The one day finals start in Adelaide today, but
it seems South Australian cricket fans aren’t very interested. Thousands of
tickets reportedly remained unsold this morning for the game.

Strange, given that the traditional
Australia Day match can be counted on to sell out, and the Test matches are
always well attended. All this in the same week that 40,000 of us leapt to our
keyboards to become members of the Australian cricket family and secure our
chances for Ashes tickets.

So where is the Australian cricket family now?
If we’re so mad for cricket, why is Adelaide ignoring
the one day series final?

Cricket Australia
chief executive James Sutherland told ABC radio in Melbourne this
morning that Adelaide had requested more games. It was a happy coincidence that Melbourne,
poised to host the Commonwealth Games, didn’t have the MCG available, and CA
were able to grant South Australia’s wish, with a final no less.

Interestingly, there are no concrete
explanations coming out of South
Australia for the ambivalence
towards today’s game. South Australian Cricket Association chief Mike Deare
told the Adelaide Advertiser he thought it could be a result of poor crowd
behaviour at recent fixtures, or the fact that school went back this week.

“It’s very difficult for Cricket Australia to fit the one-day series into January but
ideally that would be the situation – we would then have the benefit of playing
the finals during school holidays,” he said.

Tie that statement in with the fact that
last Friday Australia v South
Africa at the
Telstra Dome barely pulled in 26,000 punters, suggesting that, like the South
African cricketers
,
Aussie cricket fans felt the series might be too long.

The good news for CA is that Sydney is expecting
a full house on Sunday for the second final. A poor turn out this afternoon
will certainly harm Adelaide’s chances of having a busier schedule next summer, when both matches
and seats in the crowd will be the most sought after, possibly, in Australian
cricketing history.

Peter Fray

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