As always, Dileep Premachandran has a brilliant column in The Guardian. Rather than write my own blog post, I’m just going to deconstruct his so you can fully appreciate the argument:
Point #1: The Champions League failed in India, largely because cricket is still about nationalism in India, not the game itself —
India went out in the first round in South Africa, and according to aMap, the average rating for the competition was 1.1 [meaning 1.1% of the homes surveyed were watching the games]. Interest peaked during the India-Pakistan encounter which had a rating of 6.2 (industry insiders say that any rating above 3 is a good one). The figure for the first few days of Champions League action? 0.74.
Point #2: Cricket fatigue doesn’t help, as the administrators kill the goose with the golden eggs —
There was a time when the first touch of late-autumn chill had cricket aficionados in a tizzy about the new season. Now, with the sport played all year round, who can summon up that excitement? “Look at the English Premier League,” says Arora. “They have a fixed three-month break at the end of each season. By the end of that, fans are desperate for play to start again. How can you have that desperation if you play all the time?”
Point #3: Indian cricket administrators are also still remarkably inept, using a ridiculous rotation schedule among still shabby stadiums that are also hung with still ridiculous reservations for VIPs who don’t show up. Phew! —
India may remain the game’s financial hub for the foreseeable future, but there seems to be no effort to create a genuine cricket culture. Where’s the annual marquee Test, the equivalent of Boxing Day at the MCG, July at Lord’s or New Year in Cape Town? Why is there a ridiculous rotation system that has denied Eden Gardens, India’s liveliest venue by far, a Test since December 2007? In that time, Mohali, where Tendulkar went past Brian Lara’s record for most Test runs in front of silent concrete stands and a few bussed-in schoolkids, has hosted two games.
There’s still more in that article worth reading that I haven’t quoted. Yeah, it’s that good. All hail. Read it.