How the batsman's rod caused Martin-Jenkins to split his sides

The veteran cricket commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins "corpsed" live on air yesterday after he referred to a batsman's "rod" on Radio 4's
Test Match Special (TMS).

The man known throughout the cricketing world as CMJ collapsed in laughter during the 52nd over of New Zealand's first innings in the first Test match of the summer at Lord's. The New Zealand captain, Daniel Vettori, was facing the England seam bowler Stuart Broad as Martin-Jenkins leant into his microphone.

"Broad's in, he bowls, this time Vettori lets it go outside the off stump. Good length, inviting him to fish but Vettori stays on the bank and keeps his ... rod down, so to speak".

As he finished his sentence, chuckles could be heard in the TMS commentary box. Martin-Jenkins caught the bug, dissolved into a fit of giggles and only just managed to squeeze out the words "I don't know if he's a ... fisherman, is he?" before laughing uncontrollably for 10 seconds.

Struggling to regain his composure, Martin-Jenkins turned to his TMS colleague Jeremy Coney, the former New Zealand captain, for help, asking him "Is he Jeremy? I look to you ... for advice on these matters".

Coney's response did little to restore order to the usually tranquil TMS box. "I'm not sure about fisherman's rods either. Do they have those ... those extension ones, or are they just naturally long?"

The on-air hilarity drew comparisons with a famous TMS moment in 1991 involving the late Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew. On that occasion, Agnew's reference to Ian Botham, who "just couldn't quite get his leg over" led to a minute of uncontrollable giggles, as Johnston demanded of his colleague "Aggers, for goodness sake, stop it!"

The usually composed Martin-Jenkins, who was appointed BBC cricket correspondent in 1973 and edited The Cricketer before moving on to The Daily Telegraph in 1990, wrote his last column as The Times's chief cricket correspondent earlier this year after a decade at the paper. He continues to serve as a regular member of the TMS team.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried