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It's NOT cricket, or is it? - Today's Close Call

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Julian Worricker Julian Worricker | 11:38 AM, Tuesday, 31 August 2010

cricketball.jpgWe came close to asking you what the topic should be for today's 'Call You & Yours'. We found ourselves on the horns of a dilemma because of the events of the last forty-eight hours in the world of cricket. Should we put 'on hold' our plan to debate the apparent shortcomings that exist in this country when it comes to learning foreign languages, and discuss fair play in sport instead?

After all, Radio 4 LW is the home of 'Test Match Special' so it's fair to assume a significant proportion of our listeners are cricket enthusiasts and it was also possible to take the debate beyond cricket by citing the recent 'bloodgate' affair in rugby union. But we didn't, and here's why.

In our minds a successful 'Call You & Yours' is as much about experience on the part of the callers as it is about opinion. We can all think of phone-in programmes where the listening experience is made up of a series of incredulous glances towards the radio and cries of "yes, but how do you know?". I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those programmes, but we're after a little more light and a little less heat.

So against that backdrop our fear was that a cricket-related phone-in would provoke frustration and outrage, certainly, but not quite so much insight. And if people did come on the air volunteering an experience of being encouraged to cheat at sport, we were clearly venturing into difficult legal territory if any names were mentioned. "I remember Mr Jones at our sports club promising us a fiver if we conceded a last minute equaliser" would be an interesting addition to the debate, but I don't suppose it would go down very well with Mr Jones. Especially if he didn't do it. In which case it wouldn't go down very well with the BBC lawyers either.

So we stuck with our original plan, a plan which was generating a lot of correspondence the moment Peter mentioned it on last Friday's programme. By all means tell us if you think we made the right decision. And who knows...maybe we'll put it to the vote in the future.

Julian Worricker presents You and Yours on BBC Radio 4

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