Australia

Test side facing complex issues to appeal to fans with Cricket Australia slammed for failings

A predicted sell-out at the Gabba ahead of the first Test against South Africa just a month after a diabolical crowd in Perth exposed the complex issues facing Australian cricket’s perception problem.

Many former Aussie legends, including Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist, have said that fans have voted with their feet when it comes to the men’s side.

Over five days in Perth, just 41,918 fans attended the first Test match of the summer against the West Indies as gulls outnumbered people flocked to an irrelevant ODI series with England that began just days after the T20 World Cup.

After a glorious era under the leadership of Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and then Ricky Ponting, controversy has continued to plague men’s cricket in Australia ever since, although the women enjoy sky-high sentiment thanks to the wide appeal of players such as Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry.

The Aussie Side Celebrates, With An Almost Empty Crowd In The Background, Winning The First Test In Perth.  A Much Better Audience Is Expected For The South Africa Series

The Aussie side celebrates, with an almost empty crowd in the background, winning the first Test in Perth. A much better audience is expected for the South Africa series

Captain Pat Cummins’ outspoken stance on climate change has alienated some supporters, especially given the current environment of high-profile athletes seeking a say in millions of advertising decisions.

When he appeared to effectively force Cricket Australia’s hand to drop a $40 million sponsorship with energy company Alinta over its climate change agenda, opinion from the national side plummeted even further.

Cricket Australia denied that Cummins had any hand in the partnership which does not last beyond a year pronunciationbut the public perception remains the same.

But is a pronounced climate change agenda why fans in Brisbane will wrap up in a sold-out Gabba for day one of the Test against South Africa…but not for the first of the summer against the West Indies in Perth last week?

Aussie Skipper Pat Cummins (Right) And Popular Spinner Nathan Lyon (Left) Watch During The First Test Against The West Indies.  The Test Side Of The Men In Particular Has Experienced A Roller Coaster Of Public Sentiment

Aussie Skipper Pat Cummins (Right) And Popular Spinner Nathan Lyon (Left) Watch During The First Test Against The West Indies.  The Test Side Of The Men In Particular Has Experienced A Roller Coaster Of Public Sentiment

Aussie skipper Pat Cummins (right) and popular spinner Nathan Lyon (left) watch during the first Test against the West Indies. The Test side of the men in particular has experienced a roller coaster of public sentiment

The climate-focused Greens party took four seats in inner Brisbane in the federal election; but that’s a long bow to pull and draw conclusions from.

New research from True North suggests many would rather see Cummins and his teammates stick to cricket, but the players have also taken the brunt of the ‘failure of Cricket Australia’s headquarters’, according to News Corp.

“The Australian men’s test team often suffers from the shortcomings of Cricket Australia’s headquarters and the sport’s ability to shoot itself in the foot,” the report said.

The saga of the ball tampering and the ugly handling of the departures of Justin Langer and Tim Paine as coach and captain respectively by HQ are easy examples.

However, True North executive Chris Hobden said it was still clear that Cummins and co’s outspoken views have some bearing.

A Boisterous Crowd In Brisbane Creates A 'Beer Snake' On The First Day Of The Ashes Test At The Gabba Last Year.  Another Sell-Out Is Expected On Day One Against South Africa… In Stark Contrast To The Diabolical Crowds For The West Indies Game In Perth

A Boisterous Crowd In Brisbane Creates A 'Beer Snake' On The First Day Of The Ashes Test At The Gabba Last Year.  Another Sell-Out Is Expected On Day One Against South Africa… In Stark Contrast To The Diabolical Crowds For The West Indies Game In Perth

A boisterous crowd in Brisbane creates a ‘beer snake’ on the first day of the Ashes Test at the Gabba last year. Another sell-out is expected on day one against South Africa… in stark contrast to the diabolical crowds for the West Indies game in Perth

A Lone Fan Takes In The First Day Action Between Australia And The West Indies At Perth'S Optus Stadium - And There Wasn'T Much More Than Him

A Lone Fan Takes In The First Day Action Between Australia And The West Indies At Perth'S Optus Stadium - And There Wasn'T Much More Than Him

A lone fan takes in the first day action between Australia and the West Indies at Perth’s Optus Stadium – and there wasn’t much more than him

“Cricket fans are on opposite sides of that debate (whether sports stars should raise cultural and political issues),” he told the report.

‘There is a cohort, often younger, that is more in favor of climate change. On the other hand, there are those who have more traditional views.

‘The former are largely convinced that sport plays a role in sustainability and reducing environmental impact as they hold similar views, but there are others, particularly an older cohort, who feel that sport is not involved in these issues must hit,” he said. Hobden.

Apart from that, there is the sadly obvious fact that South Africa is a much better and popular opponent than the West Indies.

An Image From The Ticketek Site (Green Circle Is Free Seats, Gray Is Occupied) Shows Only Two Seats Available In One Of The Bays On The Gabba For Day One Of The First Test Against South Africa On December 17

An Image From The Ticketek Site (Green Circle Is Free Seats, Gray Is Occupied) Shows Only Two Seats Available In One Of The Bays On The Gabba For Day One Of The First Test Against South Africa On December 17

An image from the Ticketek site (green circle is free seats, gray is occupied) shows only two seats available in one of the bays on the Gabba for day one of the first Test against South Africa on December 17

Just Over A Week Prior To The Game, Only One Seat Is Available In A Comparable Bay - In Stark Contrast To The Day Before The Perth Test Where Full Bays Were Available At Optus Stadium

Just Over A Week Prior To The Game, Only One Seat Is Available In A Comparable Bay - In Stark Contrast To The Day Before The Perth Test Where Full Bays Were Available At Optus Stadium

Just over a week prior to the game, only one seat is available in a comparable bay – in stark contrast to the day before the Perth Test where full bays were available at Optus Stadium

Especially if the tests against the first are in school holidays rather than in a graveyard Day 1 on a Wednesday; as was the case in Perth.

“They started the Test match (against the West Indies) on a Wednesday and that’s not kind to people who are at work or kids who are in school,” said Aussie Test legend Damien Fleming on SEN radio on Wednesday.

“It’s not in school holidays and it’s against an opposition who, let’s face it, didn’t know much of the crowd before that test match.

“The Gabba, in a few weeks (for South Africa) gets closer to those school holidays, is almost sold out,” said Fleming.

The first Test against South Africa, which is ranked third in the world, kicks off on December 17, kicking off the traditional summer of cricket.

A press release from Cricket Australia on Tuesday said they expected a sell-out for the first day, with only a few hundred tickets available; something that can be clearly seen when you try to buy tickets on the Ticketek Place.

That is in stark contrast to the fact that only a few thousand tickets were sold for the first day in Perth last week.

Optus Stadium, Which Has A Capacity Of 60,000, Still Had An Alarming Number Of Tickets Available The Day Before The Start Of The First Day Of The Perth Test (Blue Is Empty Seats, Far Right Is A Bay Closed Due To The Viewing Screen)

Optus Stadium, Which Has A Capacity Of 60,000, Still Had An Alarming Number Of Tickets Available The Day Before The Start Of The First Day Of The Perth Test (Blue Is Empty Seats, Far Right Is A Bay Closed Due To The Viewing Screen)

Optus Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000, still had an alarming number of tickets available the day before the start of the first day of the Perth Test (blue is empty seats, far right is a bay closed due to the viewing screen)

Images On The Ticketmaster Site Show A Large Number Of Still Available Seats (In Blue), Just One From The Start Of The Cricket Summer

Images On The Ticketmaster Site Show A Large Number Of Still Available Seats (In Blue), Just One From The Start Of The Cricket Summer

Images on the Ticketmaster site show a large number of still available seats (in blue), just one from the start of the cricket summer

“The NRMA Insurance Brisbane Test is always one of the big events on the cricket calendar, and the showdown between the Australian and South African tempo attacks will make this encounter particularly memorable,” said a statement from Cricket Australia.

The cheapest ticket for an adult is an inherently reasonable $30, and many bays only show one seat available with 10 days left until the first ball is bowled.

So maybe people in other areas and in different formats are voting with their feet against the governing body of the game in Australia – not just the men’s side.

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Jacky

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

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