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Cricket fans pay the price for administrator indifference.

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Cricket fans pay the price for administrator indifference.

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To sit all day expecting to watch both sides play themselves to a draw - only for Michael Clarke to make the courageous decision to declare and then see the subsequent thrilling run chase curtailed becuase of "bad light" when the floodlights were beaming into the early evening sky was just ridiculous.

No wonder Americans think cricket is such a daft game. When that can happen - it is.

Cricket has embraced technology but is doing its best to distance the fans.

The five match Ashes test series was on the whole a great success with nearly every day having a sell-out crowd present.

The DRS debate will continue to rage but on the whole it has been a fantastic addition to the cricket spectacle and the judicious use of reviews is becoming a vital part of the captain’s armoury.

Cricket is at the vanguard of the technological revolution in sports coverage. With stump cameras, the Hawkeye system and big screen replays no other sport comes close to the use of computers in refereeing or should that be umpiring decisions.

Rugby union and league is still feeling its way with the use of third umpire reviews and football still lives in the Victorian ages as far as the use of technology is concerned.

But whereas Sepp Blatter can claim that slowing the game down is a good reason not to introduce camera technology as a valid defence. Football as a spectacle is a much better game when it is not constantly interrupted by the referee. Rugby union still has a long way to go in that respect but the pace of cricket is ideally suited to the use of technology.

Where cricket is falling down is in its administrator’s inability to be able to introduce common sense into the umpiring of the game.

Cricket is reliant totally on the weather and when you have lost almost 2 days play - as we did in the fifth and final test - to see the players troop off with only four overs to go and a result tantalisingly within reach - is the ideal way to make sure that supporters who have paid £80 plus for a ticket, never mind £20 for a steak sandwich and 8 quid for a pint of beer – never come back again.

Today’s news that five of the best England players will be omitted from the one-day squad to face Australia just piles on the hurt for the paying supporter.

If the administrators think that the players are playing too much cricket then why on earth have they sanctioned the one-day international series in the first place?

Cricket as a sport is to be admired for the way that it has adapted to modern times particularly in the introduction of the 2020 format but its treatment of the paying supporter leaves a lot to be desired.

At the end of the fifth and final day of the five match Ashes series the silence from Ian Botham was deafening.

He has always campaigned on behalf of the paying fan and I can imagine he was livid with rage at the totally unsatisfactory conclusion.

Would it be so difficult for the teams and umpires to get together and agree that they would play to a finish before the final session started for the good of the game?

Let’s not forget it is the paying supporter that pays everybody’s wages.

To sit all day expecting to watch both sides play themselves to a draw - only for Michael Clarke to make the courageous decision to declare and then see the subsequent thrilling run chase curtailed becuase of "bad light" when the floodlights were beaming into the early evening sky was just ridiculous.

No wonder Americans think cricket is such a daft game. When that can happen - it is.

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