TV revenue allowed England to win the Ashes. Discuss.
John Grogan (Selby, Labour)
Does my right hon. Friend share my concern that the lack of cricket coverage on free-to-air TV might have an adverse effect on the number of children who regularly play the sport?
Richard Caborn (Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport)
I can partially agree with that, but may I put on record my great appreciation of a legend of Yorkshire cricket, Freddie Trueman? I saw him at Bramall Lane with my dad when I was about 10 years old, and he is truly a legend, as Dickie Bird said on Saturday night.
On Sky television and terrestrial broadcasting of cricket, we must remember what was in the Select Committee report. Had it not been for all the investment of television money in cricket, I do not think that we would have won the Ashes, which was a great feat, or had the coaching programmes and central contracts that the England and Wales Cricket Board now has. One must pay credit to the ECB for the modernisation that it has gone through. It is can now choose a team that can take the Ashesâ€”which that team did, and we wish it well over Christmas and the new year in Australiaâ€”and also get more young people under coaching in cricket than there have been for many years. Credit must go to the ECB for that, and the fundingâ€”whether we like it or notâ€”has largely come through television revenues.