So. For the last 2 summers Test Matches played in England have started at 10.30 each morning, rather than 11.00 as they always have. In addition last summer, for the first time, play was stopped unceremoniously at 18.00, regardless of the state of the match or the day’s play. Throughout the summer of complaints about both the early start and the unnatural (and unexpected) end to each day’s play the ECB told us that this was an ‘improvement’, ‘within the rules’ and ‘nothing to do with television’ (despite Channel 4’s obvious reluctance to let cricket impact the 18.00 to 19.00 Hollyoaks/Simpsons bonanza hour).
Lo! and behold, cricket moves to Sky and the match starts at 11.00 again. You can bet your bottom dollar that we won’t be finishing on the dot of 18.00 either. There are some benefits to Sky’s coverage already. Whether or not that makes up for the loss of Richie Benaud is another matter.