And yes, I do understand the obvious hyperbole in such a statement, but stick with me.
After the Sydney Thunder took out the fifth edition of the Big Bash League (and running last and second-last for the previous four BBLs, that’s a story in itself), they posed for obligatory celebratory photos. But after this, the guys called the Thunder’s also-victorious Women’s Big Bash League side into the photo. And it’s absolutely outstanding.
The Thunder very deliberately went into the summer with a ‘one club’ mentality, to the point where ever the playing shirt numbers were unique. So WBBL skipper Alex Blackwell’s no.2 was hers alone; none of the guys wore it, just like none of the girls wore Mike Hussey’s no.48.
This is significant. It’s picture proof that women’s cricket is no longer the poor cousin. It’s very much up front and very worthy of sharing the spotlight. I imagine the cartwheeling up and down the Cricket Australia corridors will go on for months…
Only five players have 25 or more ODI centuries, and Kohli has done it in 70 fewer innings than the previous quickest, one SR Tendulkar. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: It almost feels like a birthright. If they’re the best player on the opposition side, then there really is no reason for you to like them. Works for football, works for cricket, works for marbles.
If they’re beating the team you follow or play for – that is, the good guys – then they can only be labelled as the villain. And no-one likes bad guys, right?
Virat Kohli ticks all the opposition bad guy boxes.
Arrogant. Mouthy. Competitive. Really, really good…
The first three ODIs this summer have all been exciting, but that’s not to say one-day cricket couldn’t be better. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: It’s almost inevitable now that once we get past debating who should and shouldn’t be on the selectors’ radar, discussion turns to everything that’s wrong with the longest version of the shortest formats of cricket.
Of course, the argument will be there that exceptional TV ratings mean that people quite like one-day cricket exactly as it is, thank you very much.
The evening session for Sunday’s third ODI had a national average of nearly two million viewers, and peaked at almost 2.8 million. The Big Bash League has been enjoying average TV audiences of more than a million viewers each game, yet the ODIs have topped them from the outset.
And the figures are very good; of that there is no question. But that’s not to say the product itself couldn’t be better again. So, I’ve jotted a few things down today to get the ball rolling…
“George Bailey and Steven Smith’s third-wicket partnership of 242 was narrowly pipped by Bailey’s ‘Floppy Gold’ (inset) as the highlight of the day..”
The Roar: The great Mark Twain misquote reads, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” and I reckon sometime one-day cricket must feel this way too, sometimes.
Twenty20 cricket was invented in England and first played at a First Class level in the northern summer of 2003. Roughly three minutes after the completion of the first ever game, the first report of 50-over cricket’s demise was penned. Perhaps.
For a format on its death bed, one-day cricket has proved remarkably resilient, to be still going 13 years later, and on Tuesday, we saw four excellent innings that you just wouldn’t in a Twenty20 game…