RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Can Anyone Hear Me?

Can anyone hear me? Testing Times with Test Match Special on Tour
by Peter Baxter

Published in the UK in 2012
by Corinthian Books, an imprint of Icon Books Ltd.
Omnibus Business Centre, 39-41, North Road, London N7 9DP

E-mail: info@iconbooks.co.uk
Website: www.iconbooks.co.uk

Publicity Manager: Henry Lord

Pages: 350

Price: Sterling Pounds 16.99

Can Anyone Hear Me? is Peter Baxter's story of being on tour with Test Match Special Team. For 34 years from 1973, Peter Baxter, throughout these tours, always kept a diary, excerpts of which appear throughout the book.

For twenty five years, Peter Baxter toured the cricketing world for the BBC, producing and commenting on Test Match Special in all the Test-playing countries, from India and Pakistan to New Zealand and the West Indies.

During that time he covered the assassination of a Prime Minister, was threatened with arrest by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe and had to mount the programme from some particularly challenging locations, including the ramparts of a fort in Sri Lanka.

This interesting and revealing book takes us behind the scenes as Baxter and his much-loved TMS colleagues do battle with local conditions, revealing the constant struggles with obstrucive local authorities, extreme local weather and barely functioning local telecommunications.

In the concluding chapter, Baxter says: "In the summer of 2007 I retired from the BBC after 42 years. For 34 of those I had been producing Test Match Special. That made it more than just a job. It really had been my life. People ask if I miss it and I say that of course I do, but a call from Aggers from some remote airport departure lounge as he waits for a delayed flight makes me miss it slightly less.

"I had a pang of regret as I listened to the commentary from the World Cup final in Bombay in 2011. It was the first one that I had not worked at. But then I thought of the post match scramble for interviews and the cleariong up of filthy cables, the packing up of equipment and the logistics of getting it all out of the ground and ready for the flight home. It is not all glamour."

The writer remarks that apart from the camaraderie of touring with fellow broadcasters, press and players, it has been an enormous privilege to have seen so many wonderful sights. "I have visited The Taj Mahal and the spectacular Amber Palace at Jaipur on more than one occasion each. I have carried on up the Khyber Pass, with its forbidding rocky mountainsides. I have marvelled at the towering Himalayas and celebrated just being in the presence of such tourist icons as Table Mountain and Sydney Harbour's Bridge and Opera House."

The whole book is a thoroughly entertaining read, wide-ranging and lively. The book has excellent photography and a thorough index. The publisher is to be congratulated on this splendid production, which is a pleasure to peruse.