January 10, 2004 | Peter

Real Cricket and Real Ads

At last some real cricket again! I mean, what kind of game goes on uninterrupted for a whole working week without a result?
And what a great contest it was at the MCG last night. These are two well-matched sides (and Zimbabwe is just here to make up the numbers). India has a great batting line up, a good pace attack and a very good spinner while Australia has a very good batting line up, a good pace attack, and, after decades of having none (if you exclude Healey and Gilchrist, two pretty handy keeper-batsmen), suddenly two class all-rounders in Symonds and Harvey .
With McGrath and Warne out of the side it becomes clear how much Australia’s one day and test success has been built on team balance. Without them, the Indians’ batting is a real strength, placing the Australian batting under much more pressure.
One day cricket is a decidedly more frenetic game and perfectly suited to athletes like Andrew Symonds who seems to have worked out his limitations but plays with the same energy. Young Michael Clarke looks to be a fantastic prospect, at least as good as Ricky Ponting was a decade ago. He bats and fields as well as Ponting did, bowls a bit and the ball follows him around in the field. He’s also as cute as a bunny, and knows it, so I just hope he remembers it’s about the game. He’ll be subject to enormous pressures from the media.
The media love these one day games. They are cheap, exciting spectacles (thanks largely to the huge, noisy crowds, who pay to get in) and ideal for TV. Of course, the level of advertising is extreme. At one point, in addition to the between-overs ads and ubiquitous sponsorship logos, there were ads between each ball. But these were Channel 9 promotions, which I don’t think they think are ads at all. Ha! Just because the ads are spoken by Richie Benaud in his driest tones doesn’t mean they’re not ads.
Speaking of Richie – who resembles more and more a puppet from “The Thunderbirds” – his comments are becoming increasingly oblique. They usually centre on the need for more ‘discipline’, just as Ian Chappell’s are usually concerned with the need for a display of what the Mexicans call ‘cojones’. It’s often hard to see quite how these exhortations relate to how players bat, bowl and field. Fortunately, the new generation of commentators, especially Mark Taylor and Ian Healey, tend to focus more on the cricket itself.
But back to the ads. The one I did like was the ‘fessing up by Which Bank, thanks to a court order, over misrepresentations in it advertising. Nooooo – it can’t be true! This came as a terrible shock to me and has left me utterly distraught. If you can’t trust a bank, who can you trust?

Posted by Peter at 1:00 pm | Comments Off on Real Cricket and Real Ads |
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