2.2.09

Never the Same

The ICC's belated but completely correct decision to finally award the 2006 Oval Test to England is one that Bill Frindall would have approved of.

The death of the 'Bearded Wonder' came as quite a shock. I'd last heard him on Test Match Special from Mohali before Christmas, and he was just one of those people who you expected to go on and on and on. Although he'd missed a few overseas tours in recent years and had given up scoring ODIs, I think I'm right in saying that nobody else has scored an England Test in this country on BBC radio since 1965, while one of the tributes I read stated that he'd scored 377 Test matches, which, when you think about it, is a hell of a lot of cricket.

Like any English cricket follower of my generation I grew up listening to TMS, and the laconic, perfectionist, occasionally waspish but hugely knowledgeable Frindall was simply part of the furniture. I never met him but have clear memories of seeing him coming in and out of many a ground - Lord's and the MCG to name but two - weighed down by what always looked like several suitcases of reference books, many of which he'd compiled himself.

It's the cliche of cliches, but it's true to say that TMS, which resumes from Kingston this week, will never quite be the same again

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