A Game of Contrasts

A Sunday afternoon in England with a decent TV and a functioning remote control was - in the absence of a ticket to the games and the means to be in two very remote places at once - as good a way to chart the diversification of the game as any.

On ITV 4 you had the IPL final from Mumbai - a riot of noise, colour and atmosphere, a floodlit stadium packed to the rafters and the Chennai Super Kings deservedly winning the third IPL title.

On Sky Sports 2 it was Worcestershire at home to Sussex in the new 'Clydesdale Bank 40' - a few hundred people, some hazy early season sunshine, and Worcestershire sliding to defeat in front of the most beautiful backdrop in English first-class cricket.

I know and love cricket at Worcester, but the IPL final was a compelling visual and sensory spectacle, which, for all its air of calm and the annual re-emergence of a timeless ritual, an early season game in England simply couldn't match. Unfortunately the transmission of the game also had too many adverts and the intensely irritating commentary of Danny Morrison, so that when it all became too much (every five minutes or so) it was necessary to take refuge in the more reserved ruminations of Nick Knight and Paul Allott.

For the third year running I've seen hardly any of the IPL, so most of this was new to me. It strikes me that you're better off being there, as you stand a reasonable chance of watching the game without being interrupted, just as long as Danny Morrison isn't sitting next to you.

County one-day cricket has its virtues but it has a bit less of everything. Fewer games, fewer spectators, less money, less colour, less interest.

Oh, and probably less corruption too.

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