Fans lap up fast-food cricket, but there’s still room for a Boxing Day Test

2012-12-28 00:00

THE recent T20 series in which the Proteas beat New Zealand 2-1 showed how fans will lap up fast-food cricket, but there is still room for a Boxing Day Test.

The fact that I’m still writing this column means that the world did not end on December 21 as the Mayans supposedly predicted. The Doomsday date coincided with South Africa’s eight-wicket romp against New Zealand at a sweltering Kingsmead.

What surprised me was the sight of a full house in Durban. I covered the Currie Cup final sizzler between the Sharks and Western Province in the same city and watched plenty of Test matches there, and saw plenty of empty seats. I have not known Durban to fill its stadiums. Knowing how much rugby tickets cost and the overkill in terms of the amount of the sport on TV, it is understandable.

As for the recent Bafana game and the swathe of empty green seats at Moses Mabhida stadium, the South African Football Association’s marketing team need to go back to the umpteenth drawing board.

Enough about soccer and more about cricket and the twitterverse’s sudden uproar about the dropped Boxing Day Test.

As I wrote in an earlier column, Cricket South Africa have wrestled with pigs in the mud, but I agreed with them that shelving the Test for one year would not do fans any harm. Maybe the influx of hamburger cricket might force the KwaZulu-Natal crowd to respect the tradition imposed on them. The rapturous scenes at the MCG have made people sit up and think about the benefits of enjoying a five-day game that has been on their calendar on a generational basis. Australia once dispensed with the New Year’s Test for two consecutive seasons, but the Boxing Day Test has always been in place.

New Zealand are not good tourists and are often early season cannon fodder in England and Australia. But they can play above themselves when they face their foes from across the water and are often denied the use of major grounds. If fans have difficulty rocking up to watch India in Durban, you cannot expect the biggest Indian population outside India to give a hoot about a Black Caps team that struggled to beat a transitional Indian side.

Fans need drawcards and punching above your weight consistently is not a prospect that New Zealand readily offers. But that is no excuse for Durban’s callous attitude to such an important fixture on the calendar.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.