Friday, 30 June 2017

BBC to show 12 Live 20/20 Cricket games from 2020 but Sky hold on to main deal

BBC have won the right to show 12 Live 20/20 games from 2020 to 2024. They will comprise of 2 x England 20/20 matches and 10 from the NEW 20/20 City based competition which will start in the same year. That will include the final. 

Sky TV have however kept the rights to virtually everything else as it beat off the attempt of BT Sport to get a hold on any domestic cricket. BT Sport do however have the Ashes series but really nothing else, it must be a series blow to them, long wait now until 2025. 

Sky thought to have paid 1.1 Billion for the 5 year deal will show Cricket on their dedicated new Sky Cricket Channel which Cricket fans will be able to purchase for what is speculated to be priced at £18 a month. This will be instead of the £49.50 Sky Sports package. Armchair fans will also be able to add on other packages such as Football, Golf and F1. Full details about costs for all channels are not yet known, but it does give a chance for those only interested in one or two sports to watch at a reduced price. 

The BBC will also take over from C5 showing Cricket Highlights and good news for Test Match Special fans still extremely popular as BBC Radio have kept their rights for the same period. The local radio broadcasters will be happy as they have kept the rights to commentate from their local county which is also very popular indeed. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Dedicated Sky Cricket Channel and others to start 18th July 2017

Sky Sports are to revamp the way they sell their Sports Channels. As blogged last week Sky Sports will have dedicated channels for Football, Cricket, Golf and F1. There will also be Sky Sports Main Event and two other channels plus Sky Sports news that they can show anything else. Nine Channels in Total This will change automatically on your Sky Box on July 18th, if you already subscribe for all channels, nothing will change and the subscription cost will remain fixed for 12 months. 

The new channel Line up will be 

401 Sky Sports Main Arena
402 Sky Sports Premier League
403 Sky Sports Cricket
404 Sky Sports Golf
405 Sky Sports F1
406 Sky Sports Action
407 Sky Sports Arena
408 Sky Sports News

The cost is £27.50 for all channels. However the big change will be for those that do not want to pay for all channels they can pick and choose packages. Sky Sports Cricket on its own for instance will be £16. A package with two channels will be £22 and three £26. Go to your Subscription page on your Sky Account for further information. 

This has been marketed as a scheme to help those that want to watch just one channel. It will also give the company more information as to what the public want and expect. When you sum up that for 3 channels its £26 you might as well get the lot. But as we all know the cost of Sky TV and BT TV start to add up. The cost to the consumer is ridiculous, and the cost of a premiership footballer is ridiculous as well. But it has all been created by the price war, and the millions of pounds (Billions now!) that the companies agree to pay to get control. They are reaching a lot of people's limit, or should I say they have GONE OVER a lot of people's limit. And the bubble is at full stretch!  

Sky Cricket does have excellent all round content, but domestically this season (including England games) with the loss of the Ashes to BT Sport then unless you like watching India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the likes, play each other (does anyone have time to watch these games?) or the Big Bash then you are going to have a bit of a break in what you will see on Sky this winter . So with the domestic season to end in September and not really returning until May 2018, I can't see many subscribing to just the Cricket to be fair. 

Main Domestic Cricket Fixtures and Premiership Fixtures on TV can be found on this homemade fixtures spreadsheet 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Natwest T20 Blast Star Players Ticket Information and Latest Odds 2017 Preview

The Natwest T20 Blast has been slotted into the hectic English Cricket Summer Calender for a total of six weeks for the main round robin league phase of the competition. All 18 counties as usual have been split into two groups of nine, North and South. The top 4 in each group will progress into the quarter finals and the winners going on to Finals Day on September 2nd at Edgbaston as usual.



Those that don't like the T20 Blast will get their Cricket fix as England will be playing South Africa with four Test Matches during the tournament, meaning most of the big stars from those two countries will of course miss all the blast. But there are still some excellent overseas signings this year, and of course KP returns for Surrey love him or hate him, he will be a star attraction. Mohammed Amir for Essex and Junaid Khan for Lancashire will also be grabbing headlines all summer I am sure. 

The biggest controversy of course is the fact that this years competition will be held over a much shorter period. Last year it lasted virtually all season, with a high percentage of games being played on a Friday evening. Possibly this fact meant that Counties were finding it harder to sign overseas players for such a long duration. It would obviously be more expensive and more complicated to get players to stay for 2 or 3 months.  So in theory this should be an advantage and help. 

On the flip side, possible problems are that fans wanting to attend all the blast games do have to reach deep into their pocket's frequently, over a very short period of time. Other issues could perhaps be a prolonged period of poor weather could knock out 2 or 3 games, hopefully that's not the case, and also hopefully the counties can offset costs with the sale of T20 season tickets. So very much swings and roundabouts.

The feedback from the dressing room seems to be that keeping to this one format for a short sharp period rather than switching daily for weeks on end is far better, and it's not hard to see that point of view. Some of the schedules were boarding on the ridiculous, such as finishing a T20 evening game at 9pm to start a 4 day game at 11am the next morning, but not only that, there was a 100 mile trip to fit in as well, somehow! Still not quite sure how they did that, and got some sleep as well. 

These crazy change overs have all been taken out of the this year's fixture list, but it does of course come at a cost, there are only so many days in a week, and so many weeks in a English Cricket Season.

Its never going to be easy  trying to fit in three competitions with 18 Counties over 6 months. To be fair the powers that be up in ECB Towers have had this season to re-jig the whole fixture list, from 2016's nightmare into something a bit more workable. Is this it? Well perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. The problem being that we all have different views on what suits one person, may not suit the next. But it has an improvement on last year overall. 

Here are the major signings and news snippets for each county for the T20 Blast. Followed by the list of Sky TV Live games for the competition in 2017. 

Derbyshire Falcons Ticket Information  33/1

The big signing is of course South African Imran Tahir a very exciting prospect for Derbyshire, one of the best bowlers in the World he will team up with another overseas signing Matt Henry from New Zealand

Durham Jets Ticket Information  16/1

Paul Collingwood who is having a magnificent season will have Keaton Jennings recently made Captain of the England Lions squad. Durham struggling a little bit with the loss of key players, and also the very controversial punishments imposed by the ECB. So I expect Durham will be really looking forward to the change in format for a few weeks. 

Essex Eagles Ticket Information 14/1

Pakistan's Champions Trophy hero Mohammad Amir will be the star attraction for Essex, his 4 overs will be very exciting to watch I am sure. Essex flying high, at the time of writing top of the Championship Div 1, and just pipped at the post in the terrific game in the semi final of the London one day Cup.

Ravi Bopara continues to contribute with bat and ball and will no doubt be a great asset in the Blast in 2017. With other names such as Ryan Ten Doeschate, Ashar Zaidi, Tom Westley and James Porter. A few Essex fans will be having a bet on that 14/1 price.

Glamorgan Ticket Information 25/1 

Jacques Rudolph from South Africa of course will be joining Glamorgan and he retires at the end of the season. Colin Ingram is a top batsman pick on Telegraph Fantasy Cricket already. In 2016 Glamorgan managed to secure a home 1/4 final game with some great results in the group stages. 

Gloucestershire Ticket Information 16/1

Glos favorite Michael Klinger who slotted into the London Cup one day team very well will be back for T20. He seems to have the ability to come and go and play great cricket.  So Gloucestershire usually pretty competitive at T20 may well be again this year. The first three games will be played at the Cheltenham Festival before going back to Bristol for the final four. A good outside bet at 16/1 

Hampshire Ticket Information 11/1

Another Pakistan favorite Shahid Boom Boom Afridi is joining Hampshire for T20 Also in the Hants ranks is George Bailey from Australia. With names like Ryan McLaren, James Vince, they certainly have some top class names on their books. There is some dissension in the supporters ranks with the signing of Afridi as he will more than likely take the place of the up and coming Mason Crane, who has been picked for the current England T20 squad along with Liam Dawson. I would imagine if Afridi does not get off to a quick start, the call for Crane to play won't be far way. 

Kent Spitfires Ticket Information 16/1

Kent have drafted in 25 year old tall New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne. DI Stevens continues to get runs and lots of wickets and just seems to go on forever. Kent have a solid batting line up with Northeast, Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly means Kent always tough to beat.

Lancashire Lightening Ticket Information 14/1

Lancashire have another of the Pakistan top bowlers playing in this years T20 Junaid Khan and there are no doubts about it, he will cause problems. With Jos Buttler as well, Lancs will be hoping for a good competition. 

Leicestershire Ticket Information 25/1 to 40/1

Luke Ronchi will join up with a very experienced squad which include Pettini Delport Raine Klien Mckay and Cosgrove. While 25/1 is their average price you can find the highest price of 40/1 for Leicester to win. Now I think we all understand they are pretty unlikely to win this, they can certainly try and take some scalps along the way. 

Middlesex Ticket Information 12/1

Middlesex have obtained the services of Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee from New Zealand. Brendon McCullum will in fact be captain of the T20 side. The addition of these two world stars joining the likes of Malan Stirling Roland-Jones and Finn this sounds like an exciting and attacking side.

Northants Steelbacks Ticket Information 12/1

Rory Kleinveldt already with Northants is being joined by Seekkuge Prasanna from Sri Lanka. Ben Duckett will be keen to have a good tournament and get his name back to the top of the England selectors short list. Current T20 Champions from 2016, so they will have plenty of belief that they can win it. 

Notts Outlaws Ticket Information 8/1 to 9/1

Allrounder Dan Christian will join for the T20 and team up with James Pattinson who has been taking plenty of wickets. He can also bat well when push comes to shove.

All rounder Samit Patel has suddenly come into a rich run of form in the Championship and the added confidence is bound to help in this format. Mullaney is also excellent with bat and ball. 

New Zealand Leg spinner Ish Sodhi has also joined for the competition. So the Outlaws strong in all departments and its easy to see why they are just favorites to win with some bookmakers, although Surrey probably just edge them out overall. 

Somerset Ticket Information  12 to 14/1 

Corey Anderson has signed for Somerset another very handy allrounder with lots of experience. He joins up with some exciting batsman Elgar who has been playing beautifully. Hose also an exciting prospect. 

Surrey Ticket Information 6 to 10/1 

The big surprise (I think) is that KP is back in town, and for the very last time, so he says. Sure to be interesting and has found form playing for Dolphins in South Africa, Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash and Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. He is bound to want to prove a point and he is more than capable of doing that. He pulled out the IPL to spend more time with his family and so comes back to England refreshed and ready to go. 

Jason Roy will open the batting and he is going to be raring to go after his difficult time for England in the Champions Trophy. The prospect of him batting with KP of course very exciting.

Moises Henriques also joins for the T20 he also has excellent experience in this format, and the addition of these two has made some bookmakers go as low as 6/1 

Sussex Sharks Ticket Information 16/1 

Ross Taylor New Zealand will join Sussex for the blast. Sussex home stars include the very popular Luke Wright and Tymal Mills no doubt will be dropping in for the Blast. Jofra Archer is a very exciting bowler who has been taking big wickets all season. 

Warwickshire Bears Ticket Information 12/1

Warwickshire really struggling in the Championship will I expect be grateful for a change of format for a few weeks and they have Jeetan Patel and Colin de Grandhomme to help. Normally the Bears do well in this competition but not seeing very much to get excited about this year and I wouldn't touch 12/1 with a barge pole. 

Worcestershire Ticket Information 14 - 25/1 

Worcs seemed to be going very well until a few weeks ago, and what to us seemed like to us, right out of the blue Tom Kohler Cadmore asked for a move to Yorkshire. He was then left out of the very next championship game. That didn't seem to go down well, as it was then very quickly announced he was going to Yorkshire immediately. Well since then Worcestershire have lost in the Championship twice and also got heavily beaten in the London One Day Cup Semi Final.

Rumours are abound about the future of Moheen Ali his contract runs out at the end of this season and there is plenty of interest. 

But its not all doom and gloom Worcs are still well placed to go for promotion and with other good young players in the squad Joe Clarke, Jack Shantry, Joe Leach, Josh Tounge, Tom Fell to name just a few off the top of my head. Bookies cannot agree here with a huge difference between 14/1 to 25/1. Certainly good value at 25/1 

Yorkshire Ticket Information 8/1 to 9/1 

So following on from above, the question is, will Kohler Cadmore get a game, because the batting line up for Yorkshire of Lyth Lees Ballance Handscomb is pretty well established. In at Five it will probably be then. Willey needs a good competition to put him back in the frame for England again. Yorkshire have just signed Shaun Marsh 

Rashid will probably be away, but Yorkshire have Plunkett in their ranks, and quite a few more up and coming bowlers, Coad, Carver, Fisher, Waite, the locker room is bursting with new talent. Together with Bresnan, Yorkshire are of course very strong contenders.

Sky TV have plenty of Live Games for us to watch, here is the list 


7th Essex v Surrey 7pm
8th Warwicks v Notts 7pm
11th Northants v Yorks 6.30pm
12th Sussex v Hants 6pm
13th Middlesex v Surrey 6.15pm
14th Lancs v Yorks 6.45pm
15th Glamorgan v Somerset 7pm
18th Kent v Glos 7pm
19th Worcs v Derbyshire 5.30pm
20th Durham v Leicestershire 6.30pm
21st Surrey v Middlesex 6.30pm 
22nd Notts v Northants 2.30pm
25th  Glos v Glamorgan 6.30pm
26th Yorks v Durham 6.30pm
27th Kent v Somerset 7pm
28th Sussex v Middlesex 7pm
29th Essex v Glos 7pm


1st Northants v Warwicks 6.30pm
2nd Leicester v Notts 6.30pm
3rd Middlesex v Hampshire 6.15pm
4th Warwicks v Worcs 7pm
10th Hants v Glamorgan 6.30pm
11th Yorks v Lancs 6.30pm
12th Somerst v Kent 4pm
13th Surrey v Sussex 2.30pm
15th Derbyshire v Durham 6.30pm
16th Lancs v Worcs 6.30pm

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Michael Vaughan Slams ICC Marketing for poor Champions Trophy Crowds

No real shocks for me, the ICC just have no idea when it comes to selling tickets, the complete farce in India in 2012, and now this. 

Questions, Why were only three venues chosen? Well cheaper for the ICC to just use three venues is the answer. All about money....again. The tickets were very expensive, speaks for itself. 

Very poor balloting system genuine fans applying for tickets and not getting them. Touts applying for hundreds of tickets and of course winning them. Michael Vaughan says, "I believe there were only 300 seats left for England v New Zealand but 4000 did not turn up, that worries me" 

Well it should do, pretty obvious the tickets were not sold to true fans that intended to attend. But with the tickets at £30 and £40 a head they must have been on resale sites for a good deal more than that

True the weather has not helped, and I think that certainly did have some part to play. 

The worry now with the England v Pakistan Semi Final in Cardiff (clearly the worst attendances of the three venues, no real shocks there is there really) is that the authorities have somehow worked a very large proportion of tickets have actually been sold to Indian fans. Glamorgan Chief Executive Hugh Morris has said "We sold that match out a couple of months ag0 (The semi final) A lot of the buyers are Indian about 38%"