Thin crowd attendance at Australia vs West Indies first Test

Brett lee umran Malik

It seems that Australian fans are not taking their cricket too seriously nowadays.

The number of sparse crowds at the stadiums is a very big proof of this declining interest.

The reasons coming forth for this slump in viewing are the improper scheduling along with Australia’s entry into the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Socceroos have made it to the Round of 16 yesterday after they beat Denmark 1-0.

So, whatever amount of viewership Australian cricket is getting is through broadcasting channels.

At WACA on the first day of the Test, around 10,929 people turned up to see the match.

Even Cricket Australia’s Head of Operations and Scheduling, Peter Roach seems to have come to terms with this glaring fact.

Says Roach,

Our ideal days to start the first Tests of the summer would be Thursday and Friday, that would be our ideal plan. But as it turns, that’s not always possible. This was a year where it wasn’t possible.

The numbers of the broadcasting channels however paint a more positive picture.

When taken from different sources such as Foxtel, Kayo streaming, and free-to-air rights holder Seven, the number of people watching this series turned out to be 800,000.

Last summer, these numbers were more than 1 million for the Test matches.

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive has also agreed to this big fact.

I think going forward, making sure as many people can come as possible is our absolute priority and certainly it gives people more of a chance to come. There’s no lack of interest. [But] it does come down to slightly less than perfect scheduling.

Adding further, he said,

There are a number of factors. We had the T20 World Cup postponed by two years coming in, so it’s meant we’ve had a very compressed schedule throughout this summer and a lot more content. I think starting on a Wednesday is probably not the best, it’s a very busy time, people at school, people at work. But really hope the crowd builds towards the weekend.

Additionally, construction work is on at the WACA to make it a boutique stadium for all formats of cricket.

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