What has changed? Durham point to the late confirmation of the West Indies as the opponents for this match, together with the early-season scheduling. Alastair Cook took a more direct line. “It’s pretty cold out there,” he said. An alternative explanation might be that the recession has made people much pickier about which matches they are prepared to attend. And cricket is not the only sport to suffer from this syndrome. If tickets for this year’s Calcutta Cup match were slow to sell, it is because Scotland’s rugby team are a declining force. And the same goes for the West Indies, only more so.
1. Avoid familiarity
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo