Saturday, 23 February 2013

This was Great (We Should Do It More Often!)

Nothing's perfect... and the recent World Cup was no exception. The format was borked when Sri Lanka failed to read the script and started winning games, making a farce of the decision not to carry all points through from the group stages; and issues with the venues (some admittedly beyond the control of the cricketing authorities) meant several games went ahead with no TV coverage, which was unfortunate to say the least.

But overall I'd have to say that the tournament was pretty great. (Not as great as it would have been if England had won, but... you can't have everything. Apparently.)

More than anything this was because, while there was only realistically ever one winner, the race to face Australia in the final was a genuinely close call between England, West Indies and New Zealand; with Sri Lanka also 'turning up' in the group stages at least.

That's why it is such a pity that we have to wait a four-year eternity before we do it again. (Albeit with two (?) World T20s in between.)

I would agree that a quadrennial tournament makes sense for the men's game, which has test cricket to feast on; but the World Cup is the primary focus of women's cricket and an annual competition would be a key step forward in building the commercial momentum of the game, allowing kids and more casual fans the opportunity to develop an acquaintance with the players that just isn't possible when they are only on-screen once in every four years.

Sure, it is a bit of a radical step. The traditionalists won't like it; and I suspect that some of the players might be against it too, on the grounds that it would be the final mail in the coffin of women's test cricket.

But if we want to build a genuinely successful commercial future for the game, I think it is something we should consider.

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