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/)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

ICC World Cup 2015: Hagely Oval gets ICC accreditation

Rohit Sharma to make comeback, Manoj Tiwary to lead in practice match against Sri Lanka

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Venues for 5 ODIs announced

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli to lead in first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India suspend bilateral cricket ties with West Indies

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here