It’s unfortunate to say, but is becoming clearer and clearer, that NZC has at its helm an archetypal, corporate yes-man who is more interested in building an empire than attending with enough due diligence to the cultural and grassroots aspects of the game he presides over.
What else to make of David White’s comments when he said, in ditching Radio Sport’s ball by ball commentary of cricket internationals, “The future of the sport is all about live streaming.” Actually, no, David. It’s not. Certainly not for what should be your core interest at least- the true cricket fans of New Zealand who actually turn up to watch test matches and even the dying domestic ‘product’, ugh, sorry, game.
NZC these days are selling cricket’s soul in exchange for piles of rupees in broadcast dollars and for what will certainly be streaming rights for top-level matches to Spark. No, David, I don’t want to get used to it. Why should I?
Here’s a thought: Instead of selling out on the people you should actually be caring the most about; have you ever thought about how you are going to arrest a horrible slide in the number of juniors playing cricket in this country? I’ve never once heard you once talk to media about what NZC are working on with promoting junior cricket. I’ve never once heard you utter the phrase ‘cricket club’. I’ve never once seen you at a club or domestic game up here in Auckland- by far our most populous city.
I’ve lost all faith in you and NZC. And what’s more, just a few weeks ago you reacted with incredulity when people railed against Gary Stead’s leave of absence. But what on earth did you expect after announcing that intention with less than 48 hours to go before the ODI series with India began, and coming as it did after the butchered T20 campaign? Seriously, are you ever grounded in normality?
NZC and Mr D White, I can assure that there are truckloads of genuine fans who feel a lot less than lukewarm about the mercenary tendencies and apparent lack of vision from your organisation these days.
You’ve got the distinct whiff of elitism about you. Please take note that that’s a really disagreeable smell to be emitting. The more you go down the money sewer for just money’s sake, the more loyal friends and fans you are going to lose. Never mind what the market researchers tell you.
And what single reality is the most galling amongst a list of stark contenders? No matter how much those in charge of cricket here alienate the people who love their, ugh, product the most, the top brass can always be safe in the knowledge that no matter what they drag the loyalists through that they’ll never leave them for something else. Because they are too much in love with the sport itself, and will be till they die.