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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 07:55 GMT 08:55 UK
Life in the box

Vic Marks reflects on his time as a summariser with Test Match Special.

One of the great things about TMS is that anybody who comes along is made to feel relaxed and at ease and has a chat with other like-minded people about the cricket.

Vic Marks
The commentator is the driver and as a summariser you're the assistant

My debut came on the 1984/85 tour to India when Mike Selvey and whoever else was summarising were struck down by the dreaded Delhi Belly.

Producer Peter Baxter wandered round to the dressing room in search of a body, and I was sitting there watching the cricket on a tour in which I was sitting on the sidelines.

After getting permission from the tour management I was dragooned off, and it was a good time to be dragooned off.

It was one of those games that looked a certain draw at lunchtime before India collapsed and England won quite dramatically while I was on air with Tony Lewis.

When you're whisked into the box it's not a nerve-wracking experience and I was there as a player so I was doing somebody a favour really.

There was no particular pressure to be good or bad, just to be there.

But even when you're officially doing it there is still that relaxation.

You're invited in and it's a case of 'lovely to see you again', you sit down and have a conversation.

It's not regimented and not too much advice comes whizzing down your earholes about what you should and shouldn't do, just welcome along, be yourself and in my role, shut up when the bowler's running up to bowl which is about the only piece of advice you give anyone coming on.

The commentator is the driver and as a summariser you're the assistant and I remember thinking how wonderfully well Tim Lane managed in the hot seat during the 1999 World Cup.

The Australia-South Africa semi-final at Edgbaston was extremely exciting, a fantastic game and climax and I remember thinking how wonderfully well Tim managed the whole thing.

As an Australian he was wonderfully objective but also captured the excitement of it all and I was glad to be sitting next to him.

It was also a pleasure to be sat next to Henry Blofeld in Brisbane with no cricket in sight due to the most astonishing thunderstorm.

It was of biblical proportions and suddenly you could see that Henry could see something special was happening.

He became animated, his legs started shaking and he put on a grand performance, albeit about a storm in Brisbane.

It was a miniature epic which I was able to marvel at.

Links to more Test Match Special stories


The TMS team reveal all

Vic Marks
03 May 03  |  Presenter profiles

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