The Disastrous Numbers That Show Aussie Cricket Has Never Sunk So Low

Four wins in 20 games. Audience down 84 percent. Eek.

This was supposed to be cricket's summer of recovery.

That's why we've had the Longstaff Review into Cricket Australia culture in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. At its core, the review was about making cricket something the average Australian wanted to engage with again.

But our men's national cricket team has a long way to go to win back hearts and minds if this weekend's mediocre numbers are anything to go by.

By "numbers" we refer to two things:

Firstly, we mean the recent win/loss record of the Aussie team, who were typically woeful against South Africa in the first One Day International in Perth yesterday -- which the visitors won easily.

Chris Lynn. Good Big Bash player. But like many of his teammates, not yet proven at national level.

Indeed, the capitulation to South Africa was just the latest in a series of really poor results for the blokes. We've crunched the national team's numbers and they're not pretty.

Since the ball-tampering Test in Cape Town (and including that match, since we lost), the Australian cricket team has:

The second set of lousy numbers that emerged this weekend were the TV viewership figures, which were not good.

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Sunday's game was the first televised match on home soil under the new broadcasting regime. Unlike any One Dayer in Australia before it, it was unavailable to viewers on free-to-air TV.

And oh dear.

The game had an average of just 205,000 viewers nationally. To put that in perspective, in the most recent One Day International series in Australia -- against England last summer -- the national average was 1.32 million.

The Big 'Ow'. Just what we need. An injury to Maxwell.

Another way of putting that is as follows: The average Fox audience was just 16 percent of the average audience for the last One Day International series shown on Nine.

A match on Pay TV would never match a game on free-to-air, but TV analysts say they still expected more. Why the low figure?

More than likely, it's because making cricket palatable to Australians again is going to take time. A competitive men's team wouldn't hurt, either.