Bob Willis asks whether Test cricket can have a profitable relationship at the Riverside and Cardiff.Back to story
Bob - I have to disagre with some of your vies here. The reason The Riverside hasn't sold out is due to a combination of the teams playing here (Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies) which aren't strong Test Nations and the fact the Tests staged here have all been early in the season and overlap with the football season. Most venues would struggle to sell under these circumstances. Give us better sides and a more favourable time of the season and we will sell out. With Headingley and Old Trafford undergoing major redevelopment work over the coming years, The Riverside is the only option for people in the north of England to see regular Test cricket.
Posted 22:41 14th May 2009
The centre of gravity of England's population has moved south over recent decades. Over half the population lives in the south, but four of the six traditional grounds are in the Midlands and the North. The South Hampshire urban area and the Cardiff region both have bigger populations than Nottingham. Cardiff is the most accessible test venue for several million people in the south west, as well as those in Wales. Southampton caters for the several million who live south and west of London, many of whom will consider it more convenient to drive to Southampton than to slog through London to Lord's or the Oval.
Posted 22:37 13th May 2009
I think we should seriously look at building 6 brilliant cricket venues - when you watch Australia play in Australia you see big, large grounds packed to the rafters full on enthusiasm. On thursday at the Riverside, we'll see a not so large ground with quite a few empty seats; not only does it impact financially but think about the lift a team can get from playing in front of lots of their fans. So the ECB needs to think about modernising the stadiums, making them bigger - the Australian stadiums have that football stadium feel, something that maybe we should try.
Posted 08:34 13th May 2009
i have been to the riverside and enjoyed the cricket whatever the opposition, but i have found the sharp increase in ticket prices a turn off. i am not prepared to pay the high prices asked. in the ground food and drink is not cheap either. thats my reason for staying away
Posted 22:54 12th May 2009
has cardiff sold out ? the answer is yes and the tickets sold quicker that any other ground,bob willis clearly doesn`t want wales to be part of the england and wales test and county cricket board
Posted 21:57 12th May 2009
Bob, you make some valid points in your summary, but I think Paul Wood has hit the nail on the head. As I can't get a ticket for Headingly and there isn't an old trafford test, I would definately go to Durham to see the Aussies, but I wouldn't travel from Sheffield to Durham to watch the windies. The ECB should target the same fans that pack St Jame's Park, The Riverside and Stadium of light. Cost can be an issue but the 3 football clubs are hardly cheap, and in any case I feel test match cricket is better value. After all you are watching your country's best 11 for a full day, rather than some diving, moaning premadonna for 90 minutes. That said,most Summers we play 7 tests, why should Lord's always have two?, particularly given our poor record against the better teams there. The Riverside in May could be our home banker to kickstart any series with a win in the first test(again something we haven't been too good at in recent years) As for day night/ floodlights, I would only be in favour of using the lights to avoid the dreaded bad light stopped play. Test matches should not be unfairly balanced between whether you bat in daylight or not.
Posted 21:42 12th May 2009
If Chester-le-Street was given a test against decent opposition rather than West Indies, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh it would sell tickets no problem. Also the tickets could be made more affordable. I have attended all the international matches at Durham in recent years but simply can't afford it this time round.
Posted 15:24 12th May 2009