February is never easy. But in my household the cold, dark mornings were brightened by live cricket on terrestrial TV beamed direct from a warm-looking Chennai. Coverage of the England-India test match may start at an ungodly hour but the return of live cricket to a non-subscriber TV channel has meant that I have been following the team’s progress over my morning coffee and cornflakes.
But here’s the thing. Although I enjoy the game, I would not pay a fee for watching it. This has meant that since cricket disappeared behind Sky’s paywall in 2005, I have stopped following it other than via the newspaper sports pages. It is a passion that withered on the vine.
So the fact that Channel 4 is showing it, has meant that I am now following the tour and engaging again in a way that I haven’t done since the heady days of free-to-air test matches in the 1990s.