Review this! Third umpire mustn’t be left OUT
IT’S LONG been a bugbear of mine and so I ask your forgiveness that I am repeating myself, but fans who go to cricket grounds in this country really deserve better treatment, be it from Cricket South Africa (CSA) or the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Last Sunday at the Wanderers, a reasonably packed stadium got to see a really junk game of cricket. Sadly, the pitch just wasn’t what it should have been. There’ll be plenty of people, including some of my colleagues, who will point out that adapting to such a pitch is key for international cricketers. And they’re right. But T20 cricket is entertainment and entertainment in the shortest format is seeing fours and sixes being struck by the boatload. That surface leaned too heavily against that happening and it made for an ugly spectacle, regardless of the last couple of overs being dramatic.
But what really pissed me off last Sunday, was the fact that so many people, having parted with a lot of money to come and watch the cricket, then never got the full bang for their buck in terms of what they could watch on the big screen.
The ICC match referee, Richie Richardson, apparently forbid the showing of the third umpire decisions on the big screen. Now, given that we’re in the 21st century and cricket is part of the entertainment business, it is simply ridiculous that he has that power. And if he had tried it in Australia, New Zealand or England he’d have been told where to get off. In those countries the third umpire decisions are shown live on the big screens. It’s part of the spectacle, it adds to atmosphere for TV.
There’s no valid reason for censoring those broadcasts. People who’ve paid money and made the effort to come to the stadiums deserve to watch the whole game – which includes third umpire decisions being shown live on the big screen.
Tickets for the ‘Pink ODI’ in a little more than a week’s time cost between R70 and R210. If you’re using a ‘Park and ride’ facility you can add an extra R80 to your costs and that’s before you’ve even gotten into the Wanderers, where food and drink will set you back about R100.
As a paying customer you deserve to see everything the people who’ve chosen not to buy a ticket and to sit on their couches and watch the game on TV get to see. It’s time the ICC and CSA woke up to that fact.
If you really think about it, is it worth it?