Sport on TV: Tall order for Broad beanpole to be a celebratory celebrity

There was no open-top bus ride though Trafalgar Square, no vomiting in the gardens of No 10 this time. Winning the Ashes was celebrated in a more muted fashion. But then Stuart Broad was invited on to the new series of Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (BBC1, Friday) and was greeted by the "Four Poofs and a Piano" wearing T-shirts bearing his cherubic features. Well not the piano, but still, what greater accolade could there be?

Fortunately, Ross doesn't know enough about cricket to bring up the dreaded question "Are you the new Flintoff?" – in the way that Freddie lived with the burden of being the next, long-awaited Ian Botham. For someone as lofty as six foot six, Broad seems to be keeping himself nicely grounded – even when the South Africans kept calling him "Baywatch" last summer because he looked like Pamela Anderson. He may feel a little fearful of this winter's tour of South Africa. It gets lonely up there on the high veld.

The 23-year-old appeared painfully shy to start with – he looked about 12 – and he is not likely to develop the cult of celebrity in quite the way that Flintoff did, even though he could well out-perform him in cricketing terms. But at least he can say that he had an all-star net with Ross, Jamie Oliver, Ricky Gervais – decked out in pink helmet and pads and squealing like a girl – and, even more improbably, Mika.

Cricket doesn't really need celebrities. It already has personalities in abundance, unlike many other sports, not least because the game is played in the mind – and there is plenty of time for thinking.

What cricket really needs is popularity, to build busily on the success of the Ashes campaign. Which is why it was so ghastly to see the second Twenty20 International against Australia (Sky Sports 1, Tuesday) abandoned without a ball bowled at Old Trafford because of a couple of yards of rather muddy turf.

The Twenty20 format is supposed to be the "people's game", as Nick Knight kept saying, but 19,000 spectators – many of whom would have been attending their first-ever cricket match – stood around in utter bemusement in the evening sunshine.

Such was the sense of outrage building up in the stands and the studio, there was a level of excitement as palpable as anything that the game could have produced. Thousands of emails "flooded in" but according to the Sky anchorman, Ian Ward, they were flooding into the room next door and so he couldn't read them out. Everyone seem to be paralysed.

Surely they could have laid on some kind of entertainment for all those who had forked out £50. England's fast bowlers sending down a few bouncers at a selection of heavily padded celebrities might have been just the ticket. Pamela Anderson could have delivered a couple of bouncers of her own.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
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: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Report Writer / Reporting Analyst

£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager / Account Executive

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own