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Counting the cost of ODI cricket

Sportal January 9, 2013, 3:43 pm

Jamie Davidson is a Sydney father of two cricket-mad kids - yet he'd rather listen to three hours of Ian Chappell's 1960s anecdotes than attend a one-day international.

Davidson is exactly the sort of bloke Brett Lee had in mind this week when he declared the Australian cricketing public was being ripped off at the ODI turnstiles.

Lee told cricket authorities they could not expect families to dole out $200-plus to watch teams stripped of their best players due to rotation, alleged exhaustion or curious youth policies that discriminate against some while ignoring other birth certificates.

And that's even before we take the scalpel to a format of the game that has shown signs of rigor mortis in recent years, caught in no man's land between the history and tradition of Test cricket and the frenetic party atmosphere of a T20 match.

Lee reckons a family of four 'wouldn't get much change from $200' after attending a ODI.

So let's do the sums.

The cheapest family pass we can find for the Australia-Sri Lanka clash at the SCG on January 20 is $123.

Parking will cost a further $20 and then there's food and drink.

Given beverage prices are expensive, Lee's $200 figure is pretty much on the money.

So is his assertion that punters want to see the strongest possible line-up every time an Australian team takes the field.

"Brett Lee is dead right. It's like forking out $500 for a Rolling Stone tickets and then being told Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are having the night off," Davidson told ''Sportal''.

"Why would I fork out around $200 to watch a second string side knock the ball down to long off for eight hours?

"Most families have a discretionary sports spend and they are going to look at value for money and entertainment.

"A T20 match makes a lot more sense from a value point of view and you are guaranteed of some big hitting and usually a close finish and it's all over in three hours.

"I don't think cricket can sustain all three forms of the game and there won't be too many tears if the 50-over game is the one to go."

It's a sobering thought for those charged with the job of selling tickets and pumping up interest in the 2015 World Cup, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

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