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Cricket Heroes: Henry Blofeld

740   //    21 Jul 2011, 18:00 IST

He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the splendidly eccentric Henry Blofeld is an unadulterated commentary hero here at the Reverse Sweep.

Whilst Test Match Special remains the pinnacle of sports broadcasting in our view, it has lost some of its intrinsic character in recent times. That could be something to do with the sharp increase in the percentage of its team who have recently played international cricket. Selection seems to be based on this more than on the skill of actually commentating.

However, its lustre is quickly recaptured whenever ‘Blowers’ makes one of his all too irregular stints in the TMS commentary box. Blofeld, who was actually a decent cricketer at Eton and was even tipped to play for England until he lost an argument with a bus whilst riding his bike, is a shining example of why not all commentators should have played the game at the highest level (obviously Charles Colville isn’t).

Charisma, character and hi-jinks drip from almost every word and whether it is his quaint references to pigeons or London buses, or his many gaffes and mistaken identities, Blowers could never be accused of being boring.

Unfortunately, with the inverted snobbery that is all too sadly prevalent in today’s society, Blofeld’s privileged background, education at Eton, clipped vowels and old-school eccentricity are all seized upon and sneered at by the critics.

But not by us and the more we get to hear Blofeld’s japes and unique brand of joviality in the TMS box, and general ‘splendid form’ the better.

David Green is the brain behind the The Reverse Sweep, which is intended to offer an irreverent and acerbic opinion on the wonderful game of cricket - the sport that God would play if he wasn't so busy. Since first seeing David Gower hit a glorious and effortless cover drive as a small boy, David has been hooked on the great game. As a useful schoolboy and club cricketer, he harboured wistful dreams of emulating Douglas Jardine in captaining England to Ashes victory in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. But alas, England’s loss was literature’s gain as David wasn’t quite talented enough and had to settle for the next best thing of watching, writing and blogging about cricket. Having relocated to France with his young family, David is also trying to get the locals interested in the great game with little success to date.
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