BBC BLOGS - Adam Mountford

Archives for January 2012

Number One ranking at stake in Dubai

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Adam Mountford | 16:12 UK time, Monday, 30 January 2012

"Welcome to what I've had to put up with for most of the last 20 years."

These are the words with which Jonathan Agnew greeted me when I joined him for a drink on Saturday night.

Although Aggers was clearly speaking more than a little tongue in cheek, the nature of England's capitulation in Abu Dhabi did bring back some horrible memories of infamous England collapses.

Trinidad in 1994 when Ambrose and Walsh skittled England out for 46, The Gabba in 2002 where England were bowled out by McGrath and co for 79 or, more recently, Jamaica 2009 when Jerome Taylor blew away England for 51, all spring to mind.

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A cool reception for England in Abu Dhabi

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Adam Mountford | 19:57 UK time, Sunday, 22 January 2012

England fans attending the second Test at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi are being asked to "keep their shirts on".

But if the weather continues to be as chilly as when we arrived here today, they will not need to be told.

The warning comes from the Chief Executive of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, Dilawar Mani, who I met in his office next to the ground.

Mani is a very impressive character. Originally from Rawalpindi in Pakistan he has lived here for over 30 years and has real enthusiasm and clearly a great passion for his job. But even he had to admit that supporters arriving in Abu Dhabi for the Test may be surprised by the relatively cool temperatures.

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Test Match Special suffers along with England in Dubai

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Adam Mountford | 17:27 UK time, Thursday, 19 January 2012

Thursday 19 January will not go down as a great day for the England cricket team - and it wasn't the easiest in the Test Match Special commentary box.

While England's batsman were struggling against the skills of Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal, we were battling to stay on the air.

The TMS team are not always known for our technical prowess - it is true that Christopher Martin-Jenkins once tried to make a phone call with a television remote control - but on this day the programme was forced to be at the cutting edge of technology.

As regular readers of my blog will know, producing Test Match Special overseas can provide some very difficult technical challenges - but actually here in Dubai it had been fairly straightforward.

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England get to work... at construction site

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Adam Mountford | 10:33 UK time, Friday, 13 January 2012

Well Henry Blofeld may struggle to find many buses to talk about in Dubai, but he'll have no shortage of cranes to describe when the first Test gets under way here on Tuesday.

This is my first visit to the most populated of the United Arab Emirates - and my first impressions are of a city dominated by imposing skyscrapers, but more recently by unfinished construction work.

England will play their first ever Test on neutral soil in an area known as Dubai Sports City, a £4bn development on the outskirts of the city.

The cricket stadium, nicknamed "The ring of fire", is an impressive 25,000-seater arena with state of the art facilities for players, spectators and the media.

The name derives from the innovative lighting system installed into the rim of the roof which we'll see in action when the day/night one day matches begin at the end of the test series. The posters advertising the games use the tagline "Temperatures are rising at the ring of fire".

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