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Champagne moments on TMS this summer

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Adam Mountford | 14:25 UK time, Sunday, 25 September 2011

"England have won ... they are the top ranking Test nation in the world and for English supporters, hallelujah to that"

This is how TMS commentator Henry Blofeld described the moment at Edgbaston when Tim Bresnan took the winning wicket to confirm England as the official number one Test side for the first time in their history.

The beginning of England's reign as number one is perhaps the most obvious "champagne moment" of a summer which finally drew to a close at The Oval on Sunday evening.

I say summer - 2011 will also be remembered as a year where rain of a different kind often tested the patience of players, spectators and broadcasters alike.

Geoffrey Boycott is a big fan of Katy Perry

Geoff Boycott revealed he was a big Katy Perry fan Photo: AP

There has rarely been a TMS match this summer without some sort of weather interruption.

It was summed up for me when, after working on six successive one-day games either abandoned or decided by Duckworth Lewis, I left my house to play a game of cricket with my daughter last weekend only for the heavens to open just as I'd closed the front door!

The season started with Sri Lanka which proved a challenge with lots of bad weather around. But as TMS stalwarts will know, when the rain starts TMS doesn't necessarily stop. Some of this year's on-air highlights have actually come when play has not been going on.

There was certainly an eclectic mix during one long rain delay at Lord's.
Jonathan Agnew seamlessly moved from hosting a lively debate on the future of Test cricket to an interview with leading sports barrister, the Honourable Michael Beloff QC, to a chat with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal about the secret of cooking the perfect roast potato!

Blumenthal is just one of the celebrity guests we have welcomed to the TMS box this summer. Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, author Sebastian Faulks and a certain David Cameron MP made appearances on the programme.

The Prime Minister spoke to Aggers during the Oval Test match against India and revealed he had been on the phone to United States President Barack Obama that day boasting about England having the best cricket team in the world and told Jonathan that he'd just starting playing "Boycott Bingo" when he listens to TMS!

Talking of Sir Geoffrey, he has given us plenty of champagne moments on the air this summer.

During the Trent Bridge Test against India, Boycott surprised TMS listeners with his interest in an American singer.

"I like that Katy Perry. . 'Firework' - that was a good record that... She's tops for me. She just has something about her voice".

He also uttered the words we never thought we'd hear him say - "I'm sorry". Boycott chose Yorkshire Day to apologise to Aggers for being "too forceful" in his comments about the Ian Bell run-out controversy.

The sportsmanship shown by India is a firm contender for the summer's champagne moment as is another highlight from that Trent Bridge Test, Stuart Broad's hat-trick in front of his home crowd in Nottingham.

It was Blowers at the microphone for that occasion too - and he almost exploded with excitement.

Henry revealed afterwards it was the first hat-trick he'd ever commentated on in his long career.

That moment also led to some amazing e-mails from listeners who told us how they had followed the drama.

Ben Smith contacted the programme to tell us that his wife was in labour during the hat trick, but that didn't stop him tuning in.

He wrote: "When Broady got his second I couldn't bear it anymore and rushed through to the radio to hear that magic final delivery and Blowers' wonderful commentary "it's straight and true what a delivery!"

"My cheers doubled when I went back through to the bedroom to find that I had a baby boy."

Then Dave Goodman in Newbury told us he was at a wedding listening to TMS via his mobile.

"At the crucial point in the rite of marriage 'If anyone know of any impediment etc..... forward I thrust a short fist in my own world with a quiet but positive 'yes' as Broad took his hat-trick. Two or three aisles turned to look and glared at me at which point my precious phone was confiscated by my wife."

Other possible contenders for champagne moment of the summer include Samit Patel's bat falling apart at Old Trafford, Matt Prior and the windowgate controversy at Lords, Paul Nixon's magic catch on Twenty20 finals day and of course Lancashire winning that elusive county title.

But the TMS moment I have been asked most about this summer was when Aggers almost lost it in the commentary box - 20 years after the famous "leg-over" incident where he and Brian Johnston collapsed in hysterics.

Jonathan was on air with Michael Vaughan when he innocently commented on Kevin Pietersen making an adjustment to his bat.

"Pietersen needed a new bat rubber on his handle and as we know ... it's not easy to do that...You've got to roll it on, down the stick and make sure it's all in place and no floppy stuff on the end ... Michael Vaughan's beside me, it's not easy putting a rubber on, is it?".

Michael responded: "No it's not. .... Shall we move on."

Cue lots of laughter - before Aggers just about manages to say "You know what I meant!"

So what was your champagne moment?

And I'm sure they'll be plenty more this winter. TMS is back on air on 14 October for the first one-day international between India and England in Hyderabad. Coverage details of that and the rest of the winter to follow.


  • Comment number 1.

    Has been a great summer of cricket, and great to see that we're still performing well even in the random WI matches
    Champagne moment for me is actually just the second test - England's strength of character and depth to come back twice from being up against it and win so convincingly - I think that is when we confirmed as the best test team in the world (albeit not officially just yet!)

  • Comment number 2.

    Champagne (extra large) moment for me was today when Windies crushed England on home soil, packing them off for a measly 88 !!! England have not won a single 50 overs match against THE world champions this british summer (or monsoon?) anyway - I mean a match where both sides play the FULL 50 ;-), so we wait for October. Bring it on!!!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    The Champagne for Number 2 must have been corked after sitting on the sideboard for 3 months! Anyway I'll vote for the Prior/Broad partnership in the first test, just about the best I've seen England play.

  • Comment number 4.

    For me, the champagne moment has to be Broad's hat trick - all the press pack had written him off, as had a lot of England supporters. Then......BAM.....wonderful!

    Thanks for all the TMS broadcasts this year, it's been great - but 2011 isn't over and I'm looking forward to hearing TMS from India :o)

  • Comment number 5.

    @hudger... how many decades did it take for you?!! LOL!

  • Comment number 6.

    billion_plus, let it go. Time to move on

  • Comment number 7.

    For me, it has to be the triumpant return of Michael Carberry after illness. It's just a shame it didn't come a bit sooner for Hampshire.

  • Comment number 8.

    @billionplus. Really??? 9 matches to nil over the summer and it's because of a bit of rain? England were better in every area in every format. Just as India deserved to be world champs, England deserve to be no 1. Accept it my friend!

  • Comment number 9.

    At 06:40 26th Sep 2011, billion_plus wrote:

    @hudger... how many decades did it take for you?!! LOL!

    T20 world champions, not that long back.

    I'd be keeping my head down after the way tour team 'performed', (and I use that word very loosely) this summer.

  • Comment number 10.

    Be it rain,sun and light.
    God must be a cricketer to give a wonderful cricketing year.
    To make sure there were no refunds and filled the coffers of the ECB for the newer generation to discover this wonderful game.

  • Comment number 11.

    For me, the Flat Asti moment goes to Aggers for doubting, ahead of the series, that a four-man English attack could take 20 Indian wickets. Doh!

  • Comment number 12.

    No mention of the moment Sir Geoffrey was informed of his anagram, "Grotty coffee boy"? TMS comedy gold!

  • Comment number 13.

    @billion_plus - do yourself a favour mate, the windies winning a pointless T20 match against a weakened England side goes to show how utterly awful it's been for your lot this summer and how slim the pickings have been for India!

    Champagne moment is just Tim Bresnan - that is all...

  • Comment number 14.

    Anything but the Vaughan / Aggers giggles. We've had that piece of "legover" juvenilia repeated endlessly over the last 25 years and now this. What is it with the TMS crowd ? - they seem to have the sense of humour of the average 13 schoolboy...spare us and get on with the Cricket.

  • Comment number 15.

    Mathna, you sound like a hoot. The Vaughan/Aggers moment was priceless - there wasn't actually any cricket being played at the time, so far better than them sitting in silence while nothing much was happening. There's nothing wrong with a bit of purility from time to time, and a large part of TMS's appeal is that it conveys a sense of being with friends and being a part of whatever discussion happens to be taking place. Lighten up man!

  • Comment number 16.

    All worthy contenders no doubt, but the champagne moment for me came when one of the team (and I forget who) suggested that Jade Dernbach could be a future test player. The last time I laughed so much was back in the 70s when Dennis Amiss, having had enough of Sir Geoffrey's calling, called him for a quick single and then stayed rooted in his crease.

  • Comment number 17.

    Champagne moment? - Being able to listen to TMS.
    Vinegar moment? When it won't be available to listeners in Europe, come October.

  • Comment number 18.

    @yorkiebarkid1985 - "against a weakened England side"... and India were full strength? when we say that then those are "excuses", but for you its a "reason".. talk about double standards.... nothing new there! :-)

    @Andyboo - "England deserve to be no 1"... er... no they are not #1... they are just "#1 Test team"... the rankings change all the time, the World cup stays in the cabinet and history books.. how many times did England win the World Cup? yep... "ZERO"... go and weep now :-))

  • Comment number 19.

    @billion_plus - well we were T20 champions, or is it only fifty overs that count. Any test playing nation can win a limited overs match on it's day so in my opinion getting to the number one ranking for a length of time in the full format is more of a testament to a team.

    As for your "weakened" argument- I seem to recall your vaunted batting lineup misfiring a bit, and if you've only got one decent bowler then you really are introuble. As @yorkiebarkid1985 said it's a bit sad if the best bit of the summer involved two teams you don't even support.

    By the way we won the world cup in 1966. In the record books but IN THE PAST

    By the way we won the world cup

  • Comment number 20.

    Maybe it's a different priority for England and India in terms of format. An Ashes win will always be first choice for England fans, ahead of winning a 50 over world cup.
    People tend to remember great test teams for longer than 50 over world cup winners , eg Bradman's 48 team, West Indies 80s, or Steve Waugh's Australia.

  • Comment number 21.

    Its been a great summer of coverage on TMS, well done to Adam, Aggers and all the commentary team. I really enjoyed the highlights clips that were played in the interval yesterday.

    For me my top 2 Champagne moments of the summer were Blowers hat-trick and the bat snapping in the India Twenty20 match, I've loved Michael Vaughan's reaction.

    Geoffrey's anagram and apology were classics as well.

    It was nice to hear Alastair Bruce-Ball and Russell J Fuller involved in the Twenty20's at the end of the season.

    They mentioned that Ed Smith would be part of the one-tour tour to India coverage, any other news of the winter commentary teams Adam?

  • Comment number 22.

    Champagne moment is england losing to west indies in a t-20 game. How low can you fall?

  • Comment number 23.

    The Broad Hat-Trick - if there has to be a moment that summed up just how ruthless England have been this summer it is that moment. I really believe that Broad is a class act and demonstrates a passion and pomp of a fast bowler that we rarely see from an England player, who clearly has the talent to back it up. Nothing wrong with the ocassional spit and venom he tosses up at the opposition either - makes for dramatic cricket.

    @saipan11 above - get some perspective. At the end of a season that has seen our first XI destroy India (and Sri Lanka) in all formats of the game, I think a defeat in a largely insignificant match featuring a junior side that was verging on a lions team, is hardly worth mentioning and reeks of sour grapes.

  • Comment number 24.

    Even Somerset are giving the Indians the run-around in their own back yard. Did India even win any tour games? 1 maybe 2! Awful, awful tour. Put it down to luck if you want, but at least the result can't be any worse next time India visit here. Only equally as bad

  • Comment number 25.

    Has to be the moment England became the No. 1 Test side never thought it would happen in my youth.

    Kapnag remember Somerset have only played the 4th ranked Indian side who shouldn't even be there in my opinion. We'll see how we do against Bangalore (their runners-up) before we unfurl the fun. Somerset did give the India side a good kicking in the tour match though and it's only thanks to us letting Strauss bat twice that we didn't have a chance of winning. I'm still sitting in utter shock to CLT20 commentators though do any of them follow county cricket at all? "Somerset do well in a one day competition what a shock! They've only made it to 5 finals in the past three years."

    I don't use a weakened England side as an excuse a down and out WIndies side produced some decent balls and some exceptional fielding to get under the skin of an England side to cause a collapse. Very good job they did in causing England to do that, rather a shame India never could produce that kind of performance in the field.

  • Comment number 26.

    It was certainly a joy to see England go top in the world, especially as the cricket team is the only national team I support! However, after 77 years and much heartbreak, bad Manc weather and getting pipped-at-the-post, Lancs victory in the Championship, after a truly amazing season full of nail-biting finales, rounding off ding-dong battles, has to be THE champagne moment. I only missed Hove and the Rose Bowl, despite not working and managed this by hook, or by crook as well as the kindness of fellow supporters who gave me lifts. The scenes at the County Ground and the amount of Lancs fans there (despite the fact that Warks looked well in the driving seat at Southampton-where were their fans, by the way?) was testament to how much it meant. They say we've no stars, no household names, but to us, they're ALL stars and after being at the soul-destroying spectacle at the Oval, when we failed at the very last hurdle, despite a fantastic effort, this means all the more to both the team and us, the loyal supporters of this great County. What a way for Chili to bow out. You can dry those Oval tears now mate!

  • Comment number 27.

    @17, FleetJackHobbs.

    Sorry to be nuisance. I'm assuming you live in Europe outside the UK.

    Do you know if there will be any means of following TMS after Oct? If so could you advise. Live in France, middle of nowhere. My choice but miss cricket (and Marmite).

    Occasionally I get to see Cricket on Sky in my 'local' cafe.

    Any suggestions much appreciated.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just for @billion_plus mine is Sachin NOT getting his hundreth international 100. It meant people like you were not able to go onto every cricket related article and pollute it with comments like 'Sachin is God.' Even when you have been smashed off this face of the planet this summer you still can't say fair play England are actually a decent side at the moment. You say bring on October, I say bring on in 2 years time when Sachin, Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer Khan are too old!


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