Live cricket’s great and all – but so’s all this stuff

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A few days ago, we mentioned on Twitter that we aren’t likely to run out of things to write about for as long as the whole history of Test cricket has still happened. You may have noticed we’ve been doing a few more features of late and that’s just fine with us.

The absence of cricket is a funny thing. While the drama of unfolding sport is obviously its main draw, many of us also enjoy the dissection side of things and all the extra time and space afforded by everyone being bolted up in their homes has allowed for plenty more of that.

In no particular order, some of the things we’ve recently enjoyed have been The Final Word’s Nasser Hussain interview, Jarrod Kimber’s various new things and some of the longer videos uploaded to the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel.

We’ve been a patron of The Final Word for quite a while now and we’ve got to be honest, we don’t listen to every episode. We’re not actually a big podcast listener because there aren’t many times where they fit with what we’re doing.

But then the way we see it, we don’t really chip in for each episode. We do it so that every now and again Adam and Geoff can do something like spending 90 minutes talking to Nasser Hussain about his career and the players of that era. It’s a very fine episode. (We imagined that we were in the pub with the three of them and that we were simply too intimidated to become actively involved in the conversation.)

Jarrod’s got a podcast too. Several, in fact. It’s all part of his own Patreon campaign, the most intriguing element of which promises to be his new YouTube channel. Early days on that, but you can already see what he’s doing and it’s a niche that needs filling.

Not that YouTube is short of cricket content exactly. Things have moved on from the days when Robelinda was the only person uploading anything. These days the various boards are churning out old highlights, packaged up according to various themes and durations.

Sky’s cricket channel is our favourite though.

There are two things that are great about it.

Firstly, they’re doing video podcasts. There’s this one about the Nineties, this other one about Bob Willis and then this one from the other day where Nasser Hussain (him again?) and Rob Key basically just bicker for half an hour, which is very entertaining indeed if you’re in the right frame of mind (about two pints deep, is our recommendation).

They’re adding a follow-up to that one tonight, looking back on the simulated Test that they played and which Key very obviously thought was a load of old cobblers from the outset.

The other great thing they’re doing with the channel is they’re uploading a bunch of their documentaries and ‘masterclasses’ – almost all of which are brilliant.

Anyone who had access to Sky Sports last summer won’t be able to forget the excruciating “because they’re my mates!” ad for the KP: Story of a Genius thing that they did.

Most of that’s on there now. They seem to be adding a 20-minute segment once a week.

The Murali masterclass is on there too. The first part takes a while to get going, but the second half is class.

There’s others too. Just look for anything that’s a decent length and it will probably be worth a watch.

Summary

The current lack of live cricket is rubbish, but if you’re getting free access to videos dissecting Murali’s bowling technique and approach, the sporting entertainment available to you could be considerably more shit.

We’d be very happy to hear recommendations from you guys in the comments.

22 comments

  1. This is all great, but I had been hoping for some more Cricket Sadist Hour content from Messrs Kimber and Zaltzman given the current situation.

    My only recommendation is finding old scorecards on Cricket Archive/CricBuzz/Cricinfo, and marveling at remarkable occurrences that were quickly forgotten because it was only ever about 4 hours until the next International cricket match started happening. Or maybe playing Stick Cricket/Smashtastic Cricket/etc.

    I briefly thought about finally watching Lagaan, but even at the moment I never have seem to have 4 hours in a row with nothing better to do. Is anyone who has watched it able to comment as to whether it’s suitable for watching in 40 minute chunks?

      1. Managed it in three chunks. Enjoyable but preposterous.

        I was going to go through the cricket scenes and analyse them, but I see it’s been done a few times already, for example here (link contains spoilers, obviously.

        I did spot a couple of ‘sprinkler dances’ in there early on during the musical number about cloud cover (yes, really). I wonder if that’s where the England 2010/11 Ashes team got the idea……?

  2. Hang on. You imagined that you went to the pub with three other cricket people? In actual real life? Pull the other one, it’s got Ian Ronalds on it.

    1. This is a good spot, Sam – your investigative journalistic skills coming to the fore.

      Four disparate cricket people in the pub at the same time? I don’t suppose the laws of physics would allow it – the sheer mass of intellect would presumably cause a nuclear reaction or something of that kind.

      Bert’s a scientist – he might be able to explain what might happen in that seemingly fanciful, hypothetical situation.

  3. It tickles me that you are a patron of other cricket sites. I have an image of the same tenner being passed around the whole community of freelance cricket writers, getting progressively more dogeared and eventually returning from whence it came, only to be sent on again.

      1. I’m a bit hazy on economics, but does £10 get added to the GDP every time the tenner changes hands, thus propping up the economy?

      2. But of course it does. Every. Single. Time. In fact, this was the basis of the Greek economy circa 2007. Brilliant plan all around.

  4. I also finally got around to watching Fire In Bablylon. Yes, it’s from 2010 and yes, that is an 18 year old Jason Holder at the very beginning.

    1. That’s a good one. We actually can’t remember whether we’ve seen it or not so definitely worth unearthing even if it proves to be a repeat viewing.

  5. Opens iPad to check out some of the recommendations.

    “Papa, play with me”
    “Papa, will you play with me?”
    “Nobody is playing with me”
    “Who will play with me?” *tears*

    Closes iPad.

  6. “We’re not actually a big podcast listener because there aren’t many times where they fit with what we’re doing.“
    You sure you understand how podcasts work, your Maj?

    1. Yes. You have to listen to them when you’re not reading something and without anyone else making any noise.

      1. Absolutely – my big podcast consumption time is while (1) walking to/from work or (2) alone on a train/tram/etc, both are a bit limited at the moment.

  7. Been watching the Australian cricket doc on Amazon. Aside from the fact that it’s full of Australian cricketers, it is good. I especially enjoyed the unveiling of ‘Elite Humility’ in large font in the dressing room. That was worth a watch in and of itself.

    On Sky – have they put Sangakkarra’s wicket keeping masterclass on? I watched that on silent at a bar at Lord’s during the rain last summer, without sound it looked incredible, I can only imagine it’s better with…

    Any more simulated tests in the cards, your Majesty?!

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