Test highlights on BBC2 (and iPlayer) – but no more Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special

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As reported back in 2017, the BBC are going to be showing the Test highlights this summer, not Channel 5. They’ll be covering the one-dayers too.

The news feels kind of irrelevant at the minute, but actually England v West Indies is due to go ahead from July 8.

It looks like the show will go out at 7pm on BBC2. We presume it’ll be on the iPlayer too – which is good because the Beeb tend to upload their digital content pretty rapidly.

Channel 5’s Test highlights show was great, but the big failing for us was that it quite often didn’t appear on their on-demand service until the following day. When it’s 10pm on a Friday or Saturday and you’ve got a beer in your hand and you’ve mentally mapped out the rest of your night and your plans very much centre on watching the Test highlights, that’s pretty much unforgivable.

Isa Guha will present. Pundits will include Michael Vaughan, the not-quite-as-mealy-mouthed-as-we-expected Alastair Cook and Carlos Brathwaite – whose name you may or may not remember from the 2016 World T20 final.

Live coverage remains on Sky Sports. We’re still going pay-as-you go for that with Now TV. Here’s a bit more on the pros and cons of doing that.

The other big BBC cricket news this week is that Geoff Boycott’s not going to be on Test Match Special (TMS).

The Yorkshireman’s contract ran out last year and it doesn’t seem hugely likely he’ll get another. This coming coronavirus-riddled summer poses a particular problem given his age and health.

He confirmed this himself on Twitter in a comment with a quite perfectly Boycottian climax.

“Recently I had a quadruple heart by-pass and at 79 am the wrong age to be commentating in a bio secure area trapped all day in confined spaces with the same people – even if some of those commentators I regard as friends and others I admire.”

That may of course be a self-aware acknowledgement that he doesn’t have too many friends. Feels more like an implied diss though, doesn’t it?

If we restrict our opinions purely to his commentary, we would go so far as to say we were not wholly anti-Boycott.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the image at the top of this post, it’s from this.

11 comments

  1. I’m not wholly anti Boycott either, but he just seems to have become a complete parody of himself (which if even half the rumours that happened with Yorkshire and England were true, is perhaps not a great starting point for a parody).

    Not sure I’ll miss him too much, to be honest.

  2. No Boycott, but we have to listen to Vaughan be deliberately controversial in order to try and remain relevant? Sigh.

    1. Vaughan seems to have decided to become Boycott Jr. Thankfully without the, erm, outside issues to go with that.

  3. Every retirement in the box is an opportunity to bring in Danny Morrison.

    Or my ideal summarizer, a congeries of Boycott’s grunted mmhmms, Vic Marks’ sighs and heavy breathing, and the laughter of Kerry O’Keeffe.

  4. Apropos only to relics of an ancient era…of which Sir Geoffrey is one…

    …I am currently researching some Edwardian stuff (friend of King Cricket known as Edwardian will no doubt approve) and have thus encountered the writer Basil Hood:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Hood

    That surely is the most Edwardian tash ever. Sad story, too.

    1. Excellent. I have photos of my family prancing about in Lionel Monckton’s ‘Country Girl.’

  5. I liked him as a commentator by and large although there were occasions where i’d have to turn down for ten mins while he ranted. His cricketing opinions by and large i thought were pretty valid especially on test cricket.

  6. Lets hope Alastair Cook is not going to say, “To be brutally honest,” in response to every question.

  7. This summer I shall be mostly missing Sir Geoffrey, if only as the passing of another (sort of) era in TMS history. I shall not be missing his frequent “I told you that were going to happen” outbursts, almost none of which I could ever recall having been told.

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