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Soup or Series, Game One

Submitted by rickeyre on October 7, 2005 - 4:42am

It may be time for the ICC to allow the Power Play to be neutralised by the Super Off Switch, except on those occasions where it is run off the Mega Double Adaptor when the Ultra Fuse Box is not overloaded.

- Gideon Haigh, The Guardian, 6.10.05

From all reports I think I'm happy I missed most of the second half of yesterday's game. Having spent the last couple of weeks introducing my daughter to rugby league, we switched on the cricket last night with the World XI batting and Australia in the field. She asked, "Where's the Tigers?" I replied, "the Tigers aren't playing today. This is cricket." At which point she grabbed a Danger Mouse DVD.

Question: What happens when two Englishmen, two South Africans and a bunch of brilliant Asians go to Melbourne to face Australia at cricket?
Answer: They end up playing like Bangladesh.

- Simon Briggs, The Telegraph, 6.10.05

The game has copped a rubbishing from large parts of the media, not just for the lack of atmosphere, or the lack of competition.

Certainly, the crowd was so thin the only place capable of completing a Mexican wave was in the Telstra corporate box.

- Peter Lalor, The Australian, 6.10.05

And then there's the technology. But as we know, it's not really the technology, but how it is used. Exhibit A: Flintoff bowls short, Katich swipes at the ball which lands in Sangakkara's gloves. Was it a catch? Let's go to the third umpire:

It took Koertzen one minute and 40 seconds to pass the decision, with almost 2½ minutes between Flintoff's appeal and his next delivery. The break was sufficient enough for Taufel to make a toilet run and for reserve umpire Darrell Hair to serve drinks to his colleagues on the field.

- Nabila Ahmed, The Age, 6.10.05

Katich was not out, given the benefit of the doubt after the replays were inconclusive.

Still, it was Business As Usual for one scribe:

Spared an encounter with his Lancastrian nemesis until he was set, the gloveman pulled with a regularity more commonly associated with aficionados of one-arm bandits... In recent times the arrival at the bowling crease of Andrew Flintoff has caused Gilchrist to flash around like a raincoated man in Hyde Park.

- Peter Roebuck, in a column succinctly titled "Renaissance amid rare collection of talent in brave experiment", Sydney Morning Herald, 6.10.05

The game didn't do too badly in the TV viewership stakes in Australia. Crikey's subscription newsletter is reporting today that the evening session was watched by an average of 1.481 million people across Australia, which is reasonably good, but not up there with the most popular sporting events on TV.

To put that into perspective, 1.481 million viewers would have made it the 9th most-watched show on Australian TV if it had been on last week. The NRL Grand Final last Sunday was watched by 2.569 million viewers nationwide, the AFL Grand Final the week earlier scored 3.39 million, and the last night of the Ashes (September 12) peaked at about 1.32 million on free-to-air, plus probably another million on Foxtel (who don't divulge viewer figures for individual programs).

To add one comment of my own about Australia's 92-run victory, it does appear that playing for national pride is a more powerful incentive than playing for your wallet. And that's a good sign for the game if it's true.

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