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Is cricket not an inclusive sport?

topazann

Cricket Spectator
This could be a personal thing, but for me the beauty of cricket is sometimes in it's lack of popularity. It took me a while to realize what we cricket fans enjoy, in a game that lasts significantly longer even in it's shortest format, is incomparable and unparalleled.
 

Flem274*

123/5
I think this is mostly a problem where there's a really wide stratification of talent (either real or perceived) within a team, and is exacerbated further when there's a big step between levels meaning everyone at the top of the talent tree is effectively an all-rounder by virtue of their exposure to the level above. If your top five batsmen are also your top five bowlers, there's not much need for 8-11 to do anything other than field.
club cricket summarised.
 

Line and Length

International Debutant
club cricket summarised.
Not so with the Club I played for. My best friend (an 'offie') and I (a new ball bowler) batted 10 and 11 (often alternating). Down the grades there were a few examples of players batting in the top 5 and bowling (guilty as charged in my later years) but these were few and far between.
 

Engle

State Vice-Captain
Reminds me of one of my early games. The captain put cricketers he least liked down the bottom of the list. Thus, my bro at #10 and me at #11 (he didn't like our family). Much to our protests that we could bat better, he refused to budge. Come the game, the top order collapsed and the largest partnership was me and my bro in a last wicket partnership that had the opposition running ragged. We could have won that match, but for the idiot captain who took a lot of flak from members and was never made captain again.
 

Red

The artist formerly known as Monk
I've captained plenty of seasons in lower grade club cricket. When a club is struggling for numbers, you have to give blokes a go, even though you know how crap they are. No one's going to rock up to 20 Saturday summer arvos a year to stand in the field for 80 overs, then sit around (or more likely score or square leg umpire) while the rest bat, before they go in at 10 or 11 and make a duck. And not get a bowl. If you treat guys like that, they'll stop rocking up.

It's a catch 22, because if you wanna start a winning culture, you wanna be able to captain a team the way you want, but from a club perspective, you need to keep guys interested even if they're not very good, otherwise you struggle for numbers in your lowest two grades.

The clubs that do all this most successfully in the lower grades, usually have a core of 5 or 6 older blokes, who have played a-grade in their prime, in their lower grade teams. They know how to win, and they can carry a few less talented guys in a game. It gets a lot harder if you don't have that core to rely on and you've got a bunch of guys in their mid 20s-30s who never played cricket as a kid and want to have a crack but really dont have the experience/talent.
 

Prince EWS

Global Moderator
I think a more important question to ask, at least in Australia, is: why do we care?

I'm not saying it's wrong to care (it's right IMO) but it's important to swallow why that's the case. We want cricket to be popular so good cricketers can be financially supported while they hone their cricket skills. This will probably seem like Captain Obvious to most people here but (from a single-country perspective at least) it's important to reiterate that's fundamentaly *why* we want to spread the game within the country.

More fans means better cricketers which means more fans etc which means more and higher quality televised cricket for existing fans - we all get it. But does 'more diverse' cricket really deliver this in a way we should care? Even in the 'non-woke' way Starfighter mentions in the OP, who trusts anyone tasked to rectify this to actually make headway? Not me.

Cricket is a game of differing roles, and sometimes your role is gonna suck. I think it'd be great if clubs who kept new players trapped in this way by not sending captains and scouts to training just failed and died, but like, who's gonna police this ****? I don't think it's really solvable. We probably just have to deal with it.
 
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