Supporters have questioned Cricket Australia’s decision to schedule a one-day international match on a Tuesday afternoon after a sparse crowd descended on the MCG.
Australia’s third and final ODI against England began at 14:30 AEDT with fewer than 5000 spectators. And cricket officials will worry that this great sporting rivalry is no longer what it once was.
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That viewership grew by another 2,000 by 4 p.m., but it was still a disastrous turnout.
Yes, it was an overcast Tuesday – and yes, there was a rain delay – but to put it in perspective, more than 37,000 people attended the January 2018 day-night event
And if you go back a little further, 71,000 came to see Australia in a day-night game against their nemesis in 2007.
The average attendance for the only three ODIs played at the MCG in November is over 17,000.
FULL VIEW All the details from Australia’s ODI fight against England at the MCG
But just nine days ago, over 80,000 fans flocked to the same venue to watch England win the T20 World Cup by beating Pakistan in the final.
Aside from the game being scheduled for a weekday and Melbourne’s dismal weather, the fact that it was a dead rubber would also have contributed to the low attendance.
One fan wrote: “Who came up with the idea of doing an ODI series right after a World Cup in mid-November!?
“There was no advertising for it. Is CA intentionally trying to fail? This series makes no sense…. This current administration makes no sense.”
Another punter wrote a list of how to “make ODIs great again.”
The list included not playing on “a random Tuesday in November”, lowering ticket prices, using other venues such as Tasmania and Geelong and “actually letting people know that (the games) are happening”.
Another fan tweeted: “Tuesday afternoon ODI at MCG in November? Can hear the bat echoing on the ball. If that doesn’t prompt Cricket Australia to review their home season schedule, nothing will happen.”
And another: “I was training past the ‘G from work at 1pm and there was nobody at the gate. Cricket on a Tuesday arvo was a bad idea and suspicion the weather isn’t helping.”
While the temperature didn’t climb above 20 degrees, Australian opener Travis Head was in hot form, posting a brilliant 152 after the rain delay.
David Warner was also impressive, punching out a sparkling 106.
But the 50-over version of the game has lost its relevance in recent years as it now competes with the shorter and faster T20 format.
https://7news.com.au/sport/cricket/crickets-cold-reality-check-as-fans-avoid-mcg-for-australia-england-odi-clash-c-8933312 Cricket cold reality check as fans shun MCG for Australia v England ODI clash