Given the very essence of sport is that it is inclusive for all, it is highly disappointing that Test cricket is not likely to make a return to terrestrial television in the foreseeable future.
Though there have been calls for the game to be made free to watch after England’s thrilling victory at Headingley at the weekend, Sports Minister Nigel Adams says it is not being considered, claiming it relies heavily on its income from satellite TV agreements.
Headingley crowd were key to England’s amazing victory – Ben Stokes
“You simply wouldn’t see the county game as it is without the money that comes in from the broadcasting deals,” he said.
This obsession with the pound has not only deprived a generation from seeing probably the most memorable Ashes moment in history as Ben Stokes scored the innings of his
life to keep the series alive for England, but has deprived those unable to watch an occasion that could have inspired them to get out there and give cricket – or indeed, any sport – a try.
I’ve seen some remarkable cricket moments in my life but that is the best I’ve seen in over 50 years - Geoffrey Boycott delivers Headingley verdict
For children and young people in particular, being swept up in that win, may have been just the encouragement needed to join a local club, head to the park or even just venture out into the garden to pick up a bat.
Whilst the government-sponsored Sport England describes its mission as being to ensure children and young people feel motivated, confident and able to get active and enjoy the benefits of physical activity, only a “crown jewels” list of sporting events are reserved for all to watch on terrestrial TV.
Hail Ben Stokes after innings of his life at Headingley keeps Ashes dream alive – The Yorkshire Post says
The quintessential English game of cricket is, like many other sports, becoming a privilege only for those that can afford, and are prepared to shell out for, a sport subscription.
There has to be a way of striking the balance to ensure that the game is sustainable and profitable but also that everyone gets to enjoy it. We cannot lose sight of the fact that sport is for all.