OK, I’m seriously conflicted. It’s this whole T20 Big Bash League.
My marketing brain gets it – more colour and movement, the reduced attention span limited over cricket format. A bite-sized entry point to the game in the digital age. It lives up to its name as it is fun and exciting to watch. It is made for TV and based on last years ratings it has been a smash. It’s also appearing to have the desired impact to ignite the imagination of kids and parents and attract them to play the game.
I really want to like it. However, the critic in me doesn’t. And no I am not with the traditionalist crowd that complains T20 is detrimental to the sacred game and damaging the technique of the next generation of Test cricketers. Clearly, we can all agree, I am nowhere near understanding the game enough to provide that type of critique.
I don’t like it because it is on every night. Every night of the summer holidays!
Now I have been corrected by my sons – it is technically not on every night. So I went to the source and checked the schedule. From its start on 18 December 2014 until the semi-finals commencing 24 January 2015 there are only six BBL-free nights. Two of those nights are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Thirty-one nights of cricket plus three additional nights for the finals in a six-week period. And that is before the ‘normal’ summer cricket daytime watching or listening is factored in – the Australia vs. India Test series, the One-Day International Tri-Series, Sheffield Shield, Women’s cricket plus their own cricket playing – backyard, beach and competition cricket.
I accept that summer means cricket but this level of cricket I truly find challenging. Thankfully a comprise has been proposed by their Dad – only watch the nights their BBL team is playing. Unfortunately, we have a split household – one son goes for Sydney Sixers, the other two for Sydney Thunder – so that increases viewing nights.
I am going to have to get creative to make non-watching nights an interesting alternative. I can feel a whole lot of card nights and board game evenings coming on.