(RICHIE KNEW VALUE OF SILENCE)
No one thought to hand over a cap to BT Sport’s Matt Smith in a moving ceremony prior to the start of the 2017-18 Ashes on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Australia) at the Gabba.
But, that embarrassing oversight apart, and, when later asking James Vince’s to review his run out for 83, asking the Hampshire batsman if there was anything he would have done differently, cricket’s newest TV broadcasters had a Test debut to remember for many good reasons.
They are on to a winner with the brilliant Sunset + Vine production team that brought us Channel Four’s cricket coverage, including the unforgettable 2005 Ashes, because these guys know how to do this stuff.
But for those of us nutters who managed to stay up all night, breakfast before the toss, lunch at 2am, cucumber sandwiches at a time I admit I lost track of and breakfast again at 8am after play was extended due to rain, the performances of the teams in front and behind the cameras turned a sleepless night into something close to a pleasure.
And if they hadn’t performed as though they were being paid by the word it would have been better than that.
It used to be said by some armchair enthusiasts not overly enamoured with Sky TV’s team of ex-cricketers-turned game-readers, that their ideal arrangement would be to watch cricket on TV with their sound turned down and the sound of the BBC Test Match Special team turned up.
With the four English members of their commentary squad, Geoffrey Boycott, Graeme Swann, Michael Vaughan and The Cricket Paper’s Alison Mitchell veterans of ball-by-ball radio commentary, what BT Sport offered came close enough to that happy medium to suggest that they may crack it eventually.
Early signs were not encouraging. After Smith, whose previous
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