Home > Features >

RIP The Ashes, long live Big Bash League!

RIP The Ashes, long live Big Bash League!

The 2013 Big Bash League was announced just hours after Australia’s massive 347-run defeat at Lord’s © Getty Images

By Madan Mohan

The most important piece of news concerning The Ashes 2013 has nothing to do with England or Australia’s performance on the field.  Nor even on the all important matter of what David Warner and the rest of Twitterati have had to say about it through their latest 140 character soundbyte. It is instead an announcement by Cricket Australia (CA) that quietly crept on us while we were deeply engrossed in the premier contest of Test cricket.

On Sunday, as Australia crashed to a heavy defeat at Lord’s, a venue where they hadn’t lost for 75 years previously, its cricket board apparently couldn’t wait to tell the world what a success the Big Bash League (BBL) Twenty20 competition had been. It waxed eloquent about the success of CA’s strategy for BBL, its appeal for people who had not followed cricket previously and its entertainment quotient. 

Sounds familiar? 

Oh, by the way, the proverbial cherry on the cake duly arrived in the form of the news of James Pattinson being signed up by Melbourne Renegades, on the same day that he was ruled out of the rest of the Ashes — hopefully, just the England leg.

Whoever handles publicity for CA must be a genius. Surely, there couldn’t be a better time than when the Australian Test team tests new depths of mediocrity than to make the board’s priorities clear once and for all. If the Ashes promise to be anti-climactic, who needs lip service to the pre-eminence of Test cricket. No, as Brydon Coverdale observed in his brilliant article on the subject, BBL is where it’s at.

At the height of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Indian public’s apparent disdain for long form cricket, purists observed that Test cricket would remain alive in the two nations that played it originally, England and Australia. Well, this Public Relations coup by CA makes the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) look like traditionalist dinosaurs in comparison!   

And you can see that they have got their priorities exactly right. After all, how can an ancient Test tournament that has long since outlived its British Empire baggage hold up the publicity drill for the BBL, the one that (officially) promises to follow in the footsteps of the IPL. Now we know why the ‘rebuilding’ effort of the once great Australian Test team is taking seemingly forever — there is precisely no such thing.

So what happens now that Australia has let the cat out of the bag? Where do purists turn to for hope for solace? England, the land of Alastair Cook and Joe Root, right? And while they do so, they would be well advised to read Graham Gooch’s words carefully. The former England opener and current batting coach conceded that Twenty 20 is chipping away at Test skills. He has warned that this issue will be well and truly alive long after he’s through.  That’s assuming Test cricket is alive and well for that long. 

If you too are a ‘traditionalist’, as Gooch calls himself, you would be well advised to chuck that complacent “Test cricket has survived the World Wars” line and savour what you get to watch of it in the near — and hopefully distant — future.  For the powers that be are this close to calling time on an archaic relic that eats up the calendar and gets in the way of the ‘real deal’. 

RIP The Ashes, long live the BBL.

(Madan Mohan is a 27-year-old chartered accountant from Mumbai.   The writing bug bit him when he was eight and to date, he has not been cured of it.  He loves music, cricket, tennis and cinema and writing on cricket is like the icing on the cake.  He also writes a blog if he is not feeling too lazy at http://rothrocks.wordpress.com/)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

Sourav Ganguly: England have mental block playing spinners

BCCI official: Tough for board to host Annual General Meeting this month

Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir question mindset of Pakistan players

Aditya Verma: Happy with Supreme Court’s decision not to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president

Misbah-ul-Haq shouldn’t lead Pakistan any more, feel former players

Myth busting – Ranji, CB Fry, Sussex and the fertile mind of Neville Cardus

Duncan Fletcher’s heroics and Zimbabwe’s first win over Australia

Archie MacLaren’s amateurs fell Warwick Armstrong’s mighty Australians in one of cricket’s greatest fairytales

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Sony SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk leaked ahead of September 4 launch

Motorola Moto G successor will also be called Moto G, leaked photo from Flipkart warehouse suggests

Revealed: Celebs you might see in Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 8

BCCI official: Tough for board to host Annual General Meeting this month

NGOs pursue education for all

Shah Rukh Khan to start shooting for Fan and Raees next year!

Fifty BJP MPs stage dharna against UP government

Xiaomi Redmi 1S on flash sale on Sept 2, will Flipkart crash once again?

How to plan a home birth

9 blood cancer signs and symptoms you should know

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here