December 27, 2005

The Man Who Revolutionised Cricket Dies: Kerry Packer, the richest man in Australia, passed away peacefully yesterday. His World Series Cricket in the late 70s changed cricket forever. Perhaps the only 'owner' in history who actually wanted the players to earn a decent wage. And then there was the coloured clothing, the white ball, the floodlights....

posted by owlhouse to other at 02:57 PM - 12 comments

Wow, really? I may not know much about the sport (yet; I'm picking it up slowly on the weekends, thanks to the AZN network), but I feel like I've heard enough about Kerry Packer that I thought he was some kind of historical figure from an earlier era. Everywhere you go in finding out about the sport, his name figures in the conversation. He was obviously a force in the sport.

posted by chicobangs at 03:09 PM on December 27, 2005

Heres some stuff with more info on cricketer's wages.

posted by owlhouse at 03:10 PM on December 27, 2005

Kerry Packer used the white ball for sight reasons. The black nets were for the same, it only stood to reason. A good many tennis players resented the change from the whites when it happened to them as well. He was indeed a visionary, and he knew how to present cricket to make it the most enjoyable for everyone, not just the whacko stuffed shirts. Even the MCC were forced to recognize his presence a few years ago, and if no other big group of tight-assed traditionalists ever existed, it's them. And he's probably playing cricket with God right now.

posted by mrhockey at 10:12 PM on December 27, 2005

he's probably playing cricket with God right now Hmmm. Packer had a heart attack a few years ago and was clinically dead for about 8 minutes. He told the media afterwards that after you die, there's no God, there's just f..... nothing. Could be an interesting meet up.

posted by owlhouse at 11:01 PM on December 27, 2005

So, basically, this guy was the Bill Veeck of cricket?

posted by Motown Mike at 11:03 PM on December 27, 2005

I'm not familiar with Bill Veeck - wasn't he a club owner, albeit a bit of a maverick? Packer tried to buy up all cricket's international teams and set up a whole new league - World Series Cricket. I guess you could compare it to establishing a new major league, paying over the odds for the best players and earning shiploads of cash for the TV network that you also own (which was always part of the Packer plan).

posted by owlhouse at 11:17 PM on December 27, 2005

I too am only just beginning to discover the world that is cricket. A difficult feat in Northern Minnesota with no television. It's actually pretty amazing going around the Australian news sites today. The man was of monumental stature. Not to mention mega-rich. Rest in peace.

posted by panoptican at 11:30 PM on December 27, 2005

The Bill Veeck of Cricket would be an apt comparison, Motown. Although I really think Veeck was a little less wealthy than Packer. Veeck also was a bit more popular with the people that actually ran his sports enterprises than Packer was, too. The MCC (Marleybourne Cricket Club) in England had a real hard time understanding the greater good he was up to, and they pretty much rule the sport in the world, Australia being a former British rule and all that lot.

posted by mrhockey at 05:51 AM on December 28, 2005

With all due sympathy to Packer's family but wow ... must be a holiday slowdown in sports news if we can generate this much content about Cricket. Granted, my knowledge of the sport is limited to what I learned about the rules of the game under the caps of Guiness bottles, but come on fellas slo-pitch softball is as exciting.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:20 AM on December 28, 2005

Ah, grady, you managed to be interested! Come to the sub-continent with me one day, and stand in the crowd at Mumbai when Sachin Tendulkar is at the crease. I challenge you not to be a little bit excited.

posted by owlhouse at 02:24 PM on December 28, 2005

That's right, grady, who cares about cricket? Only about a billion Indians, is all.

posted by rodgerd at 08:17 PM on December 28, 2005

And wait until another billion joins them.

posted by owlhouse at 11:08 PM on December 29, 2005

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