Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh took note of the dwindling crowd interest in the country during and after the recently concluded T20 World Cup and said the public is tired of too much cricket at the moment. The 57-year-old believes there is an overdose of international games, and the crowd is reacting to the same by avoiding the purchase of tickets.
With the backloading of fixtures in an inhumanely busy calendar wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic and selectors across the world have had to field different teams on the park for different formats, leading to a scenario where fans find it difficult to follow the Australian team, Waugh stressed.
“There’s a lot of cricket, it’s hard to follow as a spectator, it’s very hard to keep up with it. The three one-dayers against England [earlier this month, which Australia won 3-0] seemed pretty insignificant, really. I mean, what were they playing for? There wasn’t big crowds, I think the public has almost overdosed on cricket,”he said on SEN’s Saturday Morning Mowers Club show.
Australia’s endless schedule only picks up steam from here on. They enter the Test match leg of the summer with a two-Test series versus the West Indies that precedes the marquee three-game rubber against South Africa.
A short break provided by the cancellation of the ODI series with Proteas in January is followed by the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India in February-March, with one-dayers scheduled against India and Afghanistan after that.
Few Australian players have opted out of the extended Indian Premier League in April-May, fearing burnout. But they will soon be on the park, gearing towards an early Ashes trip from June, which will be preceded by the 2023 final of the World Test Championship that Australia look good to make, depending on how results at home and in India shape out.
Soon afterwards, the team will be travelling to South Africa and India for limited-overs cricket ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup on Indian shores in October-November.