Small crowds - at least for Melburnians - and rather flippant comments by various media suggests the ICC Super Series is yet to gain any real credibility and, honestly, why should it?
Cricket fixtures that stir emotion and draw in enthusiastic and partisan support have always been held between traditional foes - India vs Pakistan, England vs Australia, New Zealand vs Australia, India vs Australia - well, anyone versus Australia, really. Except, of course, when you throw them all together.
For real support, it's essential for the follower to feel an affinity with one or other of the teams and a feeling that victory matters.
You could argue that with the prize money up for grabs, personal pride and a substantial number of the Australians on trial or face-saving duty, the result matters to the players. Let's face it, any contest between competitive people should be hard fought.
But for the world to embrace this contest, cricket must be the winner. Cliche, I know, but cliches are often based on reality.
The first game was disappointing and damaged the concept. The crowd was disappointing, the pitch below par, the Australians under-strength and the World XI pathetic - our Dan [Vettori] excluded.
However, Friday night's game went a long way to silencing the cynics. World class cricketers did world class things and, for this concept to thrive, that is what must happen.
The peripherals that surround these games will ensure it is never any more than a cricket exhibition.
The trialling of new rules, selection of players like Shoaib Akhtar - who at present is no more to cricket than a long driver is to golf - and the sight of World XI players chuckling away at fielding lapses ensure this. However, if these players are able to deliver a worthy spectacle, what is wrong with that?
This is a good concept for the promotion of cricket but for its ongoing continuity as an annual fixture there are prerequisites that generate spectator and viewing volume. The second game of the series exhibited more of these qualities. Big runs were scored through big shots by big shots. This was possible via a quality surface and player buy-in.
The home players will always want victory; the challenge is to motivate the World XI players. It does nothing for the credibility of the concept when the best ensemble of cricketers available from nine countries gets hammered by some rag-tag locals.
To make the result matter the locals need to be underdogs who win by playing above themselves.By Mark Richardson Email Mark