On the Front Foot: Crowds falling and day-night Tests on way so ICC vow to take action

As we know, because we are constantly told and they constantly flaunt it, India are the powerhouse of the modern game. Two things happened this week to give any rational observer pause to doubt this. In Cardiff, tickets for the First Test of the Ashes series next summer at Sophia Gardens went on sale. By lunchtime all 6,000 had been sold. If there were 10 more batches of 6,000, instead of one, it would keep happening. In Nagpur, the Fourth Test of the supposed marquee series between India and Australia is being played. On the first day, in a brand spanking new stadium which holds 40,000, around 4,000 turned up. It hardly improved in the following days. There would have been more atmosphere at Derby, if not as much comfort, on a wet Tuesday. Only in England (and now Wales) are there crowds worthy of the name. Last week, Australia said they intend to play day-night Tests, but that is not progress, it is an admission of defeat, eroding the aesthetics of the form. David Morgan, the International Cricket Council president, promises action. "The board will discuss this in Perth next January, but this is an issue that must be addressed. I want to protect Test cricket and give it a context in countries where it does not have it." He knows he has to be quick.

It's a bit rich of Australia

James Sutherland, head of Cricket Australia, issued a warning to India on Friday that they must not abuse their power. This was a bit, er, rich. Australia could hardly wait to climb into bed with India, ensuring a slice of the financial action, in becoming a founder member of the T20 Champions League. England were left isolated and friendless. Sutherland is hardly in a position to deliver homilies on moral probity.

Lest we forget Charlie's heroics

It is 90 years on Tuesday since the end of the First World War, 91 yesterday since Colin Blythe died. He was killed by shrapnel at Passchendaele during the third Ypres campaign while helping to build a railway line. Blythe took 2,506 first-class wickets, 41 more than Kent's other great left-arm spin bowler, Derek Underwood. Known as Charlie to all in cricket, Blythe had a distinguished career despite suffering from epilepsy, which today would afford him a different kind of celebrity. A memorial at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury forms a lasting tribute, but these are particularly poignant times for all cricket lovers to recall his feats.

Sport tells us life is unfair

These are uncertain times for Ed Smith. He began the cricket season as Middlesex captain, having not missed a Championship match for seven years and having just had published his exceptional book 'What Sport Tells Us About Life'. He played only five matches before an ankle injury ended his season, was stripped – amid rumour of dressing-room discontent – of the captaincy and probably his place as a player at the club. Nor, startlingly, has the book been shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. None of this seems fair, and perhaps Smith will need toreread his book for answers.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence