No Boycott as BBC reveals cricket plans

Stephen Chapman's picture

Test match cricket is to return to BBC television for the first time in more than 20 years, however, it’s likely to be without Geoff Boycott.

The Yorkshireman turns 80 in October which would make him too high a risk, during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

A BBC spokesperson has said they are “monitoring the situation closely” which may mean a guest appearance on TMS later in the summer.

In Boycott’s absence, the BBC has confirmed that its new lead cricket presenter and 2009 Cricket World Cup-winner, Isa Guha, will be joined by Sir Alastair Cook and Carlos Braithwaite for its highlights show.

Other experts will include Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell.

BBC Sport’s 5 year contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board will allow it to show 100 hours of cricket each summer. That’s the first time that international cricket will be aired on BBC Television in 21 years.

It will broadcast highlights from every Test and One Day International on BBC Two, from July. This starts on 8th July with the first Test between England the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. 

The matches will be behind closed doors.

On BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Test Match Special (TMS) will air ball-by-ball commentary on all of England’s internationals this summer. The team will be led by cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew.

Lining up alongside him will be Isa Guha, Simon Mann, Alison Mitchell and Daniel Norcross with analysis from Michael Vaughan, Phil Tufnell, Carlos Brathwaite and Sir Alastair Cook amongst others.

On Radio 5 Live, Eleanor Oldroyd will provide updates on the action throughout the day.

Online, the BBC Sport website, will have video clips of key moments as they happen. It will also have articles from England fast bowler Mark Wood and England women’s captain Heather Knight. 

The BBC has also commissioned a series of archive shows, including a look back at 14th July 2019, when Wimbledon played host to the epic tie between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, at the same time as England's cricket team won its first ever 50 over World Cup.