Cricket commentary

For those unfamiliar with the finest sport in the world, there’s a fine old tradition when it comes to commentating on cricket. Engendered in part by the game’s civilised pace (some might say ‘glacial,’ but they’re heathens), it’s considered quite normal, even de rigeur, to discuss matters other than the cricket itself.

Those brought up on television coverage tend not to understand this – which might be the cause of Suw’s regrettable and I trust temporary confusion – but those introduced to Test Match Special at an early age cope just fine. We grasp the importance of, say, discussing the relative merits of chocolate cakes sent in by listeners.

TMS is available via the BBC’s live RealPlayer stream, of course (my favourite means of listening: this Dashboard widget, or maybe this one or this one). But at times – say when frantically writing scripts over a weekend – spoken commentary is too intrusive. Happily, there are several live ball-by-ball or over-by-over web feeds available, including reports from the venerable and magnificent CricInfo.

My favourite, however, is the Guardian’s coverage. Their scorecard is cleaner than the BBC’s, and the over-by-over commentary incorporating emails from readers is often downright hilarious. Right now they’re discussing what’s on the reporter’s iPod, Abu Dhabi, and trying to remember what the capital of Borneo is called.

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