Wisden.com has secured the global audio rights for the two-Test series between Pakistan and Australia, which takes place from October 7-20 in the UAE.
The move – the first of its kind for wisden.com – ensures that cricket fans from around the world can tune in to free live audio commentary from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the venues for the two Tests.
In a continuation of its long-term support of Test cricket, Specsavers has become primary naming rights sponsor for the broadcast, which will be simulcast on www.cricket.com.au, the Cricket Australia Live app, and the Pakistan Cricket Board’s website, www.pcb.com.pk.
Adam Collins, Wisden Cricket Monthly Australia correspondent, will host the broadcast, alongside Geoff Lemon, an acclaimed writer on the game. Both have extensive experience broadcasting Australian Tests around the cricket world.
They will be joined in the expert summariser chair by renowned broadcaster for Fox Cricket and former international Brendon Julian, former Pakistani batsman turned commentator Bazid Khan, and a selection of some of the best cricket journalists from both countries.
Matt Thacker of wisden.com says: “We are thrilled to be backing a project that will bring the game we all love to as many people as possible free of charge – especially a series that is bound to generate a huge amount of attention.
“Web-based commentary is such a dynamic part of the cricket landscape and we’re hugely excited to be taking a leading role in producing coverage of this kind. We have every faith that the team we have brought together will bring the series to life for our audience, wherever they are listening.
“We thank both the Pakistan Cricket Board for working with us through this process and Specsavers, great friends of Test cricket, for making it possible.”
Vishal Nathoo from Specsavers adds: “Good commentary lets you take in the bigger picture of the game. Even if you’re not able to see the action on ground, the Wisden team will ensure you don’t miss a thing. As the Official Eyewear and Eye Care Partners of Cricket Australia, we’ll ensure the Australian Cricket Team don’t either!”
Collins, host of wisden.com Test Match Cricket, concludes: “Following a Test match on the radio for hours on end has been an essential part of the cricket experience for millions of people over the last eight decades.
“With so many series now taking place without that soundtrack, we saw this as a logical and creative way to bring as much Test cricket as possible back to speakers and headphones.”