Stephen Brenkley: Bizarre muzzling of commentators only serves to raise their stock - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Stephen Brenkley: Bizarre muzzling of commentators only serves to raise their stock

On The Front Foot: Sky's merry band of pundits were denied the chance to describe the action from the first one-day international

Being a commentator who is prevented from commentating is like being a player who is not in the team. Sometimes your stock can rise without your lifting a finger, purely because of the failings of others. Thus, as Ian Bell was, somewhat oddly, left out of England's side on Friday night, his colleagues contrived to be dismissed for 174 and Bell was left looking more of a batting genius than he already is. Not his fault, guv.

Similarly, Sky's merry band of pundits were denied (by who knows what or whom is still unclear) the chance to describe the action from the first one-day international in Hyderabad. For the first three overs of the match there were no pictures anywhere, after which there were pictures everywhere but, in the United Kingdom, no familiar voices. Sir Ian Botham, David Lloyd, Paul Allott and Nick Knight were all silenced. BSkyB, kings of UK television cricket, were as astonished as they were mystified by the muzzling.

All manner of reasons were being suggested for the refusal of the Indian authorities to let the coverage proceed as planned – the favourite (if probably wrong) being that Indian officials were unhappy about some of their commentators being prevented from commentating in England last summer because of the lack of the required work permits and were operating a tit-for-tat policy. Either way, Sky were left with the Indian host-broadcaster voices, which included Dermot Reeve and Matthew Hoggard. Lloyd et al were much missed and looking like broadcasting gods.

Fitting send-off for Ashes hero

A memorial service will be held for Graham Dilley on 9 November in Worcester Cathedral. Dilley, one of England's fastest bowlers, died earlier this month at the age of 52 after a short illness. He was singled out early for greatness, the youngest England player for 30 years when he was first picked in 1979, though he never quite realised the depth of his talent. Although he played 41 Test matches and appeared in two Ashes-winning series, he was on the winning side in only two matches – at Headingley in 1981 and at Brisbane in 1986. It was a pleasure to have known him.



Snow still going strong at 70

Belated birthday hosannas to another truly great England fast bowler. John Snow was 70 last Thursday, is as fit, patricianly handsome and no doubt as contrary as ever. Snow played a key role in one of the greatest of all Ashes triumphs in 1970-71 (not to mention his part in the victory in the West Indies in 1967-68). His 31 wickets in the Ashes victory did not prevent him being fined his tour fee. As he recalled: "After a while we just ignored the tour management for the good of the team and Ray Illingworth, the captain, called the shots." Notthat it's needed, but it is difficult to imagine such mutiny happening now.



Pros and cons of Eurosport

Perhaps BSkyB are not too fussed, what with all their other concerns. But perhaps, too, it is good news for the British cricket follower that Eurosport have snaffled another series. They will show the matches between Pakistan, England's next opponents in the new year, and Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates. But perhaps not. The shortcoming once more is that there will be no Lloyd and Co and precious little insight provided. As Nasser Hussain, one of England's two best captains of the past 30 years, used to say: "You're always a better player when you're not in the team."



s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week