Something that is exciting should always be promoted and defended against its critics. That has to be the case with test match cricket. Who couldn’t have watched the recent series against India as teams battled against the odds and not been impressed with what was on view?
Yet test match cricket still battles to survive in this modern new world. One in which the number of balls bowled in a match seems to be getting lower and lower. Test cricket has to be put above competitions such as T20, the Indian Premier League and The Hundred.
Sportsbooks love offering odds on cricket, and they don’t really care too much about which form of this wonderful sport that they cover. Just as cricket has changed in recent years, so has the way in which people bet.
The arrival of in-play betting has changed the way in which we gamble. There was a time when all gamblers did was make a pre-match wager on England winning their next test match or one-day international. Then there were all the domestic competitions that began to appear way back in the 1960s. They had exciting finishes but without in-play betting you were unable to make any wagers.
Now you can bet throughout a cricket match rather than just place a bet before the match starts. You can bet on everything from the number of runs in the next over to which batsman will be the next dismissed.
What bookmakers do take interest in is how popular an event is. The higher the interest, the more likely that their customers will want to bet on it. It seems at present that it is the shorter version of the game that is winning the battle.
One reason the bookmakers love the shorter version of the game is the number of matches played. The number of tests played in an English summer rarely gets into double figures. This year it seems to have been constantly on the back foot trying to find some time to play matches against New Zealand and India. You can bet in the past, we’d have found some way of playing the postponed fifth test against India.
Betting on cricket can be exciting regardless of which form of the game is being played. Take some time to do some research on which sites to register with. Then you can find out which sites have the best UK sports betting free offers.
At one time it was easy to work out the cricket fixtures. Test matches would begin on a Thursday with a rest day on Sunday. There’d be the John Player League on a Sunday and the 55 and 60 over cup games in midweek and the big day out at Lord’s for the finals. Just as football fans dream of their team getting to Wembley, going to Lord’s on a Saturday was always something fans wanted their county to achieve. It was always a big betting occasion too.
Now we get one-day finals being played in midweek. The County Championship keeps changing formats and we all know that important part of the game plays second or third fiddle to the one-day games.
It’s not even one-day cricket now. There’s the urge to finish a game as soon as possible. 100 balls or less in a match, really? The bookmakers love The Hundred and T20 cricket because they can focus their attention on the games and take plenty of bets over a short period of time.
There’s so many sports to bet on now that long cricket matches face great opposition. With the short matches, gamblers can concentrate on the games before going onto all the other events earlier or later in the day.
All those betting opportunities in the space of a couple of hours is ideal for the bookmaker. The test matches may be on for a lot longer, but the moments of true excitement are spread over a much longer period than the hit and hope matches.
Test cricket is still the best form of the game though. It may not be crash, bang, wallop all the time. Yes, there are periods when not that many runs are scored and wickets falling but that’s the thrill of test cricket. The times when a team has to battle hard to get into a good position or when bowlers are desperate to stop the runs flowing. It’s still a form of cricket where anything can happen and one to place plenty of bets on.
The next few weeks will again see one-day cricket dominate the sport. Whether it’s the T20 finals or the return of the money-making Indian Premier League. Plenty of bets will be placed on these events, far more than on the final stages of the County Championship.
Soon though, all of this might change for a few weeks. The Ashes series outclasses any other form of cricket. This is a true battle and one that total focus has to be put on. All the history that is involved in this series and the desire shown by the fans of both England and Australia. This is what cricket is really about, not playing games with DJs playing music and as few balls as possible. The Ashes series will have betting opportunities galore and both fans and players can’t wait for it to begin.