Truth about Kerry O'Keeffe complaint as Aussie fans choose NRL over Test cricket

The Aussie great is sick of seeing the footy codes dominate media coverage in what is supposed to be cricket season.

Kerry O'Keeffe, pictured here alongside Pat Cummins.
Kerry O'Keeffe reckons Australians have lost their love of cricket. Image: Getty

Former Australia leg-spinner and Fox Sports pundit Kerry O'Keeffe fears Australians are losing their love for cricket - and blames much of it on winter sports dominating the media landscape well into summer. Sorry to break the news to you, Skull, but the reason media outlets are running so many rugby league stories in the cricket season is down to straight out demand.

"I don't want to be talking about Addin Fonua-Blake in November, it's driving me nuts," O'Keeffe told Radio SEN. "When I hear sports talkback people on other stations…it's early November and they say, 'Oh, I can't wait for round one of the NRL', please… give yourself an uppercut, what is going on?

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"We've deep down lost our love of it (cricket). It should be propagated by people in the media. I don't care if it's seen as our national sport or not (but) the nations that rise in cricket are the ones that are absolutely passionate about the game.

"India for a start, they're the juggernaut and we're talking about Addin Fonua-Blake and where he might go in 2027, please. Will the Dragons get the spoon? Who cares in November? Who cares in March? Come on."

Addin Fonua-Blake.
Addin Fonua-Blake in action for the Warriors. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Apart from Mitchell Johnson's attack on David Warner, there's been very little interest in Australia's up-coming Test series against Pakistan, which begins Thursday in Perth. The follow-up series against the West Indies is virtually anonymous.

Yahoo Sport Australia editor Sam Goodwin says media outlets are simply giving the people what they want. "There's definitely more interest in the footy than the cricket. NRL stories are clicking better than ones about the Tests at the moment," he said. "It's case-by-case but the biggest story on Yahoo (on Wednesday) has been Ryan Papenhuyzen returning to training."

NRL and AFL codes aren't as season as they used to be

Five of the six most-read stories on the Sydney Morning Herald's sports site on Wednesday were NRL related, with only an article on Usman Khawaja's shoe message breaking up the dominance. It was a similar scenario in News Corp publications last week, with eight of the top 10 "hottest" stories coming out of the NRL or AFL.

The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie has covered rugby league in Sydney for 35 years and has noticed a big shift in audience habits. "There used to be a noticeable slowdown after the grand final and the summer sports would take centre stage, but not anymore," he told Yahoo Sport.

"Rugby league is now a relentless 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days-a-year business and the demand is insatiable. I love my cricket as much as anyone but the traffic figures will show you that people still want their footy news just as much in the off-season as they do during the season."

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