||The ECB announced Thursday that it has agreed a new six-year deal with BBC Sport for the radio rights to broadcast ball-by-ball commentary on international cricket from 2014 to 2019.
The agreement, which will encompass two home Ashes series in 2015 and 2019 - and tours by India in 2014 and South Africa in 2017, provides BBC radio with live and exclusive coverage of all England’s home Test, one-day international and Twenty20 series.
The BBC had previously agreed a four-year deal with the ECB to broadcast live ball-by-ball coverage of international cricket, which is due to expire at the end of the 2013 season.
David Collier, ECB chief executive, said: “This is excellent news for all cricket-lovers. Test Match Special brings cricket into millions of homes in this country each summer and is widely recognised for its unique and world-class coverage of cricket.
“The next six years are set to be exciting ones for the sport and Test Match Special’s coverage, together with the regular summaries and updates provided by BBC Radio 5 live, will play a significant role in promoting cricket from the playground to the Test arena.”
Barbara Slater, director BBC Sport, said: “We're delighted to be taking cricket on the radio forward for a further six years. Test Match Special, now in its 55th year, is one of the most treasured programmes on the BBC with its unique mix of expert commentary, insight, humour and entertainment.
"In a new digital era the programme and its accompanying download have never been more popular with its audience.”