How good it is to have test cricket on the radio so early in the summer. The series that started between the Black Caps and the West Indies at the Basin Reserve yesterday was exactly the way summer should start.

For too long New Zealand's test cricket has been consigned to the edges of the season, with limited over games taking the limelight. Frequently it was not until March that players donned their whites and went out to play a match scheduled for five days. There is nothing as absorbing as traditional cricket for those who love the game.

And there is nothing quite like the sound of its radio commentary to provide the soundtrack of summer. Wherever cricket fans happen to be this weekend — in their gardens, driving to the shops, painting a house, reading in the sun — they will be tuned in to the commentary and the sounds of scattered spectators and occasional crack of bat on ball in the background.

Then tonight, hopefully, the attention of all sports fans will turn to Brisbane for the Women's Rugby League World Cup final where the Kiwi Ferns will be facing Australia's Jillaroos in their fifth successive final. Having beaten England's Lionesses to the tune of 52-4 last weekend the Ferns must be running hot.


But it must be tough to be playing a winter game in this heat. The summer has started with golden weather in New Zealand these past two weeks. To have a home cricket test series starting already is a bonus. It should happen this time every year.