As a regular listener to Test Match Special (only option when working during the week) I was intrigued to hear that the opinions of former England coach Duncan Fletcher are to be heard on the programme during both the ODI and Test match from Cape Town this winter.
With Fletcher’s past history of verbal run-ins with regular TMS member Geoff Boycott still fresh in the memory it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when the two men inevitably cross paths at some stage during Friday’s ODI from Cape Town.
In Duncan Fletcher’s autobiography ‘Behind the Shades’ he is fiercely critical of Boycott in response to what seemed to Fletcher like constant criticism from Boycott of him during the last 18 months of his reign as England coach.
Fletcher wrote in his book about how he went mad at Boycott during a telephone call when Boycott phoned his house to ask him if he’d like to meet up with him for a game of golf. Fletcher apparently couldn’t believe Boycott’s nerve and let him have it in response to what Fletcher described as “a litany of scornful stuff” from Boycott’s newspaper columns.
Boycott to be fair has had more than enough goes at Fletcher himself, once calling him a sour hypocrite and also on occasions calling for Fletcher’s head. Bearing all this in mind it would seem highly unlikely of any type of kiss-and-make-up between the two.
There would appear to be very little chance of the two men being on the air together as Boycott is only a summarizer and I would have to imagine that would all that would be required of Fletcher, as regular listeners know only one summarizer is on air at any time alongside one of the main commentators, Jonathan Agnew, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Henry Blofeld (another one who felt Flethcher’s wrath in the book) and usually a guest commentator from the opposition such as Tony Cozier if playing against West Indies.
The only time two summarizers will usually get on air together is when there is a long delay, for example during a break for rain, where a general chat – usually hosted by Jonathan Agnew – might take place with one or more of the summarizers – what chance should the opportunity arise that a mischievous producer might manage to get Boycott and Fletcher on the microphone together.
We await that rain break with bated breath.