- Furious over NRL getting attention in the summer
- Blames a key mistake by television networks
- Wants cricket to be the main talking point again
Cricket commentator Kerry O’Keeffe has had a gutful of Aussies talking about rugby league in the heart of cricket season and wants to see a bit change mate to snuff it out.
While Australia has retained The Ashes, won the ODI World Cup and Test Championship and has a big summer of cricket ahead with Test series against Pakistan and the West Indies, NRL chat continues to dominate.
With International Cricket Council cricket events like the World Cup and Champions Trophy to switch exclusively to streaming until 2027, there will be even less of the sport on free-to-air networks.
O’Keeffe said more cricket needs to be made available to all Australians, or he fears that an already disenfranchised viewership could become even more jaded.
‘I don’t know much about streaming, all I know is I want us as a nation to have cricket available more and more, deep down, we’ve lost our love of it,’ he told SEN.
He pointed out that footy codes like the NRL are making headlines at a time of year when cricket should be all any Aussie sports fans cares about.
‘I don’t want to be talking about Addin Fonua-Blake in November, it’s driving me nuts, please,’ he said, referring to an ongoing news story about the NRL star.
Cricket commentator Kerry O’Keefe often leaves listeners in hysterics but he is not amused when it comes to fans talking about footy in cricket season
Crowd numbers have been dwindling at Test matches played in Australia and there aren’t great hopes of that improving this summer against Pakistan and the West Indies
O’Keeffe doesn’t want to hear about NRL player movements during cricket season, like the currrent stories about wantaway New Zealand Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake (pictured)
‘When I hear sports talkback people on other stations, it’s early November and they say, ‘Oh I can’t wait for Round One of the NRL’, please… give yourself an uppercut, what is going on,’ O’Keeffe continued.
‘If we lose our love of the game, it should be propagated by people in the media, I don’t care if it’s seen as our national sport or not.’
‘The nations that rise in cricket are the ones that are absolutely passionate about the game.
‘India for a start, they’re the juggernaut and we’re talking about Addin Fonua-Blake and where he might go in 2027, please, will the Dragons get the spoon? Who cares in November, who cares in March? Come on.’
Australia are unlikely to make any big selection calls for the first Test against Pakistan, meaning no debut at home for paceman Lance Morris.
Australia has been filling the trophy cabinet this year but have not been doing a great job of filling seats
The Pakistan series will be a career finale for David Warner, who wants to finish on a high at his home ground the SCG
While Morris impressed Andrew McDonald during Sunday’s training session at the WACA ground, the coach forecast a predictable XI for Thursday’s series opener at Optus Stadium.
In his latest newspaper column, former Test paceman Mitch Johnson had called on Australian selectors to blood Morris immediately.
‘We saw Lance put a few [on] notice there, in particular Marnus [Labuschagne] – it was a good contest, a good hit-out,’ McDonald said of Sunday’s centre wicket session.
‘How do I put this – it [the side] will look the same as it has before.’
McDonald also continued to deflect questions about who replaces opener David Warner, saying there is no hurry in making that significant call.