In time we have come to recognise that in several countries, especially in the Caribbean, test matches have been treated to very poor attendances except perhaps on Sundays when some seek to make it a family undertaking. When the WICB thought it appropriate to place some test matches in the smaller islands they soon found that the economies and the populations could not sustain it. The market is simply too small to facilitate large crowds every day.In recent years even the larger territories have found great difficulty getting crowds during the week and increasingly even on weekends.
We have already witnessed the decline in interest in the regional cricket competitions regardless of whether it is the four-day or the one-day variety. There simply is no real interest.
Several countries have claimed little or no crowds at local games.
The loss of interest in the five-day test match is therefore nothing surprising. Luckily though there is still global interest in the television coverage of the event and hence the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been able to sustain its income from test matches. However, and unfortunately so, the WICB’s coffers suffer significantly from the loss of crowds at the various arenas.
The recent series against Australia has thus far been conspicuous by the very poor crowds in attendance at the two venues played.
One commentator has concluded that the very large nature of the new Antigua venue may well have suffered from the loss of the family-like atmosphere that was characteristic of the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) and within which the likes of Chiki’s Hi Fi and the inimitable Gravy were able to rule the roost and generate great entertainment and frolicking excitement in any variety of the game.