You can feel summer is a-coming when TMS returns to the airwaves. Having boring stuff to do at home, I switched on for the morning spell. The Sri Lankan commentator was warmly welcomed and then had to take criticism of this country’s bowling attack from Geoff Boycott. There was much joshing of Boycs from the boys who whilst his beloved Rachel is treated for a shoulder injury has to do the domestics. Vic Marks ex-Oxford provides some cerebral analysis but the real brain box is Ed Smith who got a double first as well as blue from Cambridge. Andew Samson is the fount of all knowledge with the stats. Over it all presides Jonathan Agnew, the natural heir to Brian Johnston as he can do the lighthearted and the serious in equal measure and capability.
I was reminded how welcome TMS is after listening at half time to the radio 5 analysis of Liverpool v Seville. Here the main analyst was Mark Lawrenson. Brian Barwick as Match of the Day Editor introduced many a legend from his beloved Liverpool to broadcasting. Alan Hansen was the doyen but the problem is they were Liverpool men. Gerard Houllier in particular complained of the disruption these legends caused to his management. Cricket is a different game and a less tribal one. Vic Marks will always be associated with Somerset; Aggers is a Leicester man; Ed Smith is a man of Kent but none of them are partial. TMS might be public school, cosy and non diverse but it’s the best sports broadcasting on the air. It’s the province of wordsmiths who use proper English and understand the grammar of language and cricket
Today Tony Cozier will be remembered. The overseas commentat0r is always an enjoyable feature of the programme and over the years there have been some very good ones, a particular favourite of mine was Alan McGillivray. You could sense how much they appreciated being invited to an institution and knew its rules. Perhaps club would be a better description. Gammy Gamasoona from the sub continent was another favourite of mine. They said he was partial to a drink and could cook a mean curry, he certainly rejoiced in being one of the boys. My dear old thing Henry Blofeld will no doubt be soon releasing his plummy tones. Of the new intake Graham Swann is clearly a bit of a card with his impersonations guaranteeing him a future living on the speaking circuit.
Welcome back all.