No Need for a Funky Title!

Hi all

It was my intention to post an audiocast but technical issues mean that we’ll have to content ourselves with the written word.

Firstly, I hope that everybody is well. Please stay safe and adhere to the appropriate advice. It isn’t always easy dependent on your employer but I hope that financially and health wise you’re all able to survive.

There will be little cricket this year. Recreational cricket will have to pass which will be of great frustration to many. Please try and stay positive. As for watching and following the professional game then maybe some short form cricket at the back end of the summer is as much as we can optimistically hope for. Whether or not travelling to these matches will be safe and practical for fans is a difficult question. This ‘thing’ isn’t just going to blow over. For the ECB and their Hundred baby that will be of grave concern!

I’ve stalled on Cricket 19. I’m halfway through a Test match as France but a mid-match patch, little children, work and the weather have all impeded my progress/enjoyment. I’ll try and round it off soon and post the details… it could be interesting!

Now is surely the time to read some cricket books and watch some films. Please refer to the relevant tabs at the top right of my blog for recommendations (Menu & Widgets-Home-Batting Order-Select Category).

Please stay safe everyone, wherever you are.

Paul aka Silly Point

Cricket and Coronavirus

England’s cricketers have returned from Sri Lanka and rightly so. If they’d stayed in Sri Lanka there’s no guarantee that they’d be able to get home at the conclusion of the tour. They may have spouses, dependents, children and elderly family who need their support. They can’t possibly have been expected to focus on cricket even if young healthy families are perceived to be at less risk. I myself have a child who is high risk and many people seem to be making misguided assumptions about who are and who aren’t vulnerable. England’s cricketers have a nice life but already spend enough time in hotels. To have been locked up in one with their families in England and no travel authorised just couldn’t have been allowed to happen.

As for The Hundred, the ECB will be worried!

Fingers crossed that cricket like society in general can recover soon.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: Howzat!

It’s the end of an era for Telegraph Fantasy Cricket!

The official line is that the demand just isn’t there, that interest in the county game has fallen so much that the competition isn’t sustainable/viable. I can’t help but think that the new structure of the domestic game, what with The Hundred and player availability (Or lack of) across four different competitions, will have made it quite complex for the Telegraph to create a fair competition.

It’s a shame because I really enjoyed it and you did need to use some nous but it’s over and out for TFF!

Meanwhile I’ve logged into CricketXI (www.cricketxi.com) but there’s currently no sign of any English cricket on there either. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s bitten the dust too or just not up and running yet. The county campaign commences on 19th April 2020 so there’s still time?!

The Hundred is the Topps!

The Hundred, which let’s face it, is coming, will bring with it… Cricket Attax!

I’ve always said that these are the sort of things, like they have in football, that are what we need in order to peak children’s interest in cricket. Whilst first and foremost providing fun, the cards and game require some mathematical application so are, as a result… educational!

The Hundred might not be everybody’s cup of tea but it’s coming, some of it will be on free to air TV and it’ll bring Cricket Attax with it!

Would You Rather? The Results

What’s been created?

The Hundred

What do the public want? (By public I mean the six people including myself that voted on this poll!)

Not the Hundred!

Screenshot 2019-10-30 at 15.18.24

Interestingly, 67% of voters would like to have just kept the T20 Blast in its current county form. I thought that more than 33% might have plumped for a T20 city based franchise competition but like a batsman’s average the stats don’t lie!

If you haven’t already then please vote on my latest poll on the subject of coin tossing in Test cricket. You can find the Polls section of my blog by clicking on the Menu & Widgets tab at the top right of my home page then selecting Batting Order then Select Category then Polls.

Come to think of it, why don’t I just provide you with the link to my latest poll?

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/10/27/stop-being-tossers/

The Hundred! (Not even bothering to come up with a title!)

2020. What a fantastic year to launch a new Twenty20 cricket competition. It’s a marketing dream but wait, here in England, where we’re led to believe that cricket was invented, they’re not launching a new Twenty20 competition. Eh?! They, the cricket hierarchy geniuses and marketing supremos that’ve been drafted in are launching an unofficial (*), overly-complicated, snack food sponsored tournament.

* By unofficial I mean that the matches won’t have T20, List A or First Class status. Are Cricinfo going to create a new row in the Player Statistics section? I doubt it!

https://www.thehundred.com/

THEY told us that they wanted to simplify cricket and just count down from one hundred balls. I can handle that, it’s not actually a terrible concept but how is having varying lengths of overs and different opportunities to bowl from one end or the other, sometimes halfway through an ‘over’ simpler than allocations of six alternating from each end every six deliveries?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cricket365.com/the-hundred/the-hundred-kits-ranked-and-rated/amp/

AND THE KITS! If you thought that it was bad in Australia with KFC sprawled on the front well look out for Joe Root (Will he actually play?) wearing a Skips packet. They may as well have put gambling companies on the front!

People can spout unoriginal opinions such as “You’re just scared of change” but what I’m scared of is inconsistency and our sport embarrassing itself. The fact that it’ll be on terrestrial television could be great but not if the product is compromised and therefore of poor quality. Of course it’ll be the same players hitting, picking and throwing the ball so at its core, it will still be cricket. The fact that Jonathan Agnew could be presenting it certainly won’t help attract the untapped market the ECB head honchos would like. Hopefully they and the BBC will have the foresight to get Ebony Rainford-Brent or heck, even Graeme Swann at the forefront.

Franchise sport and drafts bring an end to the already dying concept of player loyalty in sport but they do, in theory, help keep teams even and prevent the sort of Barcelona and Real Madrid dominance that you’ll find in La Liga as just one example. The financial aspect if relegation is involved in a draft selected team sport is probably for a whole other post.

Let’s be clear, this tournament is not about creating history and legacy like our game has leant itself too so magnificently. It’s about forgetful entertainment to compete with X-Factor and Dancing on Ice etc that you’ve forgotten about by the following afternoon at the latest.

The Hundred is nearly here folks and I don’t like it. Give me Test Cricket, ODI Cricket, T20 Cricket even T10, Beach, Indoor and Cage but the inconsistency of this format bites away at me. Can you tell?!

Will I be watching? Of course. It’s an opportunity to see some cricket. Will I purchase a Northern Superchargers shirt? Maybe. The shirts are kind of cool in a tragic way and may be a collector’s item in a few years.

This is a muddled article. Even as I write I’m coming around to part of it. The draft and kit launch etc should and are exciting but the adjustment to the rules irk me. Roll on 2020 for our new Twenty20 comp… er, I mean The Hundred!