heels elsewhere whereas bunnies like hughes[he never looks settled], cowan r playing d ashes. A good cricketer is a good cricketer, whatever d format.Sacking arthur was a good decision. i think clarke is no good as a captain.let him play as a player & make haddin d skipper.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    you ARE the man. . Mr. coverdale

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Im sorry but this current predicament in test cricket is all t20's fault. Why do you think none of our bastmen in the shield can make large scores anymore. Face it. t20's are a show. Cricket is a game that deserves more respect that T20 cricket can give it. In my opinion t20 needs to be an after thought to first class cricket in Australia. It still has its place but quality in the shield needs to be prime importance.

  • GermanPlayer on July 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    I never thought the folks at CA were so inept and unaware of the game! Never knew Australia would sink so low. There is nothing bad in having a successful BBL, even if its at the expense of Tests and ODIs. What is wrong here is their timing and extremely lack of care for their fans who are disappointed by the performance in tests. Grow up CA! You are CA, not PCB.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Excellent article mate! Stinging, scathing, caustic, sarcastic and riveting. You seriously made my day. I was not prepared to believe that T20 was affecting test cricket's fortunes, looking at India's survival... But things take time to unravel. You really are sticking it right in...

  • runout49 on July 22, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Brilliant piece ! Spot on ! And to warm up for the return Ashes bout Aust is off to India for 7 ODI's and one game of "entertainment". Ridiculous.

  • Webba84 on July 22, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    I share your bitterness, Brydon.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    An excellent observation, not only of Australian cricket, but the trouble with cricket in general nowadays.

  • dsig3 on July 22, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    How dissapointing. CA is outdoing our poor chaps in England with this shocker. Sutherland, give yourself an uppercut mate.

  • WalkingWicket11 on July 22, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    I must admit I am unable to figure out if this is real news or satire. :)

  • WalkingWicket11 on July 22, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    I must admit I am unable to figure out if this is real news or satire. :)

  • dsig3 on July 22, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    How dissapointing. CA is outdoing our poor chaps in England with this shocker. Sutherland, give yourself an uppercut mate.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    An excellent observation, not only of Australian cricket, but the trouble with cricket in general nowadays.

  • Webba84 on July 22, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    I share your bitterness, Brydon.

  • runout49 on July 22, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Brilliant piece ! Spot on ! And to warm up for the return Ashes bout Aust is off to India for 7 ODI's and one game of "entertainment". Ridiculous.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Excellent article mate! Stinging, scathing, caustic, sarcastic and riveting. You seriously made my day. I was not prepared to believe that T20 was affecting test cricket's fortunes, looking at India's survival... But things take time to unravel. You really are sticking it right in...

  • GermanPlayer on July 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    I never thought the folks at CA were so inept and unaware of the game! Never knew Australia would sink so low. There is nothing bad in having a successful BBL, even if its at the expense of Tests and ODIs. What is wrong here is their timing and extremely lack of care for their fans who are disappointed by the performance in tests. Grow up CA! You are CA, not PCB.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Im sorry but this current predicament in test cricket is all t20's fault. Why do you think none of our bastmen in the shield can make large scores anymore. Face it. t20's are a show. Cricket is a game that deserves more respect that T20 cricket can give it. In my opinion t20 needs to be an after thought to first class cricket in Australia. It still has its place but quality in the shield needs to be prime importance.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    you ARE the man. . Mr. coverdale

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    i think its silly 2 blame the aussies horror show in england 2 advent of t20 cricket. the fact is the current aussie team is led by inept captain who is more worried abt installing team culture, discipline, personal stats[as he keeps batting at five i support of his avg], home-work, boring speeches[like i hate losing,etc]rather than winning games. so pls stop being in denial mode. Ppl like johnson, warner, bird r cooling their heels elsewhere whereas bunnies like hughes[he never looks settled], cowan r playing d ashes. A good cricketer is a good cricketer, whatever d format.Sacking arthur was a good decision. i think clarke is no good as a captain.let him play as a player & make haddin d skipper.