With Spectate tours to Sri Lanka and the Caribbean coming up, Kumari Tilakawardane caught up with Bumble to get his thoughts on the state of cricket… and a lot more besides.
To read Part Two of this interview, Bumble on Travel, click here.
I think it’s under control. I think there’s an image problem for Australia, mind. That was a massive wrongdoing by the team. They got a 12-month ban, and I was all in favour of it. You could see it happening, the sort of… disregard for the game. And one word that didn’t come into [Australia’s cricket philosophy] was respect, and now they’ve been brought back into line – and how.
I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s a nice thing to say, but cricket is not a world sport, football is the world’s sport. We can certainly be competitive, and the way to do that is to advance the game, as we’ve just said, with the World Cup, making it available to Associate nations.
I would also be an advocate of cricket in the Olympics, but I’d have it six-a-side. I think it would be a very attractive proposition, to make it accessible to countries that are, you know, not cricket nations. You get a few obscure sports in the Olympics. I like that curling! I think it’s good fun. I’m probably not going to take it up any time soon… I mean I don’t like the cold, for a start, so I think I’d be at a disadvantage there. But it looks good fun.
Joel Garner from the West Indies. He was just too big, a scourge of many batsmen.
A number of things, really. Commentating on the World Cup when West Indies won it, with Ian Bishop. Ben Stokes bowling to Carlos Brathwaite… that was a brilliant piece of commentary to be part of. It was fantastic to be there, really. And because we didn’t really see it coming, of course.
Speaking of Ben Stokes… another great memory is a Test Match that England won against South Africa in Cape Town, and he scored a 250. South Africa just couldn’t bowl at him, they had no answers for him. That was a memorable game because for any team to win away from home these days is quite a feat.
From a personal viewpoint, I’d say beating South Africa in a five-match series in England when I was coach in the late nineties.
Well, the calling of a World Cup final is always up there. Calling ‘the moment’. For me, it was Jimmy Anderson’s 500th wicket. That brought a lump to my throat - I’ve known Jimmy Anderson since he was a young lad at Burnley. I wasn’t scheduled to commentate at that time, but my boss said “you go on”, and so that was quite emotional, because I know the journey that he’s been on.
But you get loads of fun moments. And the best thing is the earpieces that spectators and players can wear now. So a bit of lip reading goes on, and I think “I can talk to this guy!”. That’s great fun, and it’s gone down a storm. More often than not you can get a conversation going.
Well, we [broadcasters] don’t get tea! That’s a big disadvantage. We’re working, so we don’t have tea. We’re on the hoof for food all day. As a player, you’ve so little time; the tea is a spectator thing really, it’s the ideal time to get a picnic.
I’m a traditionalist, I like the old-style tea, with the crusts off. I like that sort of thing.
Of course, the burning question is – for a cream tea, is it jam first? I’d say it’s jam first, and then cream. But it depends where you are, particularly in Cornwall… they know where you’re from if you do it wrong. Definitely jam first!
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Read Part Two of our interview with Bumble click here.