I remember writing in my last blog post about coming into the current Ashes series with a slight lack of enthusiasm due to the seemingly endless regularity of this contest. There has been a extra spice to this encounter as it is the first full Ashes series I have experienced since moving Down Under, but even that still hadn’t quite got the juices flowing as series of yore tended to do.
But things have changed recently as I have somewhat fortuitously embarked on a co-commentator role on a radio station! Now this came about almost by accident – a couple of guys in my pub cricket team had been talking about setting up an online station to do some commentary on the series. For once this plan went further than just a pipe dream and the guys got everything set up for the First Test.
I only got wind of it when the Lord’s Test began, and heard the boys were doing a broadcast from our local as a one-off. So I went down there and ended up being on the radio for a couple of hours doing some commentary. I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Obviously being the only Englishman among a load of Aussies meant that I received a fair amount of banter but it was good-humoured and considering it was my debut performance I thought I did OK. It’s certainly more difficult than it looks. We weren’t running ball-by-ball, it was more score updates and discussion of unfolding events. Having to respond on the fly was a challenge, but in all honesty it is surprising what you can remember.
After experiencing being thrown in at the deep end I can appreciate how important it is to do some research beforehand on the issues of the match and the history of the players. I do feel that the TV pundits are a bit lacking in this area to be fair, particularly when it comes to associate cricket and the just concluded World T20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland. For us it’s easier to be lazy and indulge in banter as we have hardly any listeners (yet!) but for the pros there can surely be no excuse.
Anyway this post may be seen as a shameless plug for our station so to reinforce that theory I may as give us a shout out: we are at Park Cricket Radio if anyone is interested. On from 7.30 tomorrow evening AEST, and with the series evenly poised at 1-1 it’s going to be a fascinating first morning…
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