TalkSport Commentary Review

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.

A Brand Spanking New Audiocast!

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Hi all

It’s been a while but here’s a brand spanking new audiocast. Not much prep went in to this but I thought that the Commonwealth Games merited a mention. What a great opportunity it could be to help provide more exposure to Associate nations and cricket in general.

Many thanks for following and bye for now.

Silly Point

You can Only Take ten Catches!

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I’ve previously written about naivety in sport and during the excellent commentary on Ireland’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan provided by Guerilla Cricket, there was, I’m sorry to say, a classic example of the sort of thing that really irks me!

The commentators were discussing the amount of dropped catches off the bowling of the likes of Mohammad Amir, Stuart Broad and Ravi Ashwin. They explained how because Amir had had say twenty-six catches dropped off his bowling, that he would have twenty-six more wickets to his name had those chances been held… but he wouldn’t! You can only take ten wickets in a match. Had some of those catches been claimed then some of the other chances that were dropped and even wickets that were taken would not have existed. If a team claims ten wickets in an innings then you can’t add another five dropped catches to a player’s potential wicket tally. Three dropped catches might have gone to ground when the opposition were nine wickets down. If for example, the very first drop had been taken then the whole sequence after would be different. Maybe a left-hander not a right-hander would have been on strike to the next ball, maybe the bowler wouldn’t have taken another wicket, been dropped from the team and never played again.

I’ll revert to the classic example of a football commentator saying that a team have missed three great chances in the first half, that they would be 3-0 up but the score is 0-0. If the first chance had been taken then the next passage of play would’ve been a kick-off not a goal-kick or continuation of open play, therefore the whole sequence there after changes. Yes the team might have created more chances and been 3-0 up but the opposition might have scored straight from kick off, the opposition might lead 4-2 at half-time.

As in any walk of life, even the slightest adjustment to events can result in a completely different chain of events and outcome. I’m going to stop short of providing countless examples but I guess that I don’t believe in fate or destiny, just the consequence of events or the ability to manipulate the future… or of course, maybe that is the fate or destiny?

Disclaimer: Sorry, this is supposed to be a cricket blog and I went down a rather profound path there!

Guerilla Cricket – You’ve Saved Us!

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Guerilla Cricket won exclusive rights to provide commentary on Ireland’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan and how they’ve put BBC Test Match Special to shame.

https://www.guerillacricket.com

I’m grateful for TMS’s efforts and some of their pundits and commentary team are intelligent and insightful. Jonathan Agnew and Graeme Swann amongst others are not but at least Henry Blofeld has departed. They’ve also lost Ed Smith. I’ve enjoyed listening to Smith’s measured and methodical approach and expect him to apply the same to his new role.

TalkSPORT will be commentating on England’s winter tours and hopefully they too can heighten the competition. I can’t say that TalkSPORT have won me over when I’ve listened to their football commentary, Sam Matterface… please God no!!! Hopefully they’ll be on the ball though.

Having been an excellent and successful player doesn’t necessarily make one a good pundit and maybe that’s where Guerilla Cricket have got it right. For the most part if not the whole part, they don’t seem to be ex-players, They’re one of us. I look forward to listening to more of their commentary. The ECB’s 100-ball idea is nonsense but some people are keen to shove the word innovation down your throat when you criticise it. Cricket is constantly evolving. Guerilla Cricket have some gimmicks so here’s some innovation for you TMS!