Most people like playing or watching sport of one sort or another. Usually there are a huge number to choose from with something for virtually everybody. Then suddenly a few weeks ago there seemed to be no sport happening anywhere around the world and many people were missing it. Now so many sports have been getting under way again that it has been difficult to keep up.
This week we’ve had the sound of leather on willow with the cricket season finally starting. England played out an exciting test match against West Indies at Southampton but with no crowds allowed in it was only possible to watch it from the sofa. While that may help the mental health of those of us who have been missing cricket, it doesn’t do much for our physical health. Importantly club cricket has also resumed giving a chance for some exercise as well as being an important part of many local communities.
When it comes to football going to the match is part of the weekly ritual of millions, albeit not usually in July. But now football, along with many other sports, is being played with no crowds largely to ensure they get an income from the TV coverage. Having no crowds certainly makes the concept of home advantage virtually meaningless. Sadly Cheltenham Town fell fowl of that in just missing out on the play-off final and possible promotion. There now seems to be a whole new industry in adding fake crowd noises to matches being broadcast. I’m not sure it improves things much but does possibly help disguise any swearing on the pitch!
It was interesting to see that the Ryder Cup golf was postponed to next year largely because the crowds are such an important part of it that it was better to delay than go ahead without them. I certainly look forward to crowds being allowed again, but while sport like so many things is far from normal at the moment and I am glad that it’s back!