My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

Great start to the weekend …

on November 3, 2012

In case you’re wondering, I’m being sarcastic with my post heading ūüėČ

To start from the beginning, I enjoyed a nice bit of a lie-in on this Saturday morning, my decision made easier by the sound of rain outside … finally got up and dressed and brunched (made my own variation of Eggs Benedict, in case you wanted to know!) and turned on my pc to check out the news from overnight and the day.

The first thing I discovered was that apparently it’s not okay to express a bit of displeasure at a bowler being denied a clear wicket appeal.

Jesse in trouble again

I’ve been watching and listening to cricket for a good few years now (when I can, of course, given that I don’t have access to Sky Sport for live TV coverage, and commentary on the radio is slim pickings … but more on that later!) and I’m sure I’ve seen and heard many, many bowlers over the years expressing some kind of displeasure when a wicket decision is not given in their favour. ¬†It’s just human nature, isn’t it, to be striving so earnestly for something and when you don’t get it, be bitterly disappointed?

Unless of course your name is Jesse Ryder and then, naturally, we have to turn it into a MAJOR big deal and make the guy feel even more of a cricket outcast than we’ve already made him!

It seems if he’s not batting brilliantly for his team of the moment (as he did in the first round of Plunket Shield cricket this season, scoring centuries in both innings of the Wellington Firebirds’ match against the Central Stags) we have to be ¬†quick to instantly pounce on the first minor¬†indiscretion¬†and ¬†make him feel like he shouldn’t really be bothering trying so hard to get his mind, life and cricketing game back on track!

Come on media, cricketing officials, and cricketing fans alike Рgive the guy a break, and cut him a bit of slack, and instead of roasting him, encourage and support him in his endeavours!  I myself have known several people to go through the same kind of struggles he has obviously been through in the past and I would just like to say how proud of him I am for firstly, being so open and upfront about it all, and secondly, doing something about it and (so far) succeeding!

Needless to say, I should’ve stopped my news scanning there, this morning, and saved myself the disappointments that were to come …

Now, as I mentioned before, I am one of the (few, it seems) people who don’t have the privilege of being able to afford a subscription to Sky TV and therefore, I have to rely on other means of communication and media to keep up to date with my favourite sports team. ¬†Particularly when they are currently embarking on a tour of Sri Lanka and there is nothing nicer for a cricket fan, than being able to sit back in the evenings and turn on the radio for a dose of ball-by-ball commentary from a test match.

Alas, it seems I will be thwarted in my need for keeping up with the state of play in the coming test series, as the costs have been deemed too high:  No test commentary

On this occasion, I guess I can’t really blame NZ Cricket as the Sri Lankan board was the one setting the pricing and setting it out of reach of one of the participating countries. ¬†Kind of seems a bit ludicrous, if you ask me, for one of the competing teams to not even be given easier access to keeping their fans in contact with the games! ¬†I’m sure if the boot was on the other foot and it was the Sri Lankan team touring New Zealand, our radio and TV networks would be pleased to make sure not only the pricing was right, but also the timings were right so that their fans at home could get their cricketing fix throughout the tour! ¬†It seems money really has become the most important thing in the world …

Speaking of money, I read my way through to the end of this article and hidden away at the very end, were three sentences which made my cricketing heart sink right to the bottom of my boots:

Meanwhile, White confirmed NZ Cricket had pulled its funding for live internet streaming of Plunket Shield commentaries this season.

The Radio Network was flooded by complaints from listeners last year when it ceased commentaries from Plunket Shield venues, a popular feature of its summer programming in years past.

NZ Cricket stepped in earlier this year to pay for live internet streaming of commentaries, but White confirmed that that had stopped.

What the …?!!

So, exactly how are the loyal fans supposed to keep track of where their favourite teams’ games are at throughout the summers of cricket? ¬†Oh, that’s right, we’re all supposed to have web-capable phones these days, aren’t we, so that we can look up the scoreboards on the cricket website and know what’s going on that way.

What about the people who can’t afford this kind of technology, or who just aren’t interested in having a cell phone for a start? ¬†I’m sure there are many, in particular older, cricket fans, who are totally missing sitting back and listening to the sound of Bryan Waddle, Jeremy Coney, Ron Snowden and the like, describing to them, in great detail exactly what is happening on the field in front of them!

But technology aside … there is no comparison between reading a scoreboard on a screen, and hearing somebody actually describing the 25 boundaries Jesse Ryder stroked on his way to scoring 174 runs against the Central Stags last weekend … or hearing somebody describe the weather conditions in Rangiora to assist Neil Wagner in claiming 4 wickets against the Canterbury Wizards …

And don’t get me started on whether I’d rather hear the sound of someone describe a cricket match in precise detail … or the sound of never-ending whinging callers to a talk-back programme! ¬†I guess this is cheaper though, so I lose ūüė¶

I just don’t understand how it can cost so much to give the fans what they want, which is to provide a bit of VOICE to the sound of leather on willow in New Zealand this summer!

Oh, that’s right, we won’t even get the sound of leather on willow either this cricket season … until our teams come to their home venues, and we coincide our days off so that we can spend them at the grounds … which I’m going to do anyway, in case you’re wondering! ¬†I’ve already got my Cricket Wellington membership pass ready to go – have you got yours?! ¬†ūüėČ


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