As some of you may well know, I’m not a huge BBC Test Match Special fan. I do like many of their commentators but a particular few irk me. It’s fantastic however that they have such exhaustive domestic commentary.
I was hugely impressed by Guerrila Cricket’s coverage of Ireland’s inaugural Test but was a little tentative regarding TalkSport adopting England’s tour coverage. I haven’t always enjoyed their footballing efforts, often finding them very shouty.
I had little opportunity to tune in during the Sri Lanka series but have had more opportunity to do so during the West Indies tour. There’s noticeably a lot of commentators swapping seats, though not ridiculously frequently. This means that there are lots of different perspectives but also that listeners are unlikely to like every one. That’s theory of numbers. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve heard though and any voice is welcome ahead of Jonathan Agnew’s. I’ve particularly enjoyed listening to Steve Harmison and Darren Gough. As an erratic fast bowler, I rather rudely wasn’t sure how astute Harmison would be about the game but his insights have been… well, insightful. I was of the impression that Gough was maybe a bit brash having caught headlines from his other radio shows but he seems measured and actually quite sympathetic to the players. Neil Manthorp is there too and like other commentators who I admire (Jim Maxwell and Fazeer Mohammed), he not being an ex-player, removes some of the stuck-upness that can fester in commentary and punditry environments.
I don’t have Sky TV but do occasionally catch some cricket on BT Sport. They have coverage of some Australian cricket but the likes of Brad Hodge and more so Dirk Nannes have never endeared themselves to me. Sky Sports ex-Test players only policy just wouldn’t sit well with me I’m sure.
My first impressions with TalkSport have been promising. Long may it continue.