BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew believes the corporation needs to find new ways to groom future cricket commentators, to ensure a seamless supply of voices for Radio Four’s iconic Test Match Special .
Interviewed on the Wisden Cricketer website www.thewisdencricketer.com Agnew says: “The problem is now that there is nowhere for people to learn how to commentate. I think I commentated on two games before I commentated on a Test match. Now there is nowhere, even a lot of the local radio stations are not commentating on cricket. Quite how people are going to learn I don’t know.
“We have got to find some way of getting more radio commentary done, whether it is broadcast or not. The BBC has to be on the ball if it is going to have succession planning, and keep looking after cricket commentary in the future. Otherwise it’s going to be a real problem, when the next wave of CMJ, and me and Blowers go shuffling off, our replacements are going to have had no training at all.”
In a candid interview Agnew also reveals how difficult it will be for him and the TMS team to cope with the loss of longstanding scorer Bill Frindall. “He will be missed in so many ways. He wasn’t just a great scorer, he was one of our team, one member of our little soap opera.
“I loved working with him. I don’t think it will hit me until the first day of the Lord’s Test in the summer, when we turn up for a home Test match and he’s not there. Whoever does do it, it’s a very difficult job. You can’t copy him, or take his place – you have to take things off in a very different direction.”