Cricket was Dying, in 1969

by Devanshu Mehta

42 years ago, Jack Fingleton in Wisden, with a few edits from me:

I’ve written before of how wrong I think it is that the best of the international blood of other countries should be sucked dry by England in trying to keep alive the out-moded, incongruous county cricket system the IPL.

International cricket will suffer, as the West Indians seemed to be suggesting at an early stage in their Australian England tour. They are tired of cricket before a tour begins. They are played out.

In trying to insist that there is still a future for six-day county Test cricket, the supporters of the system fail to realise the effect upon attendances of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of cricket lovers since World War Two. This applies not only to England. The lovers of cricket, if not the game itself, are dying out. It is a sober thought to be measured for the future.

In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

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