Why then the English cricketing bureaucracy have decided to commence certain domestic Twenty20 matches at 7.30pm is anyone’s guess, effectively ruling many families out of attending those games. With fixtures concluding at almost 11pm, far too late for school children, it is clear that little thought was given to the next generation of potential cricket fans and players, and such a situation stinks of pandering to corporate demands. Money, it would seem, is still very much king.
|Kids prefer cricketers in pyjamas|
As one fellow cricket enthusiast said to me, “today’s youngsters are tomorrow’s aficionados.” By placing corporate needs above those of youngsters, the hierarchy may just be removing tomorrow from the equation. Twenty20 provides the perfect platform from which to launch a youngster’s eventual undying interest in all formats of the sport, but judging by this news it may soon be firing blanks.
It is understandable that counties will be looking to maximise income from participation in the Twenty20 competition, given that it is the most lucrative in what is a barren wasteland of monetary opportunities, and corporate entertainment is one effective way of doing so. As one Lord’s member noted, however, the 6pm starts afforded the Twenty20 competition last year were ideal both in the interests of corporate entertainment and of course departing the venue at a reasonable hour; evidence, if needed, that corporate and family entertainment can co-exist.
Regardless, there is plenty of scope to achieve a satisfactory corporate to family balance, and failure to address the situation swiftly may just have more of a destructive effect on the future of English cricket than the money men would ever have cared to envisage.