Jonathan Agnew is often known as “the voice of cricket” in recognition of his talent and eminence as a broadcaster. Originally a successful professional cricketer, Agnew boasts a first class career that includes such highlights as winning three Test caps for England’s national team and receiving the accolade of Cricketer of the Year in 1988. Well known for his exceptionally fast bowling, Agnew enjoyed his greatest success towards the end of his career and also began a foray into cricket journalism. Currently retired, he continues to be one of the most popular and prominent voices in cricket broadcasting, appearing regularly on BBC radio as a correspondent, and is available for bookings through MN2S Talent Agency London.
Agnew began his involvement in cricket at eight years old, when he began listening to Test Match Special with his father. He has often spoken of how profoundly affecting this was, particularly in the development of his love of not just cricket, but cricket commentary and coverage, recalling: “The program sparked an interest in me, in the same way it has in so many tens of thousands of children down the years, igniting a passion that lasts a lifetime.” It was playing the sport, as well as listening to it, that became an activity for Agnew and his father, and they often spent time together developing Agnew’s skill as a demonic bowler.
Following the development of his cricketing passion at school, he began playing for Surrey County Cricket Club in 1977, but soon caught the eye of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, who signed him while he was still studying. He made his first-class debut for the club in 1978 in a game against Lancashire, winning a Whitbread Brewery award at the end of his first playing season that allowed him to spend time in Australia honing his craft. After performing impressively for several seasons, Agnew’s breakthrough year was 1984 during which he took 84 wickets in 23 first-class matches. In the 1987 season Agnew took an incredible 101 first class wickets for Leicestershire, while at the same time also working as a journalist and featuring on BBC Radio Leicester during the winters. His continually impressive performance led to his selection as one of Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack five Cricketers of the Year
Agnew officially retired from professional cricket in 1990 (although he would make a brief and memorable return in 1992) and made an immediate transition into a broadcasting career. He began by covering the 1990-1991 Ashes for the Today programme and was soon invited to become a commentator on Test Match Special, becoming a cricket correspondent for the BBC in the same year. Originally under the tutelage of commentators such as Brian Johnston, Agnew soon progressed to becoming a senior member of the correspondence team and continues to regularly contribute to the BBC Sport website. Agnew is respected and esteemed by peers and listeners alike and he continues to be one of the foremost names in cricket commentary. Agnew has also written four books over the course of his career, ‘8 Days a Week: Diary of a Professional Cricketer’, ‘Over to you, Aggers’, ‘Thanks, Johnners: An Affectionate Tribute to a Broadcasting Legend’, ‘Aggers’ Ashes’.
With such a stellar career on the pitch and as a hugely popular commentator on TMS, Jonathan Agnew is a no brainer choice as an after dinner speaker at events, where he regularly entertains audiences with anecdotes, insight and humour. Jonathan Agnew is available for booking through MN2S Talent Agency.