Never before can so much screen time have been awarded to a sport that provokes as little interest as women’s cricket.
I followed the World Cup on Sky Sports because local girl Charlotte Edwards is the England captain, but I hope she will forgive me when I say her sport is as dull as..... well pretty much every other sport that involves solely females.
It’s a biological statement rather than a sexist one, but women just don’t push my buttons in a sporting sense.
They aren’t quick enough, and they aren’t strong enough which should be enough to ensure that they aren’t as richly rewarded in terms of prize money or funding.
England’s lady cricketers, have benefitted from some clever marketing in the past notably by staging Twenty/20 matches as warm-up encounters ahead of a men’s international.
But such an innovation can backfire. Comparisons between the male and female versions of the game are inevitable, and unflattering to the fairer sex.
True, the ladies have started to hit more sixes, but as the batters generally face a set of trundlers, it may not mean that much.
The standard of ladies cricket looks pretty low to me. I wouldn’t expect any England player to be able to hold a place down in Peterborough Town’s starting XI for a Northants Premier League match.
I know Arran Brindle once cracked a ton against Market Deeping in the Lincs Premier Division, but that’s a sub-standard competition and Deeping haven’t had a decent bowler since their groundsman’s heyday in the early 1960s.
Ladies tennis is also pretty much unwatchable and no amount of baseline shrieking and grunting can disguise the fact that the rallies are often interminable exchanges of powderpuff hitting.
And yet, ludicrously, the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova can earn as much money for winning shorter, less tiring games as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray win for producing the most thrilling contests in the entire sporting world.
Equal pay for less demanding work is one of sport’s great scandals. It’s on a par with the continued employment of Robbie Savage by the BBC.
Does anyone even know who the world number one is in ladies tennis?
Could you identify more than a couple of lady tennis players from their photographs?
I’m not sure I could and I follow this stuff for a living.
Ladies football is another sport I find impossible to watch, and I’m not alone looking at the attendances of top-flight games.
Of course I’m certain to be accused of blatant sexism by the hard-of-thinking and the easily-outraged, but the viewing figures and live attendance totals will back my opinion up.
Those numbers should also be taken into account when sports funds are allocated.
Financial help should be determined by the level of public interest and not by the desire to chase a few cheap medals.
Otherwise it’s just a waste.
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