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Cricket fans want faster horses

Updated: Feb 20

A side bet. Cricket fans won't want to watch The Hundred, right up until they do. Very few cricket fans, me included, wanted Twenty20 in the early 2000s. Then I got locked out of Lord's for Middlesex v Surrey on a Thursday night, the first county game to sell out there since the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

The history of innovation in the sport was discussed on the latest podcast. For a so-called conservative game, it has forced through a lot of quite fundamental changes in tone, format and structure since Kerry Packer's 'rebel circus' in the late 1970s.

The exchange below caught my eye on Twitter. The uncomfortable truth might be that sports fans are deeply conservative, and their views can't be trusted when it comes to innovation.

'The Hundred' Popularity

My hunch, fwiw, is that fan surveys are of very limited use other than to use the results to shape the debate, usually in the direction of the group commissioning it.

Remember the odd row over questionnaires nearly ten years ago. The same themes were at play then as now, the fight for county identities, the desire for new audiences and the use of research to establish the negotiation position.

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