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Old 14th May 2013, 12:51   #21
Ali TT
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Agreed, don't think there are many ways of attracting more people to the 4day games- by nature those matches will have to play over the week. I get a little frustrated that many one-day matches are played midweek (presumably to fill Sky Sports summer schedule). T20 is the major draw for punters because, as gbg suggests, Joe Public gets to see the whole game in one with a result (perhaps T20 is the equivalent of the film adaptation of a good novel)
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Old 14th May 2013, 14:54   #22
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Agreed, don't think there are many ways of attracting more people to the 4day games- by nature those matches will have to play over the week. I get a little frustrated that many one-day matches are played midweek (presumably to fill Sky Sports summer schedule). T20 is the major draw for punters because, as gbg suggests, Joe Public gets to see the whole game in one with a result (perhaps T20 is the equivalent of the film adaptation of a good novel)
Funnily enough, one of the original selling points for the introduction of T20 was that "it would bring in a new audience for cricket who will then gravitate towards the first-class game". As a regular attender of JPL games in the 70s who saw very very few of his peers re-emerging at Championship matches during the subsequent decades, I took this claim with a pinch of salt and I can't see much evidence that a noticeable transition is taking effect.

Although, a couple of years ago at a CC game at Beckenham, I did see three twenty-somethings decked out in Kent one-day strip, cheering every boundary scored during the first half-hour with a dance and a chorus of "four more...to the Kent score". They soon became perplexed that nobody else was joining in and left on the hour.
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Old 14th May 2013, 15:14   #23
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... What's more, the competition has been reduced to one played out at the beginning and end of the season. ...
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... It therefore comes down to the attractiveness of the product ...
Going back to the football comparison, I think there's a huge difference in that a day at the cricket is enormously dependent on the weather. Unless the weather quality's clocking in at 6 or 7+ out of 10, there's unlikely to be any play. And even if there is play, the difference it makes to the quality of the experience when the weather makes it up to 9+ is hard to overstate. So in many ways, the quality of the experience is actually very little to do with the pricing structure or anything else that mortals can affect.

It is galling, though, that so much of the better weather is always gobbled up by pyjama matches.

If you ask me, they should set the admission price by the temperature. 50p per degree celsius over 10.

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Funnily enough, one of the original selling points for the introduction of T20 was that "it would bring in a new audience for cricket who will then gravitate towards the first-class game". ...
I've come to realise that almost everything that is said in explanation/justification for any particular state of affairs is actually completely irrelevant. But usually the real reasons for that state of affairs are disgusting and cannot be stated out loud in public.
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Old 14th May 2013, 15:14   #24
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But isn't that like picking up a book and finding that the first 300 pages have been ripped out, leaving only the closing chapter?
No, it's like reading a novella. Shorter and ultimately not as satisfying but at least complete.

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Points taken about the football comparison. But the point also was that far more people seem prepared to invest considerable time and money in devotedly watching even a lower level football side than they will to watching a county cricket team.
The point was that you need to invest considerably more time to watch cricket. I think it's also cheaper to watch a Premiership match than a County Championship match. Obviously if you're a member it then becomes more economical, but to be able to attend to make it economical you can't have a job.

There's also a hell of a difference between standing in the cold for 90 minutes with a 15 minute break in the middle and being out in the open elements for 8 hours. It can be glorious but it's as often bleak.
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Old 14th May 2013, 15:41   #25
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There's also a hell of a difference between standing in the cold for 90 minutes with a 15 minute break in the middle and being out in the open elements for 8 hours. It can be glorious but it's as often bleak.
I'd say it's more usually 'OK' rather than those two extremes. I've been to 4 days' cricket this season and I've got sunburn every time and had to wear a jumper once and jumper + jacket once. It's tickled 'glorious' but never been unpleasant. Then again, I do watch most of my cricket in this blessed South-Eastern corner of the island; not sure I'd be quite so enthusiastic if I lived in the North West. And, unfortunately, the Championship now seems to be wedged into the opening month and a half of the season and the closing month and a half. Memories of lounging on the banks of Mote Park in 30C July weather are pretty distant now.
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Old 14th May 2013, 15:58   #26
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I think it's also cheaper to watch a Premiership match than a County Championship match.
I'd say that was true in most cases (except for a fan of Chelsea and Surrey, perhaps).

Clever little trick by county cricket, that. Instead of paying three days' admission to see a maximum of perhaps 370 overs, modern non-members now have to pay four days' admission to see a max of 384 overs.
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Old 14th May 2013, 16:06   #27
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No, it's like reading a novella. Shorter and ultimately not as satisfying but at least complete.



The point was that you need to invest considerably more time to watch cricket. I think it's also cheaper to watch a Premiership match than a County Championship match. Obviously if you're a member it then becomes more economical, but to be able to attend to make it economical you can't have a job.

There's also a hell of a difference between standing in the cold for 90 minutes with a 15 minute break in the middle and being out in the open elements for 8 hours. It can be glorious but it's as often bleak.
The other factor is surely the uncertainty if you have to travel. If I still watched WHU and they were playing at Kidderminster tonight Id go. Its 70 miles each way no problem.

But, as I contemplated today 70 miles each way, to see Naqaash in Worcs seconds - with a 50% chance of rain? No thanks.

Membership gets more 'headline' economical the higher on the day admission prices get, doesn't it?
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Old 14th May 2013, 16:31   #28
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The other factor is surely the uncertainty if you have to travel. If I still watched WHU and they were playing at Kidderminster tonight Id go. Its 70 miles each way no problem.

But, as I contemplated today 70 miles each way, to see Naqaash in Worcs seconds - with a 50% chance of rain? No thanks.

Membership gets more 'headline' economical the higher on the day admission prices get, doesn't it?
It's probably does. Membership will increase each year as well but probably not to the equivalent of a quid for every potential day.
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:01   #29
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The other factor is surely the uncertainty if you have to travel. If I still watched WHU and they were playing at Kidderminster tonight Id go. Its 70 miles each way no problem.

But, as I contemplated today 70 miles each way, to see Naqaash in Worcs seconds - with a 50% chance of rain? No thanks.
Certainly, I travel around 65 miles to see my 'home' county and would be put off by a 50% chance of rain (although, like the proverbial skipper musing about putting the oppo into bat, I'd exhaust every contrary reason before finally deciding on caution).

However, it remains the case that close to 10 million people live in cities which put on Championship cricket, and that's an awful lot of people who wouldn't have to commit to a lengthy bout of travelling in order to get to their local ground. The three boroughs that surround The Oval alone comprise a million people.
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:42   #30
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Certainly, I travel around 65 miles to see my 'home' county and would be put off by a 50% chance of rain (although, like the proverbial skipper musing about putting the oppo into bat, I'd exhaust every contrary reason before finally deciding on caution).

However, it remains the case that close to 10 million people live in cities which put on Championship cricket, and that's an awful lot of people who wouldn't have to commit to a lengthy bout of travelling in order to get to their local ground. The three boroughs that surround The Oval alone comprise a million people.
Quite, but how many of those 10 million people will have already made alternative plans because of the uncertainty over the weather?

We saw the draw T20 was/is when it put cricket on in those urban centres at times when they could see a whole match in their spare time.

Floodlights and eventually a (retractable?) roof are the way forward for cricket.
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:47   #31
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I'm fairly relaxed about travelling to see away Championship matches- I know I can't expect to see every minute of every match, but plan to be there for two of the days (ideally Friday and Saturday, so I don't need too much time off work, yet am not away from home long enough to get divorced!).
This season I booked all my hotels when the fixtures came out, so got cheap deals. Working for the railway means I get cheap/free travel too, so if planned properly it works out as a relatively inexpensive trip away.
If I get two days' play, that's good- if not, I'll just get the Good Beer Guide out and start my evening pub crawl early.
Had a great two days in Nottingham last season, despite only seeing one day's play. Same again this week would do.
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:54   #32
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Funnily enough, one of the original selling points for the introduction of T20 was that "it would bring in a new audience for cricket who will then gravitate towards the first-class game".
I never understood why they never actually put some effort into this. If they gave a free voucher to a day's championship cricket with every T20 ticket sold, a fair few might try it, a small few might like it and become the members of tomorrow.
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Old 14th May 2013, 17:59   #33
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Quite, but how many of those 10 million people will have already made alternative plans because of the uncertainty over the weather?
Or, indeed, made alternative plans because of the certainty of good weather. I spent three afternoons at The Oval last August during the mini spell of good weather, including the Saturday, which had been tipped as a nailed on blue sky 28C-er all week. The match comprised the two London teams, a result was guaranteed (a right thriller as it turned out) but, never mind the two other blokes, I didn't even see the dog.

Several friends said to me the following week "Oh, sounds brilliant, I wish I'd gone along". Thankfully, I didn't have a potential weapon in my hand.
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Old 14th May 2013, 18:06   #34
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I'm fairly relaxed about travelling to see away Championship matches- I know I can't expect to see every minute of every match, but plan to be there for two of the days (ideally Friday and Saturday, so I don't need too much time off work, yet am not away from home long enough to get divorced!).
That's very much my approach too. It's a long old day at the cricket so, provided I get to see a reasonable chunk of play, I'm happy. I saw two sessions at The Oval last Friday after a rain-delayed start and was thoroughly chuffed with my day. My oldest cricket watching companion opined many years ago "one has to accept that rain is part of the fun". There are times, such as last season, when that maxim becomes a bit threadbare but, over the course of an average summer, I reckon on seeing around 85% of the cricket I've pre-planned.
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Old 15th May 2013, 00:04   #35
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got to say last year i went to middlesex v surrey, i think it was about 14 entry for the whole day, i only got to lords at 3:30 though after a meeting so i wasn't going to bother. However, i decided to try anyway and on purchasing a ticket the chap said if i came back in 5 minutes he may be able to sort me out with a ticket, and he did exactly that.
I rarely praise other counties, however i must admit everything i found at lords, including, the food, staff and friendliness of spectators was simply first class.
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Old 15th May 2013, 15:40   #36
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got to say last year i went to middlesex v surrey, i think it was about 14 entry for the whole day, i only got to lords at 3:30 though after a meeting so i wasn't going to bother. However, i decided to try anyway and on purchasing a ticket the chap said if i came back in 5 minutes he may be able to sort me out with a ticket, and he did exactly that.
I rarely praise other counties, however i must admit everything i found at lords, including, the food, staff and friendliness of spectators was simply first class.
Of the grounds I have been to, these are my brief thoughts:

Derby: Very neat little ground, I was really surprised by how small it is. Facilities were somewhat limited, but I easily sneaked into the pavilion and ate lunch in there and sat on the balcony with a very pleasant view. Some of the spectators seemed a bit doom-laden.

Chesterfield: So long ago since I went there I can't remember much.

Chelmsford: Lovely ground with a real 1970s feel. Spoilt by the ridiculous restrictions for where non-members cannot go despite one of the highest admission prices.

Cheltenham: Superb setting, good tent selling real ale. Easy going.

Canterbury: Fine atmospheric ground, with the odd non-member restriction which irked a little.

Tunbridge Wells: Beautiful ground, perfect for an ideal summer's day.

Beckenham: Pretty basic, but pleasant; again had a real ale set-up in a tent. Wouldn't want to be there when it rains.

Old Trafford: Have read reports to the contrary, but when I went the ticket was more or less "all areas" and I could explore the pavilion. But was told to move from one sitting in one stand because it was "not in use", which given that it was just some open seats in which some of the groundstaff were sitting was really unnecessary.

Leicester: Another ground that feels unchanged since the 70s. Really mellow; I could spend a whole summer there. Could sit/go absolutely anywhere - Essex take note.

Lord's: As bobwillis says, they seem to do everything right. You feel welcome there. Outstanding ground with amazing views both side on and behind the bowler's arm. So much to see and do, such as the museum. It doesn't matter who is playing, the atmosphere is just splendid.

Uxbridge: a nice enough ground to while away the day (well aren't all cricket grounds?) but unfortunately comes bottom of my list. Very basic indeed and rather charmless. Catering was forgettable.

The Oval: Just a brilliant top-class ground and the staff there always seem to be down-to-earth and cheerful. Facilities for non-members can be a bit lacking at county games, but the pavilion is not impenetrable with a bit of guile. Otherwise go to a game when they are playing a Uni or 2nd XI match and you can have a good snout around the historical pavilion unhindered.

Hove: Plenty of charm, though another ground where they can be somewhat punitive on where the great unwashed non-members can and cannot sit.

Arundel: Outstanding setting, best served up on a hot summer's day.

Headingley: Haven't been there since it was extensively developed, so can't give an up-to-date report.

Scarborough: Last but not least, my original home ground will always have a special place in my heart. Fundamentally unchanged since the 1950s, though some seating has been much-improved. Surely by far the best outground, it puts some HQs to shame; just a pity it hosts so little major cricket over the course of a season.
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