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HomeCRICKETIs England’s World Cup progress ruining local cricket?

Is England’s World Cup progress ruining local cricket?

It can’t just be a coincidence can it? 34 cricket matches in Kent were conceded on Saturday as England played Sweden in the quarter finals of the World Cup at 3.00pm.

A massive 25 of those matches were recorded in the Kent Regional Cricket League and those who conceded were all given a minus five points fine.

Where matches were played to their conclusion, there was a wide sense of ‘let’s get this over with before the football starts’ as teams were bowled out in unprecedented low numbers.

One team recorded a score of 55 all out in just 14 overs and this wasn’t just apparent in the lower leagues either. In the Kent Premier League Beckenham were all out for 90, although this did take them 33 overs so could be that they just didn’t have a good day at the crease.

The Kent County Village League Chairman, Trevor Wright, went on Radio Kent on Saturday morning, talking about the effect of the England football team’s success on cricket. He stated that “the league had offered clubs a flexible start time from as early as 11.00am to combat the loss of fixtures today”.

He also reminded clubs that they could shorten the game, by mutual agreement and/or split the innings either side of the football match, which a number of clubs took advantage of.

Roger Shaddock, the Kent County Village League Secretary said: “Cricket is fairly fragile at the moment, with falling player numbers, so something like this makes it doubly hard for clubs to get teams out.

“The youngsters in particular, who are not as committed to cricket, as was the case a couple of generations ago, because of the length of a game and the need for everything to be instant these days.”

After the Ashes in 2005, cricket was given a new lifeline as millions of people had watched the matches live on terrestrial television. However, with matches now screened only on Sky, the number who have access to live cricket has dwindled.

Twenty20 in 2020 is currently being discussed by the ECB and the BBC will be allowed to show some live games, however this may come too late to halt the decline.

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