Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: cricket

Sunday in the garden, listening to the Ashes

It’s a beautiful day today. It could get a whole lot better as the Ashes edges towards its conclusion. It could also get pretty tense. Today I’ll be sat in my garden, enjoying the sun and trying to enjoy the cricket, listening to Test Match Special. For such an important day’s play you need the BBC to guide you, reassure you. Maybe if the game swings England’s way I’ll feel safe enough to indulge Sky’s images and flashy gadgets, but not just yet.

Australia have been set a world-record chase – they would essentially have to put in the best fourth innings batting performance ever to win. This should be a cause for optimism, but makes the inner English pessimist in me even more worried. It’s one thing to lose the Ashes, it’s quite another to lose to a record-breaking (read: heart-breaking) effort. And one of the first things any England supporter learns is to never count out the Aussies. Two days to win the Ashes. Two days to see them agonisingly slip away. This is what sport is all about. I can’t wait.

Test Match Special

I’m off work, but can’t really justify, from a waistline and financial point-of-view, five whole days in a pub watching the Ashes. However, my trusty freeview box does offer the ‘red button’ option to listen to the BBC Test Match Special commentary, with an accompanying scorecard.

There’s part of me that thinks this is how cricket should be followed anyway. For such a lenghty and thoughtful game, radio seems the perfect medium, allowing the commentators time to ruminate not just about the action at hand, but paint pictures of the whole scene and articulate the ebb and flow of a five-day event. It also allows the listener to dip in and out of the game, and to carry on with ‘real life’ while the game progresses in the background.

I’ll no doubt dip into pubs now and again over the next five days and catch the odd session, but I’ll be relying on the radio, the internet, my phone and overheard conversations in order to keep up-to-date. A strange variety of media to keep up on a sporting event, but over five days anyone following the Ashes needs to be pretty inventive, resourceful and adaptable to keep up. And that is half the fun.