BBC AUDIO CD REVIEW: John Arlott's Cricketing Wides, Byes and Slips! £5.75 from www.bbcshop.com.

Today's pyjama game with its floodlights, coloured clothing and crash-bang-wallop Twenty-20 makes this CD a recording to be savoured all the more '“ a throw-back to those distant days when cricket allowed itself time to think rather than just going all out in the pursuit of cash.

Thursday, 24th September 2009, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:35 am

A long time ago, but within moments you'll be back there, Arlott, the poet of cricket commentary, taking you right back the instant you hear that gorgeous Hampshire burr.

Who needs super slo-mos, big-screen referrals, snickometers and the like? Nothing can take you closer to the action than to hear again the late, great John Arlott.

The BBC's Voice of Cricket for more than 30 summers, Arlott reported on all the key cricket matches from the 40s to his final commentary in 1980 at Lords '“ and he did it in a style uniquely his own.

He created pictures, doing justice to a game which just possibly is currently losing its way with the endless one-day, short-form nonsense. How lovely it would have been to hear Arlott commentate on the classics that are still possible, the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series. How he would have relished them.

But perhaps it's just as well that he was spared the needlessly-long seven-match Aussie ODI series which is just about to become yet another one-day world tournament.

Arlott was just right for the game as it was played when he was in his pomp '“ and here we get it all.

From the 40s, we hear about Bradman's last Test, from the 50s Compton's highest Test score, from the 60s Trueman's 300th Test wicket and Boycott's first Test ton and then onto the 70s with Arlott's 'freaker', the Lords Streaker. Finally we hear his last commentary at the Lords centenary Test in 1980.

Delightful. Absolutely delightful. And how characteristic it was that he then just quietly slipped away, handing over the microphone to everything that has followed since.

Phil Hewitt