Less than 200 fans on Sunday! What went wrong?
Do you know anyone who attended the recent West Indies – South Africa Test for even a few hours?
Nope, we at Barbados Free Press don’t know anyone either.
We’ve seen the articles in the Bajan media over the past few months lamenting the death of Bajan cricket, but we’ve also seen the boys out as usual everywhere having fun, growing and challenging themselves and their friends.
Cricket in Barbados is not dead, but something decidedly unhealthy is happening at the professional level and we’re not sure how to fix it. How do you put the soul back into what used to be a party and is now a wake?
If Bajan cricket were a garden I’d say weed it, fertilize and give it lots of water… but things are obviously a whole lot more complex than that when we recently spent a half a billion dollars plus of public money on the sport and 167 paying people show up for a highly-advertised and media-promoted international test. Now I know why all the local coverage showed only close-ups of players and fans.
Did the Cricket World Cup disaster leave such a bad taste in our mouths? Was it football that kept fans at home? Why don’t we feel like going to Kensington anymore?
Michelle McDonald of Cricket.com went looking for the answers. She spoke with Barbados Cricket Association VP Conde Riley and threw in a good dose of her own observations. The article is an excellent start, but we’d love to see Michelle take a big-picture look at Bajan cricket, where we’ve been, where we are and then talk with everyone about how we can get the magic back. What do you say, Cricket.com? Will you give Michelle the job?
“Most cricket lovers are generally sports enthusiasts. That must have been a factor in their decision to stay away from Kensington Oval for the third and final Test match between the West Indies and South Africa. Spoiled for choice with the exciting Football World Cup, Wimbledon and the less popular European Grand Prix taking place, we counted less than 200 persons in the stands during the post-lunch session on Sunday – Day 2. It was even worse on Day 3.
Could the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) have implemented any initiatives which may have encouraged more spectators to leave their houses? What action did they take when they realized what other sporting activities they were up against? CaribbeanCricket.com went in search of answers…”
… read Michelle McDonald’s entire article at Cricket.com: Football trumps Cricket