Predictable scheduling of Test matches

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2 minute read

If 922 people turn up for a day at a Test match when you’re offering free entry, you’re going to struggle to raise the £2.5m you bid for the match in question. Dark skies poison people’s enthusiasm for watching cricket, but even so, very few tickets for this year’s Cardiff Test were sold in advance.

Despite this, we don’t want to judge Cardiff’s suitability for Test cricket just yet. However, all the talk about how the Test was marketed put one thought into our mind. Why was that so crucial?

Marketing a Test match

For most of our adult life, we have gone to the third day of the Old Trafford Test each year. It was one day a year, we knew it was happening, we just had to get a ticket. We never once encountered any of this seemingly vital ‘marketing’ on which crowd turnout apparently hinges.

However, nowadays, we make no assumptions that there will even be a Test. This matters.

We made a commitment to day three of the Old Trafford Test, but it made no commitment to us and its increasingly frequent absences encourage us to make other plans. We book holidays and so forth. Why should we wait for something that might not even happen?

When a tradition is actually useful

In our ideal world, not only would there be an Old Trafford Test each year, it would also be at the same time of year. We wouldn’t need to wait for the fixture list to make any other plans for that summer, we’d just know. We could work around it. Why do you need Boxing Day and the MCG to have a bit of certainty in your life?

The stupid part is, few people on earth make plans less willingly than us. If our next two weekends are ‘booked’, we feel trapped and distressed. Yet even we would appreciate predictable scheduling of Test matches.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Oh for goodness sake, KC, get with the new zeitgeist. Simple marketing basics tells you that the schedule has to be just-north-of-London, London, just-south-of-London, The Provinces, London – otherwise people (from London) will never go. Cardiff got the nod to be the location representing notLondon this time, and it didn’t work. So they’ve had their next test taken away to be rescheduled in, oh what’s that place called… London.

    So all you have to do to be able to watch as much test match cricket as you like is move to London. Stop whining and do something for a change.

    1. Don’t know why. It seems like it’s been raining solid down there for the last couple of months.

  2. Give that man a blazer. Spot on KC.

    Once you’ve asked the “Is there a test?” question, all sorts of other doubts start popping up.

    Like “Ah, but is it against Bangladesh?”

    And “Why can’t I watch the days I don’t go to on terrestrial tv anymore”

    And then I start chuntering to myself about what a bunch of fickwuts the ECB are, and am not at all in the mood to buy a ticket.

    1. What happened to all that money Sky pay out? Wasn’t it supposed to be vital to the future of the game? Guess not…

  3. I’m travelling to The Oval from Cornwall because my wife booked a holiday that clashed with my day 3 ticket.
    It would be so much easier if that match was I’m Cardiff!

    I think it’s outrageous we have to play tour matches against Pakistan in the Abu Dhabi – shouldn’t they be rearranged for somewhere closer to home, like London? Then at least only one of the teams would have to travel.

    1. Wow. I’m from Cornwall. There can’t be too many Dan’s from Cornwall, who like cricket and then the sub-division, like King Cricket.

      Hmmmm, I feel some sort of branching database coming along…

  4. Personally, I think England should play more Test Matches in the deep south of the US.

  5. I went to the Cardiff test match for these reasons.

    1. A friend has got a flat in Cardiff so I had somewhere to stay for free.

    Ummm, that’s it.

    I’ve been to Cardiff for 3 days of test cricket now. The Ashes test Day 4 (wet and boring) Day 5 (Sunny and eventually amazing) and then the 3rd Day against Sri Lanka (Wet and boring). Logic dictates the next time I go it should be good, but no amount of marketing, especially the emails Glamorgan CCC keep sending me, is going to make me go. Probably.

  6. Nasser has just said that the Sri Lankan’s like ‘the sun on their back’ and implied this helps their fielding.

    I didn’t know Sri Lankans were reptiles.

  7. Sorry to disapoint Dandy, but I’m from Essex – I shall be holidaying with my family in St. Ives.

    SOMEONE arranged a holiday with their sister and forgot to check the cricket fixtures with me.

    Some of the Sri Lankan fielding has been quite amusing this morning – those extra’s that just beat the keeper AND third man running around, in particular.
    What a drudge of a batting performance – worse than Essex in the T20 last night! Maybe Sri Lanka can be the Middlesex and bat even worse!

  8. Ah, that’s fine. Makes a lot more sense if I’m honest. It was far too much of a coincidence to have been likely.

  9. Everything is marketed now, we even market our love lives (via dating websites) and friendship (via Facebook). Why not our beloved cricket as well? [Eyes to heaven.] Twas not thus in my day!

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