Just over a month ago a fellow member on a golf forum asked an interesting question: is golf best played in the morning? This particular member did not enjoy the idea of playing in the afternoon, hence raising the question. With the England cricket team’s lengthy winter excursions beginning just a few days after, one could ask the same question for a similar topic: during the winter is TMS best enjoyed in the early hours of the morning or the early hours of the evening?
With England touring Bangladesh, India and the West Indies before the following English summer both polar opposites would be experienced at some point during the next six months. For some, the notion of rising in the pre-dawn hours to listen to the chitchat of Aggers, Boycs, Tuffers et al would prove anathema. Early risers, some dictated by their body clocks not allowing the concept of a lie-in due to years of beginning the working day some time before the traditional rush hour, may well incline toward listening to the soothing words of a session’s play before undertaking the necessities of the day. Others may find that a dose of cricket commentary is best enjoyed once the necessities have been sorted.
Thus, is listening to TMS best enjoyed with a coffee / tea and one’s breakfast or as a post dinner digestif? Both could likely take place during the dark hours of the day, particularly when matches are played through the shortest months of the year, in terms of daylight, whilst there is an argument that the whole concept is not quite as simple due to nightworking and the shift toward a 24/7 society. Nevertheless, whatever the minutiae, both possess inherent benefits. Dozing on the sofa as dawn breaks with the sounds of the test match resonating in the background can prove a pleasant way to emerge from one’s slumber, particularly on the weekend or a day off when the necessities of life could be postponed for a while longer. Alternatively, plugging an ear piece in and enjoying the ambience of the Caribbean with its horns and steel drums during the early evening whilst avoiding another edition of a dreary soap opera being watched by one’s other half can also prove particularly agreeable experience.
During the long months of winter these are the realities for the avid listeners of TMS and its collection of mellifluous raconteurs. Understandably, there cannot be an identical substitute for the English summer but the ersatz equivalents certainly prove of great benefit, whatever end of the day they are enjoyed. But which of the two is the most preferable? Just what is the answer to the initial question? In truth, it’s probably as difficult to fathom as it is to describe the lure and fascination of cricket itself.