I’ve loved cricket since I was about 9 years old. I haven’t played for a long time, and I increasingly find it difficult to find the time to watch very much, but, pretty much since I was 9, or perhaps a bit later, a continuing companion to my life has been Test Match Special. I remember having a secret earpiece in, listening in Chemistry lessons at school, having a little tranny with me everywhere I went, listening to the distant and crackly coverage from India while lying sick in bed, and buying my first DAB radio specifically to get the cricket commentaries in “crystal clear” sound without interruption by the shipping forecast.
But, I was reminded, during a prolonged rain break at the Lord’s Test yesterday, that perhaps the best bit of Test Match Special is when there is no play. I have been fascinated over the years by the conversations that go on in the commentary box when there is nothing happening on the field, and my appreciation of the game has been deepened and enhanced as a result.
That got me thinking. Is there any other field where knowledgeable people, some of whom have played the game at the highest level, just get together and ramble about their subject for hours on end, with an audience listening in?
And then my thoughts ranged further. Could we create a Social Media Test Match Special? Would anyone be up for sitting around near a microphone, rambling about the use of social media for public good? And would anyone listen?