Thursday, 18 September 2008

Ben on...ruminations on the summer schedule

I'm pretty happy with how my tabulation of the cricket summer came out. It makes it quite easy to see how the various tours are laid out:
  • Tour to Bangladesh
  • Half month break
  • Tour of Australia begins, then is broken just as it gets up to speed
  • Players have about a week to disassemble and make it home before the first test in the leisurely series with West Indies
  • Another half month break in the international schedule for some domestic cricket
  • Then back to Oz for some one-dayers that really should have been part of a tri-series
  • More domestic cricket
  • Rushed tour by India
The two month gap in the Oz series is the stand-out head scratcher, but the four-day break between the WACA and MCG ODIs in Oz is a mystery (or does it just take that long to cross the Australian continent?). The Boxing Day 20-20 makes an unwelcome return and climaxing the Oz series with a 20-20 is a real 'who gives a fuck'.

My biggest beef with the schedule though is the number of tests. You'll note that each of the four tours includes only two tests. Two-test series are for losers; either the other guys just don't want to play with you or they don't have time for you. Obviously we're not going to agree to more than two tests with the Bangladeshis, 'cause we just don't rate them. Equally, India don't want to hang around for longer than they have to. Australia are usually pretty fair with us, so two tests is probably all they can reasonably spare this summer. The real disappointment is the West Indies series, the showcase of the summer. It's a shame the Windies couldn't give up one of their tests against England to allow them to extend their tour here by a test, but that's probably too much to ask.

I'm hoping that this pattern of short test rubbers is not the way of the future. I suspect that it has been necessary this year because Australia's window is the same as ours, so we have had to fit one of our away tours within our home window.

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