Of all the people that cover cricket for BBC, Jonathan Agnew is the last person you expect to indulge in a foul-mouthed diatribe against someone. The former England cricketer turned commentator is always the embodiment of calm and composure. He is also known for being measured in his pronunciations while analysing the game, often providing the calming touch while his fellow commentator Geoffrey Boycott lets himself go at the poor performers.
But in a bolt out of the blue, Aggers, as he has fondly come to be known, sent twitter messages that were full of vitriol and contained some salty language as well, according to a report in Daily Mail. The target of Agnew's anger was Jonathan Liew, chief sports writer for The Independent.
Cause of dispute
The latter had penned a column in which he suggested that the opposition of certain cricket experts, including Agnew, to the expediting of pace bowler Jofra Archer into the English team, was the result of undisclosed motivations.
Taking strong exception to this thinly-veiled hint at racism on part of himself and his fellow commentators, Agnew erupted with rage and sent him angry responses on the social media site. "C***. You're so strange I don't know if you'd be upset to know those who think you are a c***. Or not. I'm going no further on the advice of people I have heard back from who know you and think you are a c***," the veteran BBC broadcaster was quoted as having written by the newspaper.
Agnew is the chief cricket correspondent of BBC and usually helms their coverage of international cricket involving England. He is the lead commentator on Test Match Special, BBC's coverage of Test matches played by England, home and abroad.
Agnew and BBC
Over the years, Agnew has been known for his insightful commentary, engaging voice and sense of humour. One of the most famous moments in the history of BBC's cricket coverage is the incident where, while reviewing a day's play in a Test match between England and West Indies, the 59-year old said, describing Ian Botham's strange hit-wicket dismissal, "He couldn't quite get his leg over." Since 'get his leg over' is a double-meaning term implying carnal intercourse, soon after saying this, both Agnew and his fellow commentator Brian Johnston broke into involuntary laughter and spent the next few minutes trying to analyse the game while suppressing their laughter into guffaws and giggles.
Daily Mail also reports that Agnew has received reprimand from BBC officials who are not happy with this nature of interaction between their employees and others. Apparently, an apology letter has also been penned by the broadcaster and sent to Jonathan Liew. But the entire incident must have come as a shock to many and may lead to some further jocular comments between him and his fellow commentators.