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TMS team heads for the sun

Adam Mountford | 12:53 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

When Test Match Special was last broadcast just before Christmas, I doubt many of us thought England's series against the West Indies just over a month later would see a new captain leading the side and no full-time coach to help behind the scenes.

It's funny how the wheel of cricketing fortune turns. Just three months ago, the new England captain Andrew Strauss was sitting with us in the BBC commentary box in Antigua working on our coverage of the Stanford Super Series.

During the Twenty20 for $20m game in which England were humiliated by the Stanford Superstars, I remember Strauss telling us he was glad not to be in Kevin Pietersen's shoes that night. Well now he is!

Jonathan Agnew will, of course, be 'skippering' our team in the Caribbean and he'll be joined by the voice of West Indies Cricket, Tony Cozier, and the newly honoured Christopher Martin-Jenkins MBE.

Well I say CMJ will be part of our team....regular listeners to TMS will know that he is not always renowned for being on time and as he is due to arrive in Jamaica by boat, we are not sure exactly when Christopher will be joining us, so Arlo White, who is covering the tour for Five Live, will also be commentating on the first Test as we await CMJ's arrival.

Providing expert analysis throughout the series will be Geoff Boycott, Vic Marks and Sir Viv Richards. Viv is, of course, a legend throughout the Caribbean, but is especially revered in his home island of Antigua where the stadium which will stage the second Test is named after him.

Aggers and Sir Viv Richards

Viv will also be part of the TMS team for the one-day series, starting in Trinidad on 15 March. He'll be joined by another West Indies great, Colin Croft, alongside Simon Mann, Simon Hughes and Tony Cozier.

Our coverage of the tour gets underway at 1415 next Wednesday with ball-by-ball commentary on the first Test from Sabina Park.

As well as all the action, we'll also have plenty of other things to enjoy during the Test series. Peter Moores will be talking to Jonathan Agnew in his first interview since leaving his job as England coach.

We will also be discussing the relationship between a coach and captain in modern international teams - and as always you can join the debate either by e-mailing the programme , texting us on 84040 or posting your thoughts on this blog.

Michael Vaughan will be giving us his take on the Pietersen/Moores controversy as well as updating us on his own situation as he starts pre-season with Yorkshire and the man who replaced Moores as Sussex coach, Mark Robinson, will be giving us his thoughts on what happened with his predecessor as well as telling us the latest on changing times at Hove.

We'll also hear from two of England's batting stars from the 3-0 Test victory in the Caribbean four years ago, Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe, who are now working with former Sussex captain Chris Adams to revive the fortunes of Surrey.

With the series getting under way in Jamaica, we'll be tracing the cricketing roots of the island's current sporting super star double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt, who lists West Indies captain Chris Gayle as one of his heroes and played cricket as a youngster before realising his real sporting talents rested elsewhere.

The series will be England's first with the umpire referral system in place and we'll be debating the future of TV technology helping to make decisions and we'll also hear from the man who after working as a FIFA football referee is now becoming a first-class cricket umpire, Martin Bodenham.

So, there's lots to look forward to in our coverage of what promises to be a fascinating series plus regular blogs, text commentary and Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's now legendary Test Match Special Podcast. All the details at

Away from the Caribbean, we'll also be live in Goa on 6 February to see which England players were signed in the second Indian Premier League auction and have coverage of the ECB chairman election with news expected between the first and second Tests.

Finally, it's going to be a huge year for the England women's team, with the World Cup, World Twenty20 and Ashes to look forward to.

We'll be live in Loughborough at the team's final training session before they depart for Australia to begin their World Cup campaign and there'll be a special feature on England all-rounder Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent, who is now attracting attention for more than just her name.


  • Comment number 1.

    Can't you get Tuffers out there?

  • Comment number 2.

    Phil Tufnell may well be in the West Indies for a couple of tests with a tour group so I'm sure he'll be on TMS a little bit during the series. What I can confirm for all Tuffers fans is that Phil will be a key part of the Test Match Special team again this siummer.

  • Comment number 3.

    Again, I'll ask... please is there any way of giving us a repeat listen to interviews on TMS via podcast??

    ABC in Australia do separate podcasts, one for end of play, and another with interviews.

  • Comment number 4.

    There are parallels for the Peter Moores coaching in terms of international cricket and club cricket. As one of many qualified ECBCA club coaches in the UK. I teach youngsters the basics and impart my experience of match situations but once they're on the field of play it is up to them to perform.

    If I was to attempt to coach our 1XI it would not be long before I was told where to go as I could not command their respect in this field whatever my qualification.

    PM was a highly qualified coach but had no experience on the field in international cricket. There is a ever widening gap between our county game and international cricket so there is no room for cricketing 'theory' from the players view point - he could never have gained their total respect and the ECB missed this key point in his appointed.

    Even Duncan Fletcher was honest enough to see when things had moved on and he had given all he could.

    In summary any new England coach needs to be close or experienced in the current international game and know the limits of their role because when the captain and players set foot on the field (junior player aged 11 or international player 30+) it is down to them.

  • Comment number 5.

    Can you get that great West Indian lady Donna Simonds, who used to commentate, she was knowledgeable and also it makes a great change from some of these newer UK TMS commentators who don't know when to be quiet. ( I think she was a lawyer? )

  • Comment number 6.

    Can you confirm whether or not Blowers will be used more than last season? It seems that he is being used less and less, and this seems a great shame, as he is a national institution.

    Great to hear about CMJ back on air, and Simon Mann in the ODIs. Can i ask, Adam if there are going to be any new commentators or analysts for the next season (with the 2020 world cup, as well as the Ashes).

    Finally, as there seems to be a few English players heading out to the IPL, are there any plans for TMS to broadcast games that feature English players?

  • Comment number 7.

    "Michael Vaughan will be giving us his take"

    Is this a typing error? Should it be "cake"?

  • Comment number 8.

    Just seen the news about Bill. Thoughts to all those who knew him. I hope this series proves to be a statisticians dream in honour.


  • Comment number 9.

    I'd just like to add my commiserations about Mr Frindall.

    Very sad, won't quite be the same without him.

  • Comment number 10.

    Very sad news about Bill Frindall and thoughts to all his close family - broadcasting legend, irreplaceable.

  • Comment number 11.

    Bill leaves us with great memories of the legend he was.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well done to the bearded one, a very good innnings.

  • Comment number 13.

    Just heard the news about Bill Frindall. A truly sad day for cricket.

    As a fourteen year old in 1985 I went to see England v Australia at Edgbaston. It was my first day at a test match, and I spent it scoring ball-by-ball as if I was Bill.

    I even used one of those fancy score sheets he used that I had carefully made after seeing copies somewhere (probably in one of his books)!

    It was a brilliant day - Gatting 100 off 129 balls, Botham hit first and third balls for six off McDermott, and then Ellison took four wickets to reduce Australia to 39-5 at close of play.

    A brilliant day - but I would never have remembered those kind of details over 20 years later without Bill!

    A true legend.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sad news about Bill.

    My condolences to his friends and family.

  • Comment number 15.

    The "Last Great Scorer" has come and gone. He will be sadly missed.

  • Comment number 16.

    Condolences to his friends and family.

    Cricket has a large hole to fill.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thanks for the kind comments about Bill. Feel free to continue to dicsuss him here. In addition, we have started a tributes blog entry here.


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