Oh to hear Donna Symmonds again on Test Match Special

I love listening to Test Match Special on the radio and in the days when test match cricket was available live on free-to-view TV I would turn off the sound on the TV and replace it with the Test Match Special commentary. I guess this was something many cricket lovers did and maybe those who still watch live test match cricket via pay-to-view channels still do it now.

This year the visiting teams were South Africa and the West Indies and a great summer of Test cricket it has proved to be. But I have one lingering disappointment/question that I can’t get out of my head – whatever happened to that wonderful Barbadian female cricket commentator Donna Symmonds?

Each time the West Indies appear over here or indeed England play in the Caribbean I hope that Donna will reappear on Test Match Special but it has not happened in a long time now. Indeed, I checked and it’s longer than I thought.

According to Wikipedia Symmonds was invited by the BBC to join the Test Match Special team during the 1998 England tour of the West Indies, making her the first female TMS commentator. She also provided commentary for the 1999 Cricket World Cup and the 2000 West Indian tour of England as part of the TMS team.

Thankfully quite a number of female cricket commentators are coming through on TMS these days – Isa Guha, Alison Michell and Ebony Rainford-Brent come to mind – but no Donna Symmonds again.

Maybe it was her honeyed Barbadian accent akin to the great and sadly missed Barbadian commentator Tony Cozier? I don’t know but it would be great to hear her once again – maybe next time TMS follows the England Team to the Caribbean?

Football in black and white? A remarkable story from 1979


The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above


This was less than 40 years ago! Goodness me what a strange thing to do from the perspective of 2016, it certainly makes me feel very uncomfortable.

If we did things like this in 1979 just imagine how our society would regress if we really did go back to that 1950’s view of the world that some seem to crave!

This football match was, considering the time, probably well meaning. The segregation of black and white players into what were racial/ethnic teams was not seemingly seen to be an issue even though it was taking place at a time when South African apartheid was high on the world agenda.

So glad we have moved on, well most of us have anyway………….

Picture credit Laurie Rampling