Sport on TV: Meltdown as the long, hard road of summer unwinds

 

This has been such a busy few days of sport that they are all starting to melt into one another, and the heatwave is not helping the levels of concentration.

For the Lord’s Test, Sky Sports have introduced a camera in the Long Room for the first time and we can watch the batsmen come and go past a throng of corpulent, puce-faced chaps.

As the hallucination takes hold, the helmeted cricketers turn into the cyclists in the Tour de France, straining their way up Alpe d’Huez as the fans pat them on the bottom and run alongside with clenched fists and contorted faces.

One too many glasses of burgundy over lunch at Lord’s and anything is possible, but at least the members are not wearing ill-fitting superhero outfits like the roadside freaks in France. Memo to the MCC marketing men: why not try a line of lycra outfits, complete with mask and cape, in the club’s traditional rhubarb and custard hues?

It’s a good job Colin Montgomerie is not taking part in the Tour: not only might his aerodynamic outfit be under too much strain, but he would get seriously tetchy with the attentions of the fancy dress supporters. A few Frenchmen might find themselves falling off the side of a mountain. Then we’d see if they could really fly.

It is also fortunate that the Queen didn’t rock up at Muirfield to meet the players at The Open, as she did at Lord’s on Thursday. She might have found herself sitting in the car park as the members of the all-male institution bickered over the rulebook and a few brandies.

Until women were admitted to MCC in 1999, the Queen was the only one apart from the cleaners who was allowed in the pavilion at Lord’s. She didn’t look too bothered to be there. Perhaps it has lost something without the exclusivity.

It can’t have been because the cricket was boring. As the match began in the same kind of febrile, frantic atmosphere as the Trent Bridge Test, the monarch was already shifting in her seat and she was gone long before lunchtime. Perhaps she had other things to do. Even the sight of Shane Watson taking a wicket wasn’t enough to divert her attention.

Steve Waugh looked unbearably smug as he rang the bell for the start of play. How many times have we had to endure that expression down the years? It’s worse than the gargoyles on the walls of the pavilion. For one awful moment it seemed he was about to stride out on to the turf. It was enough to break out into a cold sweat – to go on top of the hot one.

Another of the great Australians, Shane Warne, was back in the Sky Sports commentary box, and Mike Atherton informed us that he is the only player ever to have strolled past a portrait of himself in the Long Room – all the others had retired or died by the time their likeness was hung up.

The players’ pictures that are superimposed on buildings in Sky’s opening credits include one of Warne splashed across the doors of the Durham School boathouse but the image they chose showed the blond cherub at his chubbiest. One can only assume that the painting in the Long Room is rather more flattering or else he might have stuck his bat through it.

At Muirfield one of the players managed to hit the ball straight into the camera lens. “Well that’s a first,” said Peter Alliss, who has been commentating since before cameras were invented, so he would know. “Poor old cameraman, that’s gone right though his Bolex,” he added. It sounded very painful.

The shattered image was about right for us weary, bleary-eyed viewers, who need so many TV screens to keep up with the action that we may have to break into Nasa’s offices at Cape Canaveral to watch it all at once. Now that would be privileged access.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate