- Kevin Pietersen and Nick Knight formed an unlikely pairing on Sky Sports
- Pietersen once said it was ‘ridiculous’ Sky employed Knight as a commentator
- BT have lost executives Delia Bushell and Josh Smith at an inopportune time
- Chairman Sir Ian Botham has reportedly only been at Durham two or three times
Sky Sports had the unlikeliest pairing of pundits sharing the same studio at Isleworth on Sunday for their Indian Premier League coverage of Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kevin Pietersen joined host Nick Knight, despite the long history of animosity between them. It was to Knight that director of England cricket Andrew Strauss was talking when he was overheard at the back of a TV studio describing KP as a ‘complete ****’.
Pietersen has even been fined by the ECB for tweeting his astonishment that Sky are employing Knight. He posted: ‘Can somebody please tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the commentary box? Ridiculous.’
Kevin Pietersen was a Sky pundit alongside Nick Knight, despite a long history of animosity
Pietersen was fined by the ECB for tweeting his astonishment that Sky employ Knight (right)
Knight and Pietersen worked together for Sky Sports’ coverage of the Indian Premier League
Knight was regarded at the time with some suspicion by England players for allegedly relaying on air bits of information he had picked up from them on the outfield before the start of play. Sky say they have no concerns with the Knight-Pietersen combination and would use it again without any worries.
MCC in their wisdom have spent £4million refurbishing the unloved media centre at Lord’s rather than knock it down and start again, as many would prefer. And the only real change for the written Press from the big spend is that the seats are a tad more comfortable.
Durham cricket fans should not count on seeing new chairman Sir Ian Botham too often at the Riverside this season, even when he is not on Sky pundit duty. A club official said on Sunday Sir Ian had been at Durham two or three times, but they had no advance knowledge when he would next be there.
Derek Brewer, the MCC chief executive, is not alone in leaving Lord’s prematurely — he is taking early retirement in part due to a tense existence with busy chairman Gerald Corbett. The long-serving Colin Maber, who has also stood down earlier than expected as chairman of estates, went public at the club annual meeting that being unable to forge a working relationship with Corbett was one of his reasons for going.
A club official said new chairman Sir Ian Botham had only been at Durham two or three times
Untimely exits for BT
BT Sport have lost two senior executives, Delia Bushell, managing director of sport, and commercial director Josh Smith, at an inopportune time with the England Cricket Board this week launching their rights tender for 2020 onwards. The financial success of the rights sale depends on BT Sport bidding against Sky for most of the packages.
Both Bushell, who is looking for a change of lifestyle, and Smith, who has gone to FIFA as director of television services, were understood to be frustrated at the slow progress of BT’s bureaucracy.
BT have the dilemma of needing more cricket content to augment their Ashes coverage this winter, but they have shareholders questioning their excessive spending on renewing their Champions League rights for £1.2billion.
The Premier League will have received plenty of interest for its vacant director of communications role. But it might surprise heavy-hitter applicants that the current chain of command will have him or her reporting to low-profile public affairs specialist Bill Bush rather than to executive chairman Richard Scudamore.
The Premier League’s new director of communications will not report to Richard Scudamore
Langan’s has been around as a top London brasserie for four decades. So the best compliment the new Pelham’s restaurant at the top of the Warner Stand at Lord’s could receive after serving its first lunch amid power cuts on Sunday was that, according to one table of diners, the food was superior to a Cricket Ireland function at Langan’s the night before.
Meanwhile, it is unusual for a £25m new stand to open for business with 80 restricted view seats. But MCC say that Lord’s separate stands made that unavoidable and it is a vast improvement on the 600 restricted view seats in the old stand.
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