I watched this last week with my Dad. It was a very British thing to do before coming back to China until Christmas. It was truly bizarre to be sitting in a Soho cinema, mid Summer, mid afternoon, and overhearing conversations about the MCC from the seats infront. Britain truly is a very special place. We’d both heard about the film via trusty TMS, and so found some time to go.
It was good to see some Cricket Twitterati names in the credits. And why would there not be? The age of 20/20 is well and truly upon us, and the question on everybody’s lips is, “Can Test matches survive?” The filmmakers, one Brit, Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, an Aussie, interviewed just about everyone surrounding the IPL and focused on how Indian Businessmen are ‘Doing-a-Packer’.
Does it matter? Things change right? The paying public decide, no? If players want to play IPL cricket, who are we to preach. Someone has to put food on the table surely? Before we get on our high horses, lets look at the options for Chris Gayle. I think if I had his talent, there is no place I’d rather be.
It is about mentalities and how they are changing. Even our own Geoffrey Boycott has been known to favour the idea of four day tests. It is difficult to appreciate just how empty test arenas can be during an Ashes summer, but cricketing teams need to be viable and accountable. Times have changed.
Having said all this, I do still firmly believe there is a place for Test match cricket. It is a testament to how wonderful the game is that there can be so many formats, all of which can interest. But essentially there are just two men in the heat of battle, with a fair few onlookers, ready to pile in at any moment. All formats can thrive and survive.
My last word goes to the Chinese. Currently there is pitiful little invested in the sport within the country. According to the film, $20-30,000 a year. Should the sport become an Olympic Sport, the Government would plough in $20-30 million a year. And there you have it. Thoughts on Cricket becoming an Olympic Sport – now that is another story altogether!
During the footage in the film, I just loved the Chinese Umpire extending his arm to give a player OUT. Just wonderful. I think he even ‘Atten-shunned’ his heels as he raised his arm.
See the film It is good. Whether you care to get involved with #changecricket is another matter. But, it was a four year labour of love, and is definitely worth a look.