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.
Rajendra Chandrika, Kyle Hope, Vishaul Singh… remember them? Nope. Fair enough.
Not only did those named above disappear from international cricket quicker than a balaclava clad criminal from a crime scene but in the cases of Chandrika and Hope, they dropped off the radar altogether. They have recently re-emerged on the domestic scene whilst Singh has been back in the A-Team. I actually thought that Singh (At 6) and Hetmyer (At 3) were the wrong way around when they debuted. Clearly Hetmyer is some talent though and one to watch come the World Cup.
Back to Jamaican John Campbell. Only three hundreds and an average of barely thirty, does make you wonder whether or not he’s actually qualified to open the batting against Jimmy Anderson. Let’s remember though, an absurd amount of spin bowlers on the domestic circuit in the Caribbean average about fifteen with the ball. Maybe a batting average of thirty in the West Indies is equivalent to an average of forty in England.
Congratulations to Campbell on becoming West Indian Test cricketer number 317.
I’ll be following on TalkSport having not had the opportunity to listen to the Sri Lanka tour. It can’t be worse than BBC Test Match Special!
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.
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!