Feng Shui and the lost art of cricket commentary

The return of the Ashes means the return of Test Match Special, the BBC’s informed but irreverent commentary team of “Aggers“, “Blowers” & Co, that leaves you wondering about Mandira Bedi and other corruptions that have become par for the course in Indian cricket commentary in the name of the lowest common denominator.

Besides the words, the TMS team is best known for the cakes, and the riotous laughter that the unintended gaffes like “the batsman’s Holding, the bowler’s Willey” induce.

Brian Johnston’s giggling fit—sparked by Jonathan Agnew’s quip that Ian Botham “couldn’t quite get his leg over” after Botham had dislodged the bails with his inner thigh—was voted Britain’s favourite piece of sporting commentary of all time.

A recent gem involves the mercurial left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell.

After a batsman had had his stumps flattened, Tufnell turned to Christopher Martin-Jenkins and said, “He’s been feng shui’d.”

CM-J didn’t understand: “Feng shui’d? What do you mean?”

To which a delighted Tuffers replied, “He’s had his furniture rearranged.”

Photograph: courtesy BBC

Also read: ‘The genial halwai serving sweets with a wink’

Who killed (good) cricket writing?