This week the Yorkshire Chairman, Colin Graves, announced that the Club would not be bidding to host an Ashes Test in 2013 – this the ground on which Bradman scored 334 in 1930, Botham made 149* and Willis took 8 – 43 in 1981 and on which Waugh spanked 157* in 1993.
But in the market there is no room for sentiment or a place for history.
Yorkshire lost £1.8 last year, £1 million of that on the Australia/Pakistan Test which betrayed a lack of understanding of and deep disconnect with the Asian communities around them.
A projected loss this year of £300k is described as not a ‘massive loss’ but even this has meant seven redundancies and the post of Chief Executive left vacant. A profit in 2012 is dependent on selling out for the first three days of the Test match.
“I’m not going to put the club at risk again bidding for an Ashes Test match,” says Graves, who knows that with nine clubs chasing seven Tests the arithmetic is against them.
Nor will their be an overseas player wearing the traditional
Oxford and Cambridge Blue Black and Gold of the White Rose county, deciding instead to secure the all-season availability of Huddersfield born Ryan Sidebottom .
A new member of the ECB Board, Graves is urging the governing body to ask the big, searching questions about how to sustain cricket.
But for now one thing is certain, there will be no Ashes Test at Headingley for the foreseeable future.
Graves says that Yorkshire has protected its playing staff, but over the Pennines, the Lancashire website reveals that there may only be 17 contracted players on the books, provoking fears of relegation, but what an opportunity for young talent.
Again, there are as yet no overseas players unless you count Moore who was born in Jo’Burg and came to this country with his parents when 18.
So, in the Age of Austerity cricket is changing for good or ill -fewer full time professionals and fewer overseas players. This could be a boon for the national side of the mid to late ‘Teens. And of course it is the national team (and the grass roots of course) that keeps the whole edifice afloat.