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Changing sporting calendar - 1979 v 2019

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    Changing sporting calendar - 1979 v 2019

    I kept a sports diary as a schoolboy in 1979 so it feels a suitable point of comparison. The cricket World Cup was 15 days long (only 5 match days plus spare days for weather) and there were only 4 home Tests in WC years all the way up to the 1999 one IIRC. No Ashes but India's visit gave us Botham v Gavaskar at their peaks, and a young Kapil Dev.

    County format was easy to follow. Essex won the B & H on 21 July, so that was put to bed before the schools broke up. The Gillette Cup was won by Somerset with West Indian glamour. The County Championship shamefully had no TV coverage except the Roses Match in my region.

    The golf tournament I most enjoyed was the World Matchplay, which somehow squeezed 36 holes into an October day. BBC probably liked it because they knew the games had to finish before 5pm due to the short daylight. Aoki hole in one was included in Grandstand's opening titles for years.

    Football - European championship qualifiers were tougher because only the group winners went through, but there was less strength in depth then and England faced a much weaker Denmark than they would in 1983 or now.

    European Cup was relatively a breeze - Malmo in the final. Friendlies were perhaps harder fought, England losing to a good Austria side live on ITV.

    No such thing as live TV boxing - even world title fights were delayed at least 24 hours. Jim Watt was one IIRC. Hagler v Minter the following year. You had to wait ages to see Leonard, Hearns and Duran on ITV. Heavyweight division in post-Ali limbo but Larry Holmes was under-rated in retrospect.

    The one forewarning for the current era was the totally insane scheduling of the 1979-1980 Australian international cricket season for Channel 9. Great if you wanted early morning cricket on the radio before school but made it hard for players to keep producing their best. OTOH 1979-80 had the greatest ever pace quartet at its absolute peak and it is immortalized on the videos of the series.
    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 03-07-2019, 12:25.

    Was it 1979 that Wales beat England 4-1 in the Home Internationals, or was that 1980? It was a grim day whenever it was.



      Northern Ireland won the competition


        But it was still a shock to some when England flopped in Euro 80.