talkSPORT has a new team for its coverage of England’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, and will be running a competition to send two listeners to the first West Indies Test in January.
Mark Nicholas, known for his work anchoring coverage on Channel 4, the highlights package on Channel 5 and coverage across Channel 9 in Australia, will lead the team which includes current host of Drivetime, Darren Gough, former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, former England batsman Mark Butcher, former England spinner Gareth Batty and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene.
Also featuring across commentary will be Sky Sports pundits Mike Atherton, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, Nasser Hussain, Ian Ward and Rob Key giving cricketing news and analysis throughout the tour, which includes all Test Matches, ODIs and T20s.
No adverts will be broadcast during the live action and will only feature during natural breaks in play.
To win the trip to Barbados, all listeners need to do is submit their best lyrics for a new Barmy Army song to the talkSPORT team, of which more details will be revealed on air soon.
Coverage will be cross-promoted on other talkSPORT shows including Drive with Darren Gough, broadcasting live from the tours, along with the relaunched Following On cricket podcast every day of the tour. Meanwhile the station’s Re-United series, that brings together former sporting rivals, will feature a cricket special.
talkSPORT won the rights from the BBC’s Test Match Special programme for the full tours of Sri Lanka, West Indies and South Africa in 2016.
talkSPORT National Radio Controller Liam Fisher said: “talkSPORT’s free-to-air coverage will be all about the fan, with smart, fun, passionate and engaging commentary throughout England’s tours across our two 24/7 dedicated sports channels, talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2.
“Radio is a treasured medium in cricket and our role at talkSPORT will be to both entertain existing audiences and attract new ones to the game. Our first class on- air commentary team will be with fans for every ball of the day, with uninterrupted live play and a healthy serving of trademark talkSPORT fun.”
Mark Nicholas said: “The Sri Lankan tour is a real watermark moment for this England side following an emphatic series win over India, but against the backdrop of Alastair Cook’s retirement and a poor record away from home. Now is the time for Joe Root’s team to sort that out – while confidence is high and interest is buzzing. One thing is for sure, with the West Indies to follow, it’s a winter of cricket not to be missed and talkSPORT will be the place for your fix of all the live action, with coverage that promises lively commentary and conversation alongside passionate opinion. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Barmy Army’s Chris Millard said: “Our fans are the most fun, knowledgeable and passionate in the world and that’s why our partnership with talkSPORT is the perfect fit. Together our aim is to drive as much excitement and support towards the England team and the game we love. I’m confident through a mixture of Barmy interviews, inside stories and our exclusive on air competition we will do just that.”
The first England game to be broadcast will be England’s first ODI against Sri Lanka, starting on October 10, live on talkSPORT 2.