If you can’t get to the big match, then live cricket commentary is the next best option for cricket fanatics. TV coverage can be high quality, but is often limited to subscription channels. If you simply have to know the latest cricket score and don’t have access to satellite TV, then audio or text services on radio or internet are the best source.
Live radio commentary on internationals is often provided by the national network of the host country, for example ABC Local Radio (Australia) and SABC Sport (South Africa).
However, in my opinion BBC cricket commentary is second to none. In addition to all England’s home matches and major domestic cup matches, the BBC also provides world wide commentary on other key international series.
The BBC coverage is provided by the Test Match Special (TMS) team. TMS has become a national and international institution, and even provoked a passionate debate in Parliament on proposed changes to the service.
TMS has converted millions of listeners to cricket, including many who knew nothing about the game but became enraptured by the brilliance of the commentary, the rapport amongst the team, and their liking for cakes! You can now hear their commentary on analogue and digital radio, and the internet. The BBC web site shows where you can share the TMS experience.
If you want the best ICC Rankings, try listening to the radio commentary with the TV sound turned down!
Live cricket commentary has also reached the internet, in the forms of audio commentary, text based ball-by-ball coverage, and pay-per-view cricket streaming. Many web sites promise live cricket commentary, but actually provide a text based ball-by-ball service instead of audio commentary.
Cricket streaming is in its infancy; its pay-per-view and subject to some software compatibility problems, and the picture quality isn’t great. But, watch this space, because in 10 years it will be much more accessible.
Cricket highlights are available on terrestrial and satellite TV, and also online for selected high profile matches. While not live cricket, the highlights give all cricket fans a quick half hour fix of the best parts of the best games.
Live audio commentary is a great alternative if you can’t get to the big match, but be prepared – it can be very addictive to junior and senior fans alike!