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King Cricket: Pougatch and Boycott a match made in listener hell

July 14th, 2008 by Alex Bowden in Miscellaneous, South Africa in England and tagged , ,

Geoffrey Boycott probably has an opinion on how you wash your armpits and he doesn’t even know what technique you employ. Mark Pougatch is new to cricket commentary. He’s finding his way. He’s probably a bit nervous and he doesn’t have a great many opinions of his own.

We’d really appreciate it if Test Match Special would stop combining Mark Pougatch with Geoffrey Boycott. It makes for excruciating radio.

Boycott has legions of opinions. He equips these opinions with monstrous, inhumane weaponry and sends them out to conquer whoever’s within earshot.

To be on the receiving end of a direct Boycott opinion is to be submitted to a level of interrogation that defies the Geneva Convention. If you make the mistake of groaning even the weakest murmur of dissent, you receive the barrage again, only with added force. Eventually all there is to do is meekly concur and hope that the ordeal is over.

Listening to Boycott speak to Mark Pougatch is to hear one man’s actual brain being reshaped in an instant, purely through the power of another’s words. A sample exchange tends to run as follows:

Pougatch: Good shot there from Smith - straight to a fielder though.

Boycott: Are you kidding? That was a terrible shot.

Pougatch: Yes, he maybe should have left that one.

Boycott: He should have played it towards mid-off.

Pougatch: Yes, a straighter bat was called for there.

See King Cricket’s regular blog at King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in Miscellaneous, South Africa in England |

14 Responses to “King Cricket: Pougatch and Boycott a match made in listener hell”

  1.   D Charlton says:

    You should hear Boycott on a phone in, let loose to change the shape of the public’s brain. Agonising, car-crash radio. Absolutely brilliant.

  2.   David Graveney says:

    Pougatch is totally overawed. Also remain unconvinced about Tufnell.

  3.   Daniel says:

    Isn’t it lucky that this debate will be settled in the Sept issue of TWC when we compare and contrast the commentary teams from Sky and TMS during the Lord’s Test …

  4.   James says:

    I’m pleasantly suprised about Tufnell. He comes over as a pleasant and knowledgeable individual. None of his matey, Cockney persona.

  5.   King Cricket says:

    We’re with James on that one. We’d feared a jokey, self-mocking load-of-nothing from the man, but he’s had some interesting thoughts.

    We like him quite a bit.

  6.   Gary Naylor says:

    Anything is better than the Upper Sixth Remove’s Dorm of the old TMS crew.

  7.   King Cricket says:

    We’re sometimes embarrassed to have the radio on in the garden because so many TMS accents are too upper-crust for our neighbourhood.

    Bring back Foxy Fowler, we say.

  8.   Stephen B says:

    Agree about Tufnell - I’ve enjoyed listening to him and works well with most TMS presenters.

    Boycott on the other hand comes across in his worst light when paired with Pougatch - hectoring, bullying, arrogant and deeply unpleasant. A shame as the man has interesting insights.

  9.   SimonC says:

    “You should hear Boycott on a phone in, let loose to change the shape of the public’s brain.”

    A bit of well-deserved scorn should be obligatory on Five Live phone-ins. Like the one during Wimbledon where they had McEnroe on, and someone phoned up wanting to talk about Alex Bogdanovich. McEnroe hears the name and cuts right across the caller, “you’re on national radio and you want to talk about Bogdanovich? Bogdanovich!? Give me a break. Next!”

    It was ace.

  10.   bush says:

    There is no need for Five Live voices on TMS. It just seems wrong. Thought Pougatch was OK but I want cricket experts not sports journalists on the wireless.

  11.   kev747 says:

    Boycott is OK in short bursts. I think he is best when summarising the days play for instance.The only time I like listening to him is when he is paired with Agnew who never takes him seriously.

  12.   Spigot says:

    I have a real hard time believing that anyone able to present a show and then commentate on cricket, tennis and football (and others for all I know) is really worth listening to in any area. All round sports freaks are a danger to society. Jack of all trades…

    McEnroe was awful when I heard him. Had no idea how to do phone ins. Someone called in wanting to defend all the posh boys in tennis as they still worked hard etc… and whilst it’s a little drab McEnroe cuts him off in disgust saying he had no right to say that for some unknown reason to me.

  13.   Lisa says:

    Boycott is always worse with commentators who never played top class cricket. You can hear the contempt in his voice when he dismisses anything non-’crikkit’-ers say without even letting them finish. Must be a nightmare for nervous new boys like Arlo White and Pougatch.

  14.   spexhall says:

    Another burst of opinionated ’stream of self-consciousness’ fron tbe Yorkshire Doomsayer before the start of today’s play; which caused an instant hit on our off button. When will TMS producers give a warning that the whining oaf is about to insult the very spirit of cricket, or at the very least, insist that a speech therapist attempts to cure the windbag’s drone.

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