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Lions / Touring matches are not seen as competitive, too many fringe players & not enough 'stars'.
Too much Cricket by consensus not competition, players getting 50's then retiring and dropping down the order for the 2nd innings leaves the public with the impression that all the match is 'A Public Net' or exhibition match.
U19's / Age group matches are seen by General Public only as opportunities for Parents / Grandparents to watch not chances to see emerging stars.

Premiership Football clubs U21 are sparsely attended, I cannot get my grandchildren to go 2 miles down the road to watch Everton v Liverpool U21's (they support Liverpool), I only got them to go to watch the Olympic Football at O.T. (the other one) because I told them they would be watching the Brazil team which would win the World Cup in 2 years time, they even view the F.A. Cup as an irrelevance.
PaulTavs liked this
I agree with a lot of what you say, Dave.

I went to Essex v West Indies this summer and Essex won the toss on a lovely summer's day - and put WI in. I was confused - but it was explained to me that it is "agreed" that the tourists get to bat first.

Stuff that - if you win the toss, bat and make them chase leather for a day if you can!

At least it was first-class - the non first-class ones are a joke.
Just to expand a little on your point, Dave.

I think in the past, if Lancashire played Combined Services, they were expected to try as hard as they could to win this - at least in principle to treat it exactly the same as a Championship match. However, at that time cricket culture was different - there was only the Championship and then one-off games such as those.

What's more cricket had a much more amateur culture, with the game being played for its own sake.

That said, it is easy to look at this with rose-tinted spectacles - we don't know what japes the players may have got up to on the eve of these games or after stumps - I dare say though it would be behaviour that wouldn't go down well if it was attempted in the middle of a modern county v university match.

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