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The decline and fall of the Pura Cup Final

Submitted by rickeyre on March 29, 2006 - 4:06am

Buried beneath the Commonwealth Games, the start of the football (oops, rugby league and Aussie rules) seasons, and the Test series in South Africa, Victoria and Queensland are playing off at The Gabba for the 2005-06 Pura Cup.

Yesterday, Queensland completed its response to Victoria's first innings of 344 by declaring at 6 for 900. Yes, nine hundred. You'd barely know anything about it from the media coverage. Even CricInfo, whose home page is little more than an overcrowded advertising hoarding these days, doesn't regard it as one of its top cricket stories less than 24 hours after the event.

At least Brisbane's Murdoch chip-wrapper The Courier-Mail squeezed a photo onto its back page today. In post-Games Melbourne, The Herald-Sun's lead sports story is about the AFL umpire who has been suspended for having some late nights out after the game.

The Pura Cup hasn't been televised nationally since the end of the 2001-02 season, collateral damage inflicted when the C7 pay-TV sports channel shut down after losing the telecast rights to NRL and AFL, and thus its financial lifeline. The monopoly pay-TV sports broadcaster in this country, Fox Sports Australia, has shown no interest in picking up domestic cricket at all.