As the debate over marketability of cricket rages over and across with ODIs and ofcourse the blue eyed twenty20 I suggest to cease playing the gimmicks and deliver the real deal and market the real deal.
Test cricket, yea what happened to Tst Cricket I’d like to know? Is it an old man on pension and must survive the remainder of his life on subscription pills invented and bought by the ch ching ching of its youngest offspring. Is Twenty20 really the panacea that cricket was looking for?
The insights on which the concept has been developed and succeeded will change, this time only sooner than it took us to come from 50 to 20. So where are we headed? Does reducing the number of overs in line with reducing attention span of a generation work? Maybe. But then it ain cricket, atleast not the way I knew it. Does it mean that there aren’t enough takers of the Test Cricket? I’m not buyin that. Does it mean that Test Cricket ain gonna earn u a fast buck. That I can aknowledge. Profitable though it can be on its own.
So this is wher I’d like to go. Let Twenty20 be. Mint as much as you please, give 50 over cricket the so called desired boost. Serve the kids the junk if they wanna pay for it. Basically I couldn care less with any shit wher the proceedings start without atleast 3 catchin men behind the stumps and the batsmen cant afford to let a ball go if he cant negotiate it. I hate to see top class batsmen getting out trying to play extravagant shots to unplayable deliveries, few of which do come along once in a while. This just because he hasn discovered a fic to get over an IPL hangover.
Let’s look at Golf. Is it a fast sport? is it a fancy sport? Is it a popular sport? No!
So why is it dat wt a certain Tiger Woods does in his jungle scare the living bjeebies out of the Nikes and Accentures of the world? It’s because whoever is selling golf did a simple exercise –
What are the attributes of my sport?
- Mental strength
- Etc etc
Who will these attributes appeal to? Street kids in Rio de Janeiro? Of course not. It ain samba enough u know. It would appeal to a 40 something decision makers in the high echelons of Fortune numbers. And of course the other wannabe decision makers around the world. That was easy. So lets market to them. They’ll even help us brand our sport. Winner.
What if a similar exercise is done for Test Cricket?
Test Cricket has all the attributes of Golf and additional physicality which should make it one of the better sports properties across the world. I think the audience mapping would suggest sell it to the intelligent across all age groups.
Education is big thing. If tomorrow, Ravi Shastri uses Sehwag’s natural ability as an excuse for getting out foolishly at a crucial time in a Test match he should be banned from commenting in the next few games. If these so called brand ambassadors can be neutral yet interesting we have some serious education going. Bring back Boycs, Benaud and Grieg of Old. Lets find the right opinion leaders, romantics, businessmen.
The format has suffered. The metrics are wrong. An intelligent man does not necessarily need a favorable result to acknowledge a good game, in any sport.
Saving a test match sometimes is as crucial and as exciting as winning one. Defense can be as pretty as offence. Ask a certain Kobe Bryant post 2010 Nba finals victory how proud he was of his rebounds and assists in the game or an Algeria drawing against England in FIFA finals.
We need to slow it down position correct, market accordingly. We don’t need the kid in China to grow this game. He gets it good, he dun its cool. We need that kid in Bangladesh who @ 17 is as wily as Shane Warne was and is not afraid to give the ball the required flight. We need heroes. We certainly don’t need the money from Twenty20. Instead we need to estimate the loss due to depreciating standards of cricket in the West Indies, appreciate the reasons and account for them.
fav joint - http://www.cricinfo.com/