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 Â£500 to see ‘sexy’ cricket
TICKETS for todayâ€™s third Ashes Test have been changing hands for up to Â£500 as English cricket surfs a wave of popularity not seen since Ian Bothamâ€™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 Â£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:
Itâ€™s true, Cricket isnâ€™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 thatâ€™s turning around now, thanks in large part to Flintoff. Itâ€™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?