Saturday, 2 March 2013

TV Times: Back To The 80s?

Who do you think of when someone mentions the 80s? Madonna? Morrissey? Morten Harket? Not me! Gower, Gooch and Gatting were more my thing! So you won't be surprised to hear that I spent many a summer's day sitting in front of the TV watching test cricket... interrupted by regular jaunts to Glorious (ha!) Goodwood. (Where I learned enough about horse racing to later write an entire novel set in that world!)

I still occasionally catch a glimpse of those days on ESPN Classic or Test Match Years, and I'm amazed by how primitive it all seems compared to today - the stuttering action replays and the monochrome-friendly over-contrasted colours, all filmed from a single end of the ground. It's a far cry from pitch maps, stump mics and Hawkeye.

However basic it might have been though, it was still better than nothing. And I appreciate this more than ever now; because 'nothing' is pretty-much exactly what fans of women's cricket will get to see on their TVs, when our girls are playing Australia this summer.

If last year is anything to go by, SKY will broadcast the double-header T20 games, but that will be it.
So while our national team are playing test cricket for The Ashes in August, what will SKY be showing? The action from Wormsley? Or WWF repeats and golf advertorials? (Go on... have a guess!)

I'm sure SKY have sound business reasons for this. Cameras and commentators cost money; blar, blar, blar! But do they really cost that much? What if SKY took their inspiration from those 80s tests of my childhood? Three (fixed?) cameras, and a small (studio-based?) commentary team is all it would take; and it would be so much better than nothing... wouldn't it?

(The ECB, who already film all the matches with a (single) (fixed) camera, might even help-out!)

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