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Archives for August 2007

About Kevin Howells

Kevin Howells | 13:09 UK time, Sunday, 26 August 2007

Joined the BBC in May 1985 just at the start of BBC Radio Shropshire which I'm sure forever will be the best days of my working life. I left school at seventeen to join them having been born and bred in the county. Aside from two years working for John Cravens Newsround I spent the next 15 years having a great time at various local BBC radio stations up and down the country presenting all sorts of programmes.

I packed that in when machines started picking the same old music to be played on the radio (Dull) and I moved into sport, ending up in Radio Sport seven years ago.

Cricket became my number one interest when working at Radio Leeds after taking on the job of covering Yorkshire County cricket club. That involved spending time with a good bunch including Darren Gough, a young Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard to name a few.

Almost all ambitions achieved thanks to the job but still dream of making an appearance on the Archers one day and having my own country music show.

I still live in Leeds a great city, although home will always be Shropshire, which is one of Britain's best kept secrets

About Bill Frindall

Bill Frindall | 13:07 UK time, Sunday, 26 August 2007

Taught to score by a desperate young teacher on a rainy day at primary school, my skills were tested four days later when I was asked to deputise for an absent scorer at my local club.

My Test Match Special predecessor's demise coincided with the end of my six and a half cricket seasons in the Royal Air Force. I suggested to the BBC's Head of Outside Broadcasts that they might be one short, was interviewed within a week and eventually given the coveted job on a three match trial. Found 'not guilty' after four sessions of Test cricket, I was offered a permanent contract. That was 42 summers ago.

As a freelance I have been fortunate that TMS has proved be a splendid shop window. Commissions from newspapers, publishers and speaking agencies have flowed in nicely. I also market my own scoring books in the linear system I developed. Collectors buy copies of my score sheets of Tests and internationals, as well as the radial charts of famous innings I have been lucky enough to record. The BBC website bravely hosts my Ask Bearders blog and has yet to be sued because of my answers.

I have been extremely privileged to have worked alongside such great broadcasters as John Arlott and Brian Johnston. It has certainly been a lot more fun than a proper job.

About Jonathan Agnew

Jonathan Agnew | 13:06 UK time, Sunday, 26 August 2007

I was appointed BBC Cricket Correspondent in the spring of 1991, replacing Christopher Martin-Jenkins, having been a professional cricketer with Leicestershire for 13 years. I played - largely unsuccessfully - for England in 3 tests and 3 ODI's in 1984/85 and retired gracefully at the age of 30.

I gained my early love for radio at BBC Radio Leicester where I worked for a number of winters between cricket seasons, joining a long list of national sports broadcasters who cut their teeth at that particular radio station.
Although nothing can beat actually playing sport for a living, being in the position to commentate and report on cricket comes a good second. The amount of time spent away from home while on tours is obviously an issue, & I am very fortunate to have such a supportive and understanding wife in Emma, who also works for the BBC in the East Midlands.

The most enjoyable aspect of what I do is that every day is unpredictable and different. Being able to respond to various incidents instantly is the greatest challenge, while hopefully remembering at the same time that we are dealing with nothing more important than merely a game - albeit a great one.

About Adam Mountford

Adam Mountford | 13:05 UK time, Sunday, 26 August 2007

I am the BBC Cricket Producer responsible for producing Test Match Special and also looking after coverage on Five Live and other BBC outlets.
Getting the chance to work with some fantastic broadcasting talent and produce such a famous radio programme is a real honour and a thrill.
I took over from Peter Baxter during the summer of 2007 after he'd done the job for 34 years - I was a one year old when he first produced TMS !

Before doing this job I worked alongside Peter for five years and have been lucky enough to have toured Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, South Africa, the West Indies and Australia producing cricket coverage for the BBC. I've worked for BBC Sport since 1999 producing programmes like Five Live Sport and Sportsweek and working as the Golf producer where I was in charge of coverage of events like the Open and the Ryder Cup.

My career started in local radio as a presenter and commentator at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and Radio WM. I was fortunate to be covering the Warwickshire Cricket team in 1994 when Brian Lara became a double world record holder and the Bears won three of the four major trophies in one season.

And in case you think I have the best job in the world , remember I have to work with Geoff Boycott !

Flintoff return overshadowed under the lights

Mark Mitchener Mark Mitchener | 22:20 UK time, Tuesday, 21 August 2007

England's followers have seen so many inconsistent performances and false dawns in one-day international cricket recently that it would take a brave man to proclaim that they had turned the corner after beating India by 104 runs in the first of their seven-match series on Tuesday.

The inclusion of talisman Andrew Flintoff after ankle surgery was the pre-match talking point - but for once, he did not have to bear his country's hopes on his shoulders alone, as Alastair Cook and Ian Bell both hit centuries.

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Beaten Warne vows to bounce back

Mark Mitchener Mark Mitchener | 14:24 UK time, Sunday, 19 August 2007

Shane Warne has achieved more than most people in the history of the game, and certainly more than the majority could ever aspire to.

But even after all those years as part of the all-conquering Australian side, the legendary leg-spinner is not invulnerable - and cut a slightly forlorn figure after captaining Hampshire to a heavy defeat by Durham in the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord's - his first domestic final.

"It hurts. I think I've played in more winning Test matches than any other player, and I really hate losing," he admitted after Durham's 125-run victory in a game which was stretched into a second day by rain.

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Damp end to Durham's big day

Mark Mitchener Mark Mitchener | 18:44 UK time, Saturday, 18 August 2007

Just when it looked like Durham were on their way to their first major trophy, the ancient enemy of all cricketers intervened - rain.

Dale Benkenstein's team were clearly in the driving seat against Hampshire in the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord's, with Hants reeling at 158-5 in response to the north-easterners' 312-5 from their 50 overs, when the heavens opened.

Play was eventually called off for the day at 1844 BST on Saturday evening - and we'll all be back bright and early on Sunday for the match to continue.

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To bat, or not to bat?

Mark Mitchener Mark Mitchener | 11:23 UK time, Saturday, 18 August 2007

The Friends Provident Trophy final between Durham and Hampshire is under way at Lord's, the home of cricket.

White clothing has long been a thing of the past in one-day cricket - with some counties even sporting different coloured kit in different competitions.

So today, we have the slightly bizarre sight of both teams in yellow shirts with dark blue trim, and dark blue trousers!

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Why I've always loved Lord's

Mark Mitchener Mark Mitchener | 13:12 UK time, Thursday, 16 August 2007

Despite the undoubted success of the Twenty20 Cup, Saturday's Friends Provident Trophy final between Durham and Hampshire at Lord's arguably still represents the biggest day in the English domestic season.

For Durham in particular, their first appearance in a major showpiece final at cricket's headquarters is one of the most important landmarks since they were granted first-class status for the 1992 season.

The north-easterners are the last of the 18 first-class counties to reach such a final - but Hampshire will not need reminding that they were the 17th to so do.

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Aggers gets to grips with Gaelic football

Adam Mountford | 16:07 UK time, Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Adam MountfordIt was Anil Kumble completing his first Test century which was deservedly voted the Test Match Special Champagne moment at the Oval.

But there were many more memorable events that took place on the air over the past five days.

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About Rosalie Birch

Rosalie Birch | 10:51 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2007

One of a bevy of Sussex girls in the England cricket squad, all-rounder Rosalie Birch made her international debut in a Test against South Africa at Shenley in 2003.

Her off-spin bowling has often forced vital breakthroughs at key moments and she is a handy middle order batsman too, with a top score of 62 in Tests.

Birch is particularly strong in the one-day format, where she twice took four-wicket hauls in the 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka in November 2005.

Her best figures are 5-50, in a match at Potchefstroom in 2004.

In 2006, she featured in the BBC Sport Relief cricket tour of India, playing alongside the likes of Phil Tufnell, Chris Evans, Nick Knowles and Patrick Kielty.

In the winter months, she sometimes answers the phone at Sussex CCC, where she does occasional stints as the county’s press officer.

A host of guests at The Oval

Adam Mountford | 08:49 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2007

After the excitement of Twenty20 Finals Day at Edgbaston, the BBC Cricket team moves to The Oval to see if Michael Vaughan can avoid losing his first home Test series as captain.

Working with us will be three of the finest opening batsmen in the history of the game - Sunil Gavaskar, Geoff Boycott and Graham Gooch. Former England and Surrey batsman Graham Thorpe will be joining us to offer his Oval expertise and to put the bowler's viewpoint will be TMS stalwart Mike Selvey.

Thorpe was with us at Lord's for the first Test where several TMS listeners e-mailed to ask who was the "Australian" on the commentary team. Listen out to see if you think Thorpe has gone native since landing a job Down Under with New South Wales. Describing the action will be Jonathan Agnew alongside Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Simon Mann.

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About Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann | 17:31 UK time, Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Graeme Swann went from the international wilderness to a near certainty in England’s one-day team in the space of a month.

The confident off-spinner, born in Northampton in 1979, was picked for England’s one-day series in Sri Lanka in October 2007, nearly eight years after his only previous international cap.

He tasted instant success as part of a winning unit, and also played in the 2-0 Twenty20 series win in New Zealand in February 2008.

As well as imparting plenty of spin on the ball, he also varies his flight and speed through the air and is a dangerous lower middle-order batsman.

Swann’s move from Northants to Nottinghamshire for the start of the 2005 season coincided with the team winning the County Championship.

In his spare time he sings lead vocals for a rock band called Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations, a band which includes former England spinner Eddie Hemmings’ son Jim.

Swann’s next target is to make a Test debut.

Move over 50-over cricket

Oliver Brett | 22:17 UK time, Saturday, 4 August 2007

ob66.jpgThe sun gently slipped towards the horizon, and fans with smiles on their sunburnt faces gently swayed between others coming in the opposite direction.

With the Kent v Gloucestershire decider still to come, it was the hour of contemplation at Twenty20 finals day.

Everyone – barring perhaps the odd diehard Sussex or Lancashire fan – was having a jolly good time at England’s premier domestic cricket event.

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Lancashire fail again at finals day

Oliver Brett | 15:24 UK time, Saturday, 4 August 2007

ob66.jpgIt is often unfair to accuse any individual, or indeed any team, of choking in the world of sport.

Jimmy White could never beat Stephen Hendry in the final of the World Snooker Championship, Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia have never won one of golf's major tournaments.

Are any of those three chokers though? Or were they simply outmanoeuvred when it mattered most?

In terms of cricket, the prodigiously talented Mark Ramprakash had a poor England career, but even his under-achievements barely compare to Lancashire's failure to win trophies.

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