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New six-year cricket deal for BBC radio

BBC Sport and the England and Wales Cricket Board have agreed a new six-year deal for radio coverage, meaning ball-by-ball commentaries will run until at least 2019.

The agreement means live and exclusive coverage for the BBC of two home Ashes series in 2015 and 2019 as well as all England’s home Test, One-Day International and T20 series fixtures.

The current deal with the BBC is due to expire at the end of the 2013 season. Matches are broadcast on Radio 4’s long wave frequencies as well as BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra under the ‘Test Match Special’ branding.

David Collier, ECB Chief Executive said: “This is excellent news for all cricket-lovers. Test Match Special brings cricket into millions of homes in this country each summer and is widely recognised for its unique and world class coverage of cricket. The next six years are set to be exciting ones for the sport and Test Match Special’s coverage together with the regular summaries and updates provided by BBC Radio 5 live will play a significant role in promoting cricket from the playground to the Test arena.”

Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport said: “We’re delighted to be taking cricket on the radio forward for a further six years. Test Match Special, now in its 55th year is one of the most treasured programmes on the BBC with its unique mix of expert commentary, insight, humour and entertainment. In a new digital era the programme and its accompanying download have never been more popular with its audience.”

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