Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Dear Clare Connor - Please Don't Lock Us Out Of The Biggest Games

An open letter to @ConnorCricket - 

Dear Clare,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Syd and this is me with my son Daniel:


Daniel took this selfie at a women's county game last year - Berkshire/ Kent on May 19th. Here is a match report from that game, along with some other photos Daniel took that day.

Daniel and I watch a lot of women's cricket - we attended every single one of Berkshire's home games last season and we were at the T20 Finals Day, where you actually said hello to us! We were both there for the first day of the Wormsley Test last summer and I saw 5-out-of-10 days of the Women's Ashes live.

There was one game we'd really liked to have attended last summer, but had to miss out on though - the T20 at The Rose Whatever-The-Sponsor's-Name-Is Bowl. Unfortunately (as you know) there were no tickets sold for that game directly - you could only get entry by buying an expensive ticket for the men's game. We watched it on TV instead - and saw England win The Ashes in front of thousands of empty seats, because most men's cricket fans aren't really that interested in women's cricket.

I understand the arguments for double-headers. The TV companies like them, because they can add a couple of women's internationals to their schedule at the very marginal cost of turning on the cameras a couple of hours earlier. And there were some men's fans who turned up early to watch the women; so there was a bit of additional exposure.

But it came at a cost to your most loyal supporters - the ones who go to county games and drive across the country to follow England women - as we did the day a few years back when Daniel took the background photo for this blog at Arundel Castle.

Now there is talk of running some of the domestic T20 competition as double-headers, including the finals. I don't know how far advanced these plans are but I have one simple request as you consider them:

Let Daniel and I still see these games live, at the ground, just like we've always done.

We aren't asking you to let us in for free - we know that is unsustainable - but please find a way of allowing us in to watch just the women's matches at a reasonable cost, without having to buy pricey tickets for a men's game we aren't interested in.

Of course the women's game benefits from the additional exposure of T20 double-headers; and we know you need to reach out to new supporters, and the men's game is the most obvious place to try to find them.

But please don't forget who your real fans are.

Yours,

Syd & Daniel

1 comment:

  1. I echo everything Syd and Daniel have said here.

    We've seen in the past 12+ months Women's cricket events in India, West Indies and more recently Australia but by far the biggest support has been in England.

    The ECB have a fantastic opportunity to grow a Women's cricket fanbase from the grass roots where the real supporters are. Get that right and we'll tell our friends and family and they'll tell theirs and then you have something truly sustainable.

    Oh, on a personal note, be good to have a few more games in the Midlands (I don't count Loughborough - one toilet doesn't make a venue !)

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