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Crisp, clear, fun: TalkSport’s opening cricket stint avoids apocalypse | Barney Ronay


Roguish interloper who stole radio rights to England’s winter tours bowls tidy opening over for listeners fearing loss of TMS

The barbarians are at the gates. The lunatics are on the grass. Ten kilo bags of mixed gravel aggregate are two‑for‑one at your local Bumcrack Warrior Warehouse. And most alarming of all, starting with Wednesday’s rain‑ravaged first one‑day international in Dambulla, the cricket is now on commercial radio.

When the news broke in April that TalkSport had outbid the BBC to take the radio rights for England’s tour of Sri Lanka the response was mixed. Reactions tended to veer between mild irritation at the loss, for a few months, of a much‑loved programme; to wistful, sun-bleached nostalgia for a world shadowed with decay (cricket’s chief default setting to any news whatsoever, from signs of the impending apocalypse to news that the tea van by the pavilion has run out of Double Deckers). Mixed in with this was a degree of snobbery, concern about other voices, a different kind of tempo intruding into what has always felt like a much‑cherished private garden square.

Related: England’s first ODI with Sri Lanka abandoned after heavy rain

Even in the middle of London and tooled up with an expensive DAB radio it needed an app just to find the station

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