TMS anniversary celebrated with a Fine cut

David Fine, SJA member and Ashes Poet in Residence for the Arts Council of England and the recent 5-0 drubbing in Australia, has been commissioned by the England and Wales Cricket Board to write a poem about BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.

TMS is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer, and with the Test series between England and the West Indies getting underway at Lord’s on Thursday, Fine’s poem will be published for the first time in the match programme which will be available at the ground.

“I love old radios,” Fine said, “if not all old radio programmes. The beginning of the poem Click came to me looking at the early 50s Bush set on our fridge at home.

“It still works, and lends a special aura to whoever’s commentating.”

valves, diodes, transistors,
chips and semiconductors
architraves and misericords
to universal worship
of the game

The rest of the poem appears on page 59 of the ECB programme for the West Indies Test series.

Peter Baxter, TMS‘s Producer, said he was very impressed – “and we’re flattered.”

It was at the back of the commentary box at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during last winter’s Ashes series, before a lunchtime interview, where Fine caught the last line of Click. “Henry Blofeld said ‘Cook steps forward and plays no stroke’ A perfect iambic quatrameter demonstrating how radio commentary adds something to the game itself,” he said.

“It’s been a rough old year for international cricket on and off the field, and it’d be that much worse without TMS to reassure us that people care about the game.

TMS has almost a pastoral role, priests to their flock, which I have tried to capture in Click.’’

When not up a ladder at his Bakewell home listening to Blowers while painting windows, Fine can be contacted on 01629 812075, 07990938239 or at