Saturday, January 23

Australia’s Cricket Summer During Covid is About Money and Power, and Men | Megan Maurice | Sport


LLike a Netflix drama caught in lock down, the Australian-Indian series has had endless surprising twists and turns. At first, the plot seemed predictable; the reassuring certainty of the St. Stephen’s Day Test and the New Years Test set the stage at the heart of the story.

But quickly both parties were in doubt. First it was Melbourne – could it take place and if so would crowds be allowed? Eventually the Victorian outbreak was held back and the game went on, albeit with a reduced crowd.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, everything seemed set for a capacity crowd until two new Covid-19 clusters emerged, the other states slammed their borders shut, and the schedule was once again in a shadow of doubt. The last tip is that a crowd of 25% to capacity will be allowed in, with masks now mandatory on public transport.

Just as the story finally seemed settled and the characters were heading towards a happy ending, a new antagonist emerged when the Cricket Control Board in India stepped in to challenge the Brisbane Trial, citing the mental fatigue of its players under quarantine restrictions. FtheseQueensland.

Tman story arc is simply the final season of the drama surrounding tman summer of cricket. At first, no one was sure if matches could be played, or if the Australia A concept would have to be resurrected to provide some valuable TV content in case India couldn’t make the trip.

The lengths to which those responsible have gone, all to ensure a relatively normal cricket summer, speaks volumes about the value placed on the men’s game. There is certainly reason to pause and question whether the series should have continued, given the global health situation. There are a multitude of concerns, Fthesethe public health risks of gathering crowds at games, to the mental health effects of players who are confined within bubbles for months and months.

In the risk-averse world we have become accustomed to, tman is a question worth considering. We have all learned to make sacrifices for the greater good. Why, then, can’t we just sacrifice a couple of cricket games and enjoy them even more next summer when (hopefully) we’ve been vaccinated? The answer, of course, is money and power.

People who are likely to speak out about the JobKeeper subsidy cuts, for example, have far less of both than those who would have a say about a canceled cricket tour. Fthesegoverning bodies to broadcasters to sponsors to state governments, a multitude of figures with a great deal of money and power ensure that games are played in the way that best suits their interests.

Meanwhile,, barely an eyebrow was raised when the next women’s series between Australia and India was postponed due to the continuing effects of the pandemic. There have been no public complaints Fthesethe broadcasters, and no reaction Fthesethe BCCI, even though tman series would have been relatively simple to organize compared to the current men’s tour.

Tman has been a theme throughout the forced changes to the sport that Covid has brought. While the AFLW season was canceled before the finals, the Super Netball and the WBBL were condensed and played in one place, everything and the kitchen sink were thrown in to ensure that the great men’s sports codes could play their games. Competitions in the most normal way possible.

Anyone who dares to question these priorities is yelled at on social media, and in comment sections, and reminded that women’s sport doesn’t make the money that men make. As if it were a simple and immutable fact, rather than the result of a lack of long-term investment. As American sports journalist Kelsey Trainor recently tweeted: “You have to spend money to make money. Tman applies to all other areas of investment, except for women’s sport ”.

Despite the enormous advances made by women’s sport in recent years, the pandemic has exposed the great gap that still exists between men and women in the world of sport. When money is limited and power is hanging by a thread, those who are desperate to hold on to conservative decisions and hold on to the status quo. Unfortunately they inform their female athletes that nothing candone, and and they count on their kindness to accept it and wait their turn.

There has been a lot of praise for the way the athletes have handled themselves during tman time – no complaints, no breaking the bubble’s constraints, just holding out and getting the job done. But while women get praise, their male counterparts, many of whom have been far less kind, get money and media coverage.

While the stories Fthesetman men’s cricket tour have been surprising, the grand narrative about men’s and women’s sports has been painfully predictable. At some point it must be time to stop and consider: how do we change the ending?

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www.theguardian.com

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