Back in 1968, my mum fiddled with the dial on her little transistor radio. She always listened to what was then known as the Home Service, now BBC Radio 4, which was a magazine and news programme. However round about 4 pm there was a soap opera, Mrs Dales’ Diary which Mum didn’t like that much.
‘McKenzie bowls and Milburn heaves the ball to the midwicket boundary. Fred.’
‘Cracking shot but McKenzie should pitch it up.’
And so I found cricket and specifically the Test Match radio commentary. Mum didn’t know a lot about cricket but she loved the conversation between the commentators, interspersed amongst the action. It didn’t take me long to be hooked.
Roll the clock on to Friday and I find myself, nervous as a schoolboy outside the headmaster’s study, waiting by the commentary box door at the Oval.
I spent three hours watching the team at work. I met the commentators and summarizers. During tea I had a little coaching and then I was given a microphone to commentate on an over, alongside the Australian Jim Maxwell. I didn’t go out live; too much to ask but, hey, I had a ball. If you are interested..
And then I woke up…