Does cricket need a facelift in Australia… Is the test match dying? 48



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With our ever shortening attention spans, and new offerings in the cricket world like Big Bash Cricket that fit our adrenalin hungry desires in just an afternoon, it seems test match cricket the way we’ve all known it for decades could see its days numbered. On the day we lounge back for the start of the Boxing Day Test of 2015 it seems timely to talk about how tough test match cricket has had it this year and what they should do to reinvigorate attendance and passion for the sport. Do you think it can be done?

There is no doubting the popularity of big bash leagues, but the numbers at the stadiums for traditional tests in 2015 have been little short of disastrous for the sport. Back before the TV existed, the record Boxing Day test pulled a 6 day crowd of 350,534 people at the MCG. The Gabba test in Brisbane this year battled to pull 44,000 people through the gates over the period. Apparently Cricket Australia  needs 90,000 to break even at a Test Match according to one news report. Hobart has only managed 10,000 through the gates in the first four days in a stadium with 14,500 capacity each day.  Disappointing if not devastating for the sport’s traditional format.

Cricket Australia and Channel 9 have been talking up cricket for months, and there is no doubt that Australians love to watch it but 5 days at a time might be a little to much for the average Aussie it seems in the heat of the day.

And it seems the backers are also feeling the fear and looking to find new ways to hook people.  Cricket Australia tried something different in Adelaide with day-night cricket and it has had a lift in attendance at the recent test in Adelaide which drew 123,000 people into the stadium over three days, higher than any other non-ashes test in Adelaide, and served Channel Nine with strong ratings.

As we head into the season where cricket is at its strongest, tell us, do you still watch the test matches? Do you think the format needs to change?



Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Yes used to love cricket too many rules with 3rd umpire no characters and personalities just boring !

  2. I love the test matches as they are. Big Bash and one day are just society as a whole. Instant gratification. They will always be popular with some but test match format is for the real lovers of the game.

    1 REPLY
  3. The seats in the background look awfully full. It must still be very popular.

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    • Have a close look at those seats in the background because they are different colours they give the impression that bums are on seats but a closer view reveals just how many seats are vacant.

  4. Myself and most of the extended family gave up on test cricket when Michael Clark became captain. after the years of Border, Taylor and Waugh the greatness and camaraderie of the Australian cricket team seemed to decline over Pontings captaincy. The rubbish that we endured with the Clark/Bingle era was the start of the decline of what was a great Australian institution. The way to pull back the tradition and respect must come through the players. The All Blacks have it in spades. The Aussie cricketers have none. The Boxing Day test was one of the things we all looked forward to. At the beach there would be 10 to 20 every day watching it in TV (being from NSW). Today not one of those will be watching and neither any of the kids. It’s not wanting or needing an adrenalin rush. It simply wanting to respect the team playing. With so much choice in the world it will take a super human effort to recover that form.

  5. I do not see how anyone could say that this year with the tests, 2,3 days only high scores and great bowling figures….leave our test cricket alone….

  6. Pingback: Boxing Day Test: The real story behind one of cricket's most infamous 'catches' – Sydney Morning Herald | The Art Of Cricket

  7. There is no substitute for a good, hard, five-day test. The short form of the game – especially the Big Bash – is a mockery. Unfortunately, the number of recent three-day games has done nothing to better crowd numbers and, until the West Indies can get their internal act in order, we are down by one once great Test cricket team.

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