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BBC to stay home for Pakistan cricket


The BBC will not be sending a commentary team to cover England’s cricketing return to Pakistan for the first time in 17 years, and will broadcast the seven-match T20 series which begins today, from a studio in Salford.

Cost savings and security concerns are believed to be the reason behind the BBC’s decision not to send any of their Test Match Special team to Pakistan.

The BBC has radio rights to the T20 series, the Test series and the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November.

A BBC spokesperson said: “How we cover events can vary but we guarantee that our audiences will get all the action they expect from 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra with commentary and live coverage from the series.”

Test Match Special is now only available on BBC 5 or BBC 5 Live Sports Extra after the corporation announced the closure of Radio 4 Long Wave, which had long been the home of the flagship programme.

Television coverage of the T20 series will be provided by Sky Sports but using the international pictures and commentary with a team of their own pundits for the pre-match, lunch, tea and post-match analysis. Mark Butcher has been sent to Pakistan on behalf of Sky Sports to provide updates and analysis live from the ground. Sky says it expects to send a full broadcast team to Pakistan for the Test series in December.

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