Time Zoning

As a commenter mentioned in yesterday’s post, those of you in England (or thereabouts) are going to have a difficult time watching  Australia versus South Africa, because of the time zone issue.

First ball for those of you in GMT will be at midnight for Adelaide and Brisbane and 02:30 for the Test in Perth. The match in Perth will actually be okay, as the middle of the second session on will be at not-so-unGodly hours.

As I have mentioned over and over and over and over again, while being an American cricket fan can be frustrating at times, there are times when it is just great, and one of those times is when Australia is hosting a Test match. First ball at 18:00, and you are in bed by 02:00 at the absolute latest.

And it doesn’t get any better for England fans on 15 November with India versus England: first ball at 04:00 (or even earlier).

No matter what, however, cricket fans will be in heaven when the second Test at Adelaide overlaps with the second Test at Mumbai: non stop cricket for twelve straight hours (with about four hours worth of overlap).

I am not going to lie to myself or to my reader and say that I am going to be able to watch a great deal of India v England. I have good intentions, as I always do, but getting past midnight on a work day even with copious amounts of coffee is difficult. But I am going to do my best to watch every minute possible of Australia v South Africa – as this happens but once a year for American cricket fans: Test cricket in Prime Time.

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South Africa of course is two hours ahead of England, and so South African cricket fans are going to have a bear of a time watching their team in Australia. First ball at 02:00 in Adelaide and Brisbane means they will only comfortably be able to watch the final sessions of each day, except for Perth where they will probably be okay seeing everything after lunch. And by “comfortably” and “okay” I mean at normal waking times of a normal day.

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None of the above really takes into account work, or kids, or life getting in the way of the cricket. Because, sure, the West Indies are just one hour ahead of me, and sure England’s Test matches are for the most part taking place during a normal waking times, but they are not in prime time. You can’t relax with a beer and Twitter. You are instead at work following on Cricinfo and listening to the BBC or sneaking in a few minutes with Willow over lunch. It’s not the same.

And really, people in my hemisphere are among the few cricket fans in the world who get to enjoy Test cricket in such prime viewing hours. The only folks that come close are those India/Bangladesh/Pakistan/Sri Lanka when their squad happens to be playing in England. But that is only once every four years or so, while I get TWO Australian Test series every single winter.

All of this makes it sound like I am an Australia supporter, but I am not. Not in the least. I find the vast majority of their cricketers, past and present, really difficult to stomach.

They have great fans though, and great venues, and they always seem to be interested in playing attacking, aggressive cricket; so that in concert with the time zone thing is enough to forgive the general disagreeableness of their cricketers.

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Like I mentioned above, my intentions are always good, but this time they are better. Instead of kicking back with a beer in hand, I am going to try the coffee route and really give it a go. We shall see what happens. I am not in school anymore so my responsibilities have technically been halved since India toured Australia last winter, so the odds really are better this time around.

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This post has been shit. I know. I could have summed up everything in 50 words but whatever. I wanted to get a post out.

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4 Responses to Time Zoning

  1. Robb says:

    it will be nice to get the first two sessions or so of each of the aus/sa tests before bed.
    if i thought i could manage to keep spoilers from myself for an appropriate amount of time, i would subscribe to willow in a heartbeat and just watch the replays on youtube. i did that with last years sa/aus (it’s free on willow replay) and starting sa/sl in the last day or two. if there are enough tests i don’t know the result to, that i’d need to subscribe to watch, i may do so anyway.

  2. 5w_haul says:

    very true
    here in india timing of sa and eng are managable the tests starts around 2-3pm and finishes about 10-11 pm
    aus.ones are ok too starting at 5am to 1pm and at perth 8am to 3pm
    when i was in the school i used to wake up 4.30am in the morning to watch first session and then get ready for school along with watching tv till 7.30am i did it for whole 2003 ind tour of oz
    same for 2008 and 2011 but slightly easier after passing school and allowed to watch whenever i want. but real pain in behind are nz one’s starting at 3am and finishes around 10am and don’t ask about west indies 8 pm to 3am got no chance.
    watched Florida t20s midnight to 3.30am
    no wonder serious cricket fans suffers from severe sleep deprivation all over the globe

  3. Chrisps says:

    It had never occurred to me before how Test cricket is so rarely in prime time. For now, this is. Have you seen the ICC proposals for day/night Tests?

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