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Jonathan Agnew to step down as BBC cricket correspondent after 33 years
Cricket Sport

Jonathan Agnew to step down as BBC cricket correspondent after 33 years

Jonathan Agnew is to step down from the role of chief cricket correspondent at the BBC at the end of this summer after 33 years in the post, but the voice of cricket is not about to be silenced: he has signed a new four-year contract to present Test Match Special and will “continue to be a regular voice across BBC programmes”.

“I am really delighted that I shall continue to present Test Match Special for the next four years,” Agnew said. “It is a unique programme of which I am immensely proud, and means so much to so many people. However, this does seem the right time for me to step back from my role as BBC cricket correspondent. This summer, my 34th in the post, will be my last. In a quickly changing cricket landscape it is time for fresh legs to cover the daily duties, leaving me to focus entirely on TMS.”

Philip Bernie, who was named the BBC’s interim director of sport in January, said: “After the thrilling Ashes summer last year, we have another feast of cricket to look forward to across the BBC, and our expert teams will once more deliver comprehensive coverage in style.

“We are so very pleased that Jonathan Agnew will continue to lead our outstanding TMS team. His brilliant commentary and presentation of this iconic programme are so central to its enduring success, and we look forward to Aggers continuing to make our cricket coverage special in the coming years.”

The BBC has announced full details of their cricket coverage for the coming summer, which will include radio coverage of nearly 500 live matches including all England men’s and women’s internationals, every County Championship match and 15 Hundred fixtures. As well as Tailenders, their established podcast, there will be a new offering presented by Kevin Howells and featuring the England internationals Tymal Mills and Emily Windsor.

Last summer the BBC signed a new deal to cover home England internationals and the Hundred on radio until the end of the 2028 season. “We know how much listeners cherish cricket on BBC radio and especially TMS with its unique combination of expert analysis and lively, engaging and entertaining commentary,” the then director of sport, Barbara Slater, said at the time. But they were outbid by TalkSport for rights for the recent Test tour of India, with the commercial broadcaster also holding a deal to cover England’s men in their next two tours of New Zealand. The BBC hold the rights to the next men’s and women’s away Ashes series.

Agnew, who turns 64 on Thursday, replaced Christopher Martin-Jenkins as the BBC’s cricket correspondent in 1991. Before becoming a broadcaster Agnew, a fast bowler, made 218 first-class appearances, mainly for Leicestershire but including three Tests for England.

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“It is not easy to see Agnew as a Test spearhead,” the Guardian wrote when he was recalled to the side in 1985. “Agnew is a bowler of occasionally devastating deliveries. He is capable of what the pros call ‘a Jaffa’, but the Jaffas all-too-often come in a barrel of rotting golden delicious.”

Source: theguardian.com