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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
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

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm - London

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project