This is cricket’s big party day of the summer. Can the opinionated voices behind the mic handle the pressure at the crease? It promises to be a lot of fun as we say happy birthday to the much loved radio institution that is Test Match Special. Jonathan Wall, Controller of BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra
Date: 26.07.2017 Last updated: 09.08.2017 at 13.35
Cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew and legendary batsman Geoffrey Boycott are to lead a star-studded cricket match in Leeds to mark Test Match Special’s 60th birthday.
Taking place on Thursday 24 August, TMS 60 - Test Match Special Anniversary Match is open to the public and will feature ex-England players Michael Vaughan and Phil ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell, along with cricket-loving celebrities such as Greg James of Radio 1, BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty and Harry Judd from McFly.
BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra’s much-loved cricket show TMS is 60 this year, and audiences are invited to enter a ballot to attend the birthday match at Sports Park Weetwood, part of the University of Leeds.
Going head-to-head in a Twenty20 match, two teams will be made up of TMS commentators past and present, former England cricket stars and cricket-loving celebrities.
Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) and Geoffrey Boycott will be coaches alongside captains Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan, who have their own show on BBC Radio 5 live - The Tuffers And Vaughan Cricket Show.
Celebrities taking to the crease will include Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, athlete Yohan Blake and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, plus comedians Dom Joly and Andy Parsons.
England cricket stars taking part include Graeme Swann, Simon Hughes, Ebony Rainford Brent, Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Ed Smith and Isa Guha, while TMS commentators hoping to hit a six include Simon Mann, Alison Mitchell, Charles Dagnall and Fazeer Mohammed.
Umpires on the day will include TMS favourites and former internationals Vic Marks and James Taylor, plus Geoff Boycott has promised to don the white jacket in between his coaching duties.
Controller of BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra, Jonathan Wall says: “This is cricket’s big party day of the summer. Can the opinionated voices behind the mic handle the pressure at the crease? It promises to be a lot of fun as we say happy birthday to the much loved radio institution that is Test Match Special.”
The ticket ballot is now open. Entries must be received by Tuesday 1 August. There will be a random draw with 40% of the tickets being allocated to Leeds and Bradford postcodes, 30% to Yorkshire postcodes and 30% to the rest of the UK. Tickets will be sent to winners from Wednesday 2 August.
For those unable to attend, TMS 60 - Test Match Special Anniversary Match will be televised on the BBC Red Button as well as BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra.
When: Thursday 24 August, 4.30-7.30pm
Where: Sports Park Weetwood at the University of Leeds
BBC Coverage: Live TMS commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, live visuals on Red Button TV, BBC Radio 5 live inserts throughout the day.
Team leaders: Jonathan Agnew (Coach and Commentator on TMS), Geoffrey Boycott (Coach and Commentator on TMS), Michael Vaughan (Captain), Phil Tufnell (Captain).
About Sports Park Weetwood
The University of Leeds sports park at Weetwood hosts one of the six cricketing centres of excellence supported by the MCC.
Known as the Leeds-Bradford MCC, it offers highly talented undergraduates a chance to get a degree and to benefit from elite cricket coaching - to nurture students to go on and play 1st class county cricket and ultimately for England.
Alumni include the fast bowler Harry Gurney - Nottingham and England; Steve Patterson, a stalwart of Yorkshire and a member of the championship sides of 2014 and 2015; and Kate Cross - Lancashire women and England.
Suzanne Glavin, the University’s head of sport and physical activity, says: “It is fitting that Weetwood has been chosen to host the match - not only is it a chance to celebrate a radio programme that has captured the triumphs and heartbreak of English cricket over the last 60 years but the pitch that they will be playing on is being used to develop the future talent of English cricket.”