Sexy Cricket

I’m not talking about the ladies’ game! My colleague and writer supremo, Jenny Thompson, has some thoughts on the recent ladies Ashes Test here)

Fans pay £500 to see ‘sexy’ cricket

TICKETS for today’s third Ashes Test have been changing hands for up to £500 as English cricket surfs a wave of popularity not seen since Ian Botham’s heyday.

More than 100,000 people will watch the match live at Old Trafford if it runs the full five days, contributing an estimated £20 million to the Manchester economy.

[via The Times]

Wonderful news. I wrote, briefly, about the availability of tickets and of Football’s influence on the country here, back in April, where I said:

It’s true, Cricket isn’t Football and does suffer as a result. The past 20 years has seen some truly crap cricket by England, combined with some underachieving players and shit coaches. Public lost faith, media took the piss – but that’s turning around now, thanks in large part to Flintoff. It’s going to take time though to get borderline cricket fans to cross over to genuine lovers of the game – so continued success of the National team is absolutely vital to the popularity of the game in England.

And so it’s starting to happen. A happy, successful English Cricket team will attract fringe followers. I’ve seen it myself, and no doubt you have too – even some of my most cricket-hating friends are perking their ears up and thinking: “Hey, Flintoff’s good isn’t he? That Vaughan bloke can hit well can’t he?” You do, of course, have to excuse the cringe-making language they use (“hit” instead of “bat”; “throw” instead of “bowl”) – but they’ll get there!

I feel passionately about the game, and want to see it succeed and prosper in Britain. For too long there has been a British sense of “Oh, I see England lost again!” said in a jocular, only-half-joking manner. For so long, visiting ex-pro Australians would even say “You lot don’t even know how to win – you’re losers. Your media hate you – you’re better off playing Football.” And as a young cricket fan, that used to sting. I’m 23, and finally I’m seeing a team to be proud of. I hope there are thousands of 10 year olds out there all relishing watching their heroes play, and I hope it inspires them to take up the great game. Cricket is sexy – what has the world come to?

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