Sunday, 30 June 2013

Does anyone really care about the Friends Life t20?

Rob Smyth wrote on cricinfo last week that the Friends Life t20 needs to embrace its Britishness in order break free of the shackles of 'who cares' that we suspect most supporters have towards the competition. Maybe we are overly cynical, but with the competition starting a few days ago the Jessop Tavern View has only just roused itself in order to write something about a competition that we feel means rather more to the finance departments of county clubs than the supporters. This might be unfair, but frankly unless Glos make it through to the knockout stages, like they did last season, we will have little interest in the competition. And we like t20 cricket.

Perhaps this lethargy towards the county cash cow will subside next season when the competition is given greater structure with games taken place primarily on Friday nights. This might help, but we are not entirely convinced. t20 competitions need to be much like the games themselves, short, sharp and action packed. The longer the competition drags the more we all bore of the format. The recent Champions Trophy has surely demonstrated this. Games are significant right from the get-go and your interest is sparked right from the start not, as is the case with too many cricket competitions, from about two thirds of the way through the tournament, and even then only if your team is doing well.

Any game administrator who reads this will discount this as being old style whining from people who prefer the longer format of the game and have no time for the razzmatazz of t20. Wrong. If people like the Jessop Tavern, who blog about county cricket, have little interest in a county cricket competition then something is wrong. If we are not interested then how do they expect people who aren't really bothered by county cricket to care. If a competition fails to engage its core audience how does it realistically expect to reach other markets?

A short more intense competition would be our recommendation. Two weeks in the middle of the summer. But nobody will listen to us.

In other news.....Michael Klinger hit a brilliant unbeaten 108 off 64 balls. He didn't get much support from the rest of the batting but fortunately James Fuller and David Payne too 3 for 23 and 2 for 14 respectively to ease Gloucesertshire to their first win of this t20 season. Coming off a bit of a pumping from Northants in a comic 12 over game on Friday this was a win that was much needed if the boys are to perk the Jessop Tavern Views interest in early August.

We'll also throw this one out there. Captain Klinger is looking like one hell of a signing at this stage. Full marks to King John and whoever else was involved in being astute enough to make him a Gloucestershire player.

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