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Steve Busfield: How are you following the Ashes?

July 30th, 2009 by TWC in The Ashes, The media

Until they bring in day/night Test matches (do we really want that?), there is one fundamental problem following cricket: work. So, as the battle for the Ashes hots up in Edgbaston, and you are stuck in the office, how will you be following the match?

I well remember the moment before the same test in 2005 when a mini roar went around the office an hour before the start: Glenn McGrath had just been shown being wheeled away in a buggie with a twisted ankle. We were lucky enough to have TVs in the office. Not many have that, even if Sky are doing their best to help out with their (most likely NSFW) Skyplayer innovation.

So, will you be surreptitiously following the Guardian’s over by over? It is much copied but never bettered (full disclosure: I work for the Guardian, so I would say that wouldn’t I): Rob Smyth, Andy Bull and thewisdencricketer.com columnist Lawrence Booth witty, knowledgeable and bringing the game to life on a web page.

Cricinfo’s ball by ball has added comment to its descriptions and is excellent if you want to know every detail of Alastair Cook’s forward defensive (a bit too much info for my liking). It does also have the fantastic statsguru, a statistician’s delight (and is there a cricket lover who doesn’t love stats?).

Ball-by-ball/over-by-over coverage now run in several places, and the The Times’ is worthy of mention, while the BBC’s quickfire Ben Dirs also attracts a loyal fanbase.

Do you Twitter? In which case you may also be following the action with Sky’s King of Twitter (in many senses of the word): David Lloyd. His Bumblecricket twitter feed is very much like the former England coach’s commentary, a stream of consciousness, witticisms and, occasionally, cricket sense.

If you prefer your tweets to be BBC-flavoured, there’s Aggerscricket or blowersh. As with Bumble, you pretty much get what you would expect, but all in a handy bite-sized 140 characters. Phil Hughes even confirmed his axing for today’s third Test on the site.

If you can listen but not watch, have you tried out Test Match Sofa yet? Again I have to issue a disclaimer, being an occasional contributor to the live cricket website that gives ball-by-ball commentary from a living room sofa interspersed with debate ranging from the best biscuit varieties to Richie Benaud impersonations.

If you are in a really strict office though, a discrete pop-up scoreboard may be the best that you can get away with. I’m not a connoisseur of the pop-up scorecard, so am open to your suggestions for the best option.

Or maybe you are lucky enough to be at home, on your own sofa, feet up, drink at your side, food in the fridge, Sky on the telly and, perhaps, TMS (Sofa or the original Special) providing the audio.

Almost as good as being there. Almost.

How do you follow the game?

Steve Busfield writes about media, technology, The Wire and, very occasionally cricket, for the Guardian

Posted in The Ashes, The media | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Steve Busfield: How are you following the Ashes?”

  1.   fourstar says:

    I’m TMS on the headphones with the BBC videoscorecard, as well as Twitter and the Guardian OBO.

    The thing I look for in a desktop scoreboard is that it absolutely MUST still show the score when minimised to the taskbar (so the TITLE of the page should dynamically update with the score) as it is unlikely that I would have it on display at all times. This seems to be something that many sites get wrong! Cricinfo gets it right, for reference.

  2.   Busfield says:

    @fourstar - very good point about score display and taskbar, a thing i recently discovered about cricinfo and a good addition to my cricket following efforts in work environment. Doubly difficult now with test match and roses match on at the same time

  3.   GreenArmy says:

    Previously it was always TMS on the headphones, with OBO coverage from Rob Smyth and colleagues. But then we were told to stop streaming audio in the office.
    It took me one morning session to become a TestMatchSofa convert (listening on the iPhone - so I’m no longer hogging the office bandwidth). I love it for all the wrong reasons. Chief among them being the constant swearing and their ability to consume vast amounts of wine and cigarettes throughout the day.
    Their commentary is excellent as well.

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