Anorak News | Close Of Play

Close Of Play

by | 16th, December 2004

‘GOODBYE, cricket, you were a nice way to spend the afternoon. But now you’ve gone to Sky TV in a four-year deal worth in excess of £200m.

Richie’s been bowled a real ripsnorter

The Guardian brings the news that under the terms of a new deal for the sport, between 2006 and 2009, you’ll only be able to watch live cricket on satellite TV.

The money is good – and it’s hard to blame Channel 4 for not bidding more cash to retain the rights to broadcast the sport.

Especially since the report quotes a source as saying: “You can put a black-and-white movie on at a fraction of the cost and get the same audience and advertising.”

But cricket is the national summer game – and remains so despite the best efforts of an elongated football season.

So, we have some sympathy with Brian Close, a former England captain, who says that this deal will prevent many from learning about the sport.

However, highlights of the day’s play will be shown on Five, so allowing many to catch up on events, and perhaps give Richie Benaud something do to after Channel 4 pulls stumps.

Five has already shown that it can broadcast sporting events few others want – it’s not everyone who will know that last night the channel showed Middlesbrough progressing into the latter rounds of the Uefa Cup.

The Star leads with Boro’s fine 3-0 win over a decent Partizan Belgrade side, a result which meant Steve McClaren’s team won their group.

Congratulations to them. And best of British to Tony Adams, who has just got married for the second time.

This in itself is no big news story – former and current footballers get married all the time.

But what catches our eyes is the identity of his good lady wife, the lovely Poppy Teacher, who just happens to be a “whisky heiress”.

How wise it is for a reformed alcoholic to marry into booze we are not qualified to say, but there it is, and we’re sure the great-great-great grand-daughter of whisky firm founder William Teacher will make Adams happy.

Elsewhere, another who has worn the Arsenal colours is speaking out – Jose Reyes is telling the Sun that the Gunners can beat everyone.

Here is one of those non-stories which seem to operate on a rotation system – one day a Manchester United player talks up his team, then a Chelsea player does the same, then a Liverpool player and so on.

The only way this will ever become a real story is when a Spurs player starts saying his team are great and a paper like the Sun actually takes serious notice.’

Posted: 16th, December 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink