Manish Bhasin and Rishi Persad to front BBC TV team for Ashes and Cricket World Cup coverage

BBC Sport’s presenters and lifelong cricket fans, Manish Bhasin and Rishi Persad, have today been announced as the new faces of the BBC’s cricket highlights coverage.

Manish, best known as the presenter of Football Focus, will present coverage of the Ashes and Cricket World Cup highlights, while Rishi, a presenter and reporter for BBC’s coverage of horse racing, will present highlights of the one-day international series and provide reports for the Cricket World Cup programmes.

Expert studio analysis and discussion will be provided by some of the game’s legendary stars, including: acclaimed cricketer and broadcaster Richie Benaud, former England captain Tony Greig, ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott and Test Match Special (TMS) stalwart Jonathan Agnew.

As well as TV highlights of the Ashes and one-day internationals, the BBC has also acquired the rights for interactive highlights. Beginning on BBCi each evening at 10.00pm, cricket fans can catch the all the major action before the main highlights programme airs in its regular slot, straight after Newsnight on weekdays, and around 11pm at weekends.

Following the BBC 2 programme, BBCi viewers can press the red button for up-to-date scores, statistics, graphical illustrations of the action, audience reaction and more – while at the same time listening, live, to the distinctive and authoritative commentary of the TMS team in the background. And for viewers waking up to the last few overs in the morning, there’s an audio highlights loop that will enable them to catch up on the overnight action.

BBC Director of Sport, Roger Mosey, said: “Manish and Rishi are both passionate cricket fans. They are also up-and-coming stars of BBC Sport, and they’ll bring an exciting fresh approach to the return of cricket to BBC Television.”

There will be comprehensive live radio coverage of the Tests with TMS on BBC Radio 4 LW and Radio Five Live Sports Xtra. There will also be full live radio coverage (UK only) as well as ball-by-ball text coverage available online at www.bbc.co.uk/cricket.

BBC Sport also announced that the contracts to produce the cricket highlights for the Ashes and the ICC Cricket World Cup have been awarded to independent producers Sunset+Vine and TWI respectively.

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Name: Natasha Ayivor