Like most cricket fans, I have been enjoying the Sri Lanka v India ODI series. This morning, whilst following the ball by ball (men’s road race on TV in the background), I thought to myself: “the test portion of this tour is going to be fantastic. I wonder how many they are playing?”
The answer: none.
Forgive my ignorance, but sometimes I have trouble keeping up with all of these series.
But it just doesn’t make any sense: why would two test playing nations get together and not play any tests?
Of course this is all on the heels of the positively meaningless and stupid ODI series between England and Australia.
Shoot, at least Sri Lanka is a puddle jump for the Indian team, unlike the 24 hour long haul flight between Sydney and London.
And coming up Australia face Pakistan in a one-day-only series this August/September, and Australia (again with the Aussies…what the fuck, Australia?) face the West Indies in a one-day-only series next February.
Now, I know the one day formats have their place in world cricket, but they should be the appetizer or the dessert in relation to a test series, they should never, outside of a world cup, be the main course. (With the exception of the India-Pakistan series this winter: there are extenuating circumstances there.)
All of the above thoughts this morning reminded me of my discovery yesterday that on August the 15th, three days before the opening weekend of the Premiere League and two days before the opening weekend of Ligue 1, FIFA and UEFA and every other major football board have scheduled a literal boatload of meaningless international friendlies.
All of this sport, all of it so meaningless, all of it so obviously one big giant cash grab by greedy bureaucrats who haven’t stepped foot inside the lines in decades.
Say what you will about the Olympics and the money and the corporate sponsors and the TV coverage and the fact that it is no longer an amateur competition, but at least the events all feel meaningful. At least there is a facade of competitive pride from the athletes.
With that all said, I took a peak at the upcoming international cricket tours (that include tests) over the next 12 months: India v New Zealand, India v England, Australia v South Africa, South Africa v New Zealand, Australia v Sri Lanka, South Africa v Pakistan (drool), New Zealand v England, England v New Zealand, and the Ashes.
Okay, I am officially excited. And most of those will be available on WillowTV.
Also: what big, big year this will be for New Zealand.
And with the exception of the Ashes, that South Africa v Pakistan series should be the highlight of the year.
A little meaningful sport goes a long way.
Until next time.