Interesting piece in the Guardian blog, about excessive numbers of international cricket matches, includes:
Cricket's treadmill has been turning for around 160 years, since William Clarke founded the All England XI and took them off to play teams of 18 or 22 locals in shires and provinces. ... England are now one year into a non-stop 20-month schedule that has run from the first ball of the Sri Lankan Test series in 2006. On it went, through a host of appalling one-day games, Pakistan and the Oval farce, the Champions Trophy and then, seven days later, the Ashes, the CB Series, and 18 days after that the World Cup. Now we have 49 days of international cricket out of the next 102. ... No wonder this is the Dark Age of fast bowling. No wonder Marcus Trescothick was in such bad need of a break from international cricket. ... It is abundantly clear that, right now, the tempo of the English game, and cricket around the world, is too fast ... It is a good time to be consuming cricket, because there is so much on offer. That is, as long as you don't mind growing fat on a junk diet because, unlike the ones in the gyms and prisons, cricket's treadmill only makes you more bloated.
Give us a break Cricket's treadmill is out of control, and the game is losing its dignity as a result.
- seems on the money to me. The England vs West Indies test series starts tomorrow; but I'm not real excited about this - partly as Windies lacklustre lately, but also a feeling that England not humming, and seen much cricket recently, inc that bloated world cup. [I used to miss seeing cricket on tv - as now living in HK; but I have the cricket channel these days, so can watch plenty.] "Dark Age of fast bowling" - isn't that a sad thing. Esp as start against the Windies, with Holding and co just distant memories (ha - wanted them to go away much of the time they were in heyday, but now - well, no one really excites in their bowling line up).