Empty Twenty cricket
A low crowd, a late finish and distracted players... Bumble reviews the worst T20 match he's ever seen.
Last Updated: 08/09/10 1:15pm
This week's blog comes direct from the Countdown studios as I prepare for my next appearance in Dictionary Corner.
They've given me a Club biscuit and a Kit-Kat for breakfast and my very own dressing room. I feel like Ken Barlow!
I'm pretty tired because I only got home from Cardiff at midnight. It's ridiculous that Twenty20 matches finish so late. I've said it many times, but this format was billed as a family day out - and it ain't a family day out if you get home past bedtime.
Hardly anybody tuned up to the SWALEC Stadium to see England thump Pakistan, and understandably so. People can't afford to pay £60 twice in two days.
I think there were 4,000 spectators inside the venue, which means 11,000 didn't turn up. It's quite clear, people are saying "no thanks".
Some of the folks I spoke to were saying: "Never again." One bloke described it as money down the drain. I can't see who wins from this situation.
The lessons are these: don't hold two matches at the same venue and don't let them go on so late.
The worst ever
I'm sad to say it was the worst game of Twenty20 cricket I've ever seen.
Pakistan were horrendous and clearly have a lot on their minds. You can't send them home because you can't penalise the whole of Pakistan for the alleged misdemeanours of a few, but it's understandable that they're finding it hard.
I know how I would feel in their position. If, for example, there were allegations hanging over three or four Lancashire players when I was there and I wasn't involved, I would feel pretty cut up about it. They must just be hoping this isn't true.
It's so sad to see cricket dragged through the mire and personally I struggle to see any positives coming from this.
In my view, it's naïve to talk about getting to the bottom of this problem and cutting corruption out of the game. You're dealing with organised criminals and I don't see what the ICC can do about that.
However, what the ICC has done, and what they should be championed for, is educating the players.
The other day, Stuart Broad explained how the ICC and the ECB have drummed into him what he needs to do if he is approached by anybody dodgy. They've been given leaflets, they've been shown videos and every cricketer is the same.
As a young man he's a good yardstick and Broad is quite right when he says he has no sympathy for anybody who falls foul of the rules, even if they are as young as 18-years-old.
I wrote about this in last week's blog and I'm glad Broad has backed up those comments. The ICC do everything they can and every international cricketer knows where they stand.
I must admit I've been so busy this week, I don't know if I'm coming or going.
I'm moving house, I'm doing Countdown and I'm doing the cricket. I made a cock-up on air, which I was a bit upset about, but it happens.
A few people wrote on last week's blog to ask if my 'Start the Car' tour would be coming to their town. I've only got a few free dates in October and November before I go away to Australia and India, but the plan is to do a few more next year. Maybe we'll come to a venue near you then.
I also enjoyed your suggestions about which cricketers could do with a bit of lippy after we discussed Umar Akmal's ridiculous green lip balm on air. Popular suggestions included Merv Hughes, Brian Close, Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Botham!
Anyway, I'd better go and join Jeff, Rachel and Susie on set. What a bunch of sweethearts.
Have a good week!