An admission by Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins that the state is unlikely to host another Test until 2023-24 should infuriate the sport’s followers.
Cricket in this country is at a crossroad from the top down.
Not only due to what took place in South Africa back in March and in the aftermath, but anecdotal evidence from Northern Tasmanian administrators suggest junior participation numbers have plummeted.
The re-branding of the nation’s starter program from Milo In2Cricket to Woolworths Master Blasters has been diabolical with parents left wondering: “what the heck is a Master Blaster?”.
Participants in the past 12 months have disappeared, unlikely to return.
Without juniors the fate of the sport is perilous with plenty of hungry senior clubs to feed.
More needs to be done to re-engage fans, participants and recruit new people to the summer game.
Tasmanians are being starved of international cricket.
The Australia v South Africa ODI match at Bellerive Oval in November was Tasmania’s only fixture for the 2018-19 season.
Our last Test was again against the Proteas in 2016. Poor crowds are the primary reason whythe state has lost out to Canberra in hosting a Sri Lanka in a Test this month.
And according to Cummins, it will be some time before we see another one.
“We’re really fighting to get a Test here in the next four years,” he said.
It appears Cricket Australia is neglecting us in the hope we will just be satisfied with its money-making machine – the Big Bash League.
The BBL has been great for Launceston, the two games so far have been a hoot with possible first-class cricket destined for UTAS Stadium once practice wickets at Invermay Park are constructed.
But we deserved to also get our fair share of seeing the world’s best players go into battle against each other.
It’s the No.1 tool of engagement and source of inspiration to encourage participation.