I don’t particularly like swearing on the blog. I’ll do it now and again, especially if something gets right up my nose and ends up somewhere near my brain, but normally I keep my potty mouth zipped. However, the latest proposals for the ECB’s new Shitty T20 leave me absolutely no choice. In fact, I’m sure you’ll utter obscenity followed by obscenity too once you hear what those a*******s are thinking now.
According the the BBC, Harrison’s Harebrained Have A Hit isn’t going to be a T20 competition after all. It’s going to be a T15 tournament. Why? Because apparently making cricket matches shorter makes them even better. Who’d have thunk it?
I’m really trying to get my head around this news. Why on earth do Harrison and Co think that a T15 competition, or a ‘100-ball concept’ as they’re calling it, is a good idea? It smacks of innovation for innovation’s sake, and a cynic would suggest it’s just Harrison trying to look like a great revolutionary thinker.
As a marketing man I appreciate the value of differentiating yourself from the competition (in this case the IPL and The Big Bash) but you shouldn’t just differentiate yourself for the sheer hell of it. It’s a completely hollow proposition.
Obviously this 100-ball proposal comes with the same nauseating crap we’ve heard from the ECB before. I’ll treat you to a few tasty morsels:
An 100-ball ‘countdown’ would attract new audiences and be popular with broadcasters. The ECB’s chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: “This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game.”
This is exactly what they said when they announced the original City T20 idea. What made them change their mind and think that the existing plans weren’t quite appealing enough after all? Why the need to suddenly make it even more super dooper cool for the kids …. by … erm … shaving off five overs?
Now I appreciate that I’m not exactly the target audience here. I have no idea what appeals to young people. However, I’m pretty sure that a ‘100 ball concept’ is no sexier than a ’20 over’ concept. Why on earth do Harrison and Co think that kids will enjoy counting down from 100 more than they currently enjoy counting down from 20? Perhaps initial feedback from young people has been “another T20 tournament? Meh” and so they think they need to raise the bar.
As always I’m left utter flabbergasted by the ECB’s thinking. They seem so desperate to be seen as modern that they’ll try anything. In fact, why don’t they just invent a format that’s just one super-over per team and be done with it?
What’s more, it comes as no surprise to anyone that the ECB have consulted sponsors and player representatives (hey, who wouldn’t like to be paid loads of cash for doing less work?) but don’t seem to have consulted the people that matter i.e. cricket fans. Instead they simply assume that young people will buy into their horrifically contrived b*****d of a competition.
Right. That’s me done for now. I’m off for a well deserved lie down in a darkened room. I might also phone NHS 111 while I’m there as I’m sure my spleen has ruptured through all this venting.
But can you really blame me? The people running English cricket seem to be destroying the sport before our very eyes. And it’s all in a desperate attempt to get down with the kids. Talking of which, here’s a revolutionary idea for you …
Why not try to sell young people cricket’s heritage, tradition, and all the many things that make the sport unique rather than force feeding them a stunted Americanised version? We all fell in love with cricket before the age of dancing girls and T20 and I’m sure the kids of today would too (given half a chance).
Personally I think young people like things that feel real rather than contrived. And I doubt they’re idiots. Sometimes the more you say to young people ‘hey like this’, the more they say ‘p**s off grandad’.