Saturday, August 06, 2005

Why Oh Sky?

I've been watching the cricket most of the past few days. The Test itself has been hugely exciting - runs scored quickly, wickets falling regularly, and a great atmosphere from the Edgbaston crowd. If Test cricket were like this every game football would soon have a run for its money, I'm sure.

What I realised, though, was how much I'm going to miss Channel 4's coverage when the Test rights go to Sky next summer. It is a quality production from top to bottom. Take the production in the tea break today - an in-depth analysis of how field placings affect the outcome of a match; how cutting off boundaries can add to pressure as much as packing a slip cordon.

The same goes for the commentary. Every single commentator in the team is superb. Michael Slater and Geoff Boycott are probably the worst in the box, yet are better than anyone in the Sky team. Analysis is usually spot-on, and most of the time the commentators add to your understanding of the match - the reverse is the case on Sky.

Quite apart from the disastrous effect that taking cricket off terrestrial TV will have for the game, Sky's coverage will ruin the fun for the cricket-lover, too.