'It's a joke': Tik-Tokers the big losers in Test cricket controversy

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Steve Smith waiting to bat in the rain at the SCG.
Cricket greats are concerned over how cricket is handling rain delays. (Getty Images)

Australia's consumer watchdog is powerless to act on Test cricket's draconian rain rules and protect paying punters unless there is a groundswell of complaints from fans feeling ripped off by frivolous weather delays.

The fourth Ashes Test at the SCG has been constantly interrupted by rain delays – eight at last count – with more breaks expected over the final three days.

The first four sessions were constantly held-up for brief showers, which would not have stopped a T20 or ODI, with the first day's play ending 25 minutes early because of a short drizzle.

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It prompted former Test batsman Mark Waugh to snap: "I think it's a joke. Even council workers would stay out there working."

"There's not enough rain to wet the roses."

It's hard to find definitive terms and conditions regarding weather on your match ticket, but paying spectators are basically hung out to dry when it comes to losing time in cricket.

While fans accept bad weather can stop play, they are fed-up with players racing from the field at the first drop of rain and umpires taking an eternity to restart games once the clouds clear.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which protects buyers' rights, is unable to intervene unless there is some sort of class action by aggrieved spectators.

"It would generally come down to the terms and conditions on whatever ticket you bought," an ACCC spokesperson told Yahoo Sport Australia.

A ticket for Day 1 of the Sydney Test between Australia and England.
A ticket for Day 1 of the Sydney Test between Australia and England. (Images: Ticketek)

"It's up to the sporting organisation to control the event and deem if it is unsafe or unplayable.

"The ACCC can’t help with individual complaints, but we use the complaints we get to gather intelligence to take action.

"If we're seeing it’s a big issue and we're getting a lot of complaints, that's when we’re likely to take action."

Calls for change to help young cricket fans

But something has to give if Test cricket is to stay relevant to younger fans accustomed to non-stop action irrelevant of weather conditions.

"There's a huge audience out there who love Test cricket but if we're to be honest (and say) the majority of lovers are probably over 50 – we’ve got to make sure we're driving Test match cricket for the next generation," former England skipper Michael Vaughan said.

"We need to make sure the 10-year-olds, the 15-year-olds, the 20 and 25-year-olds – the Tik Tok-ers – are interested in Test cricket.

"The game's got to move with the times. As long as it’s not dangerous for the players I think you can play in these conditions."

"T20 cricket's strength is its quickness, Test cricket's weaknesses is its slowness.

"It's got to be quicker, than slower. It seems to be going slower."

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