It seems so arcane, and is often patronised, but Test Match Special, part soap opera, part sports commentary, is a perfect fit for this meandering game
Few things seem to perplex people quite like Test cricket. “I tried to watch it once, but couldn’t make head nor tail of it,” an acquaintance told me last Friday. A couple of hundred others have said similar things in the preceding years. Short leg. Silly mid-off. “Each man that’s in goes out and when he’s out comes in and the next man goes in until they’re all out, then the side that’s out comes in,” and all that. Reverse swing. Googlies. The lbw law. You might as well try to explain the merits of magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, or the intricacies of neurosurgical oncology, Test cricket apparently being one of those things, along with rocket science and brain surgery, that outsiders tend to regard as being entirely incomprehensible.