Richie, a pro to the core

"Richie Benaud was precise, great eyesight for a man in his seventies and of course he had a long playing career as well as four decades in various commentary boxes so if there was an unusual problem involving the Laws he always knew the answer." An unusual diary from Jo King, Ted Corbett's house mate.

July 17: Hi there, it's Jo King here. Scorer to all the best television companies, radio stations and stats lady for newspapers everywhere. Oh, and did I mention, one Ted Corbett's house mate? I've taken charge of his diary for the week. He's wandering round the garden muttering about needing time to smell the roses, so I'm going to have my say for once.

July 18: First, let's get the balance right. A bit of girlie chat, all right? Naturally, Ted has no idea what we ladies are thinking and now there are one or two more in the media centre — Jane Cable from All Out Cricket magazine has just written a very perceptive piece about us — and Medha Laud from the England and Wales Cricket Board has won an MBE — along with the guys who won back the Ashes — it is time we stood up and said our stuff. There is no reason why we cannot have more influence on cricket. No, I know we are not likely to get into the Test side — may be in 100 years but you can tell I have always been an optimist — but what about women umpires? There are a few around but there is no reason why there cannot be woman umpires for every match. I bet we would get a lot more sensible decisions, far less time wasting and a few matches finishing early. With a woman in the middle you will get less aggression and a bit more Spirit of Cricket, fielders not trying to claim catches that only exist in their imagination and batsmen walking off when they know they are out because their off stump is on the floor. Nothing to do with the gender revolution, it's all for the good of the game. Let's hope that if it happens there is not a lot of talk about having to equip two umpires rooms and put in separate toilets and all that 19th century rubbish. But to be fair another couple of ladies toilets round the ground would not go amiss.

July 19: Lucky girl, working with all those handsome men! I hear it all the time. Frankly, I don't think so. I hardly ever get near to the cricketers and close up some of them are not too lovely to look at although Freddie Flintoff is full of life and always gives it "Hi guys" whenever he sees us. Pity he's injured again because England need his energy. In the Press Box Alec Stewart is perfectly groomed just as he was on the field and Mike Atherton is extremely polite and very intelligent. Richie Benaud — now there's a great man. I enjoyed working with him. I want all the stats to be right — well, that's my job — and I get cross when one of the players is not identified properly. So working with Richie was a dream. He was just as precise, great eyesight for a man in his seventies and of course he had a long playing career as well as four decades in various commentary boxes, so if there was an unusual problem involving the Laws he always knew the answer.

July 20: Now I work with Mark Nicholas, who is brimful of ideas and has a terrific voice and lovely timing and a great sense of drama. Well, his mum was an actress and his stepfather worked for BBC so it's not surprising. He worries that he never played for England but I don't reckon that matters. Geoff Boycott is another commentator who never ceases to surprise me. When he comes into the commentary box, bandbox smart, always punctual, always enthusiastic, the whole atmosphere lifts. That was the effect when he went into a dressing room as captain I imagine. Always a joke, always a bright remark — very often the same remark because he works a joke hard — but the effect on the small staff we have now — we are doing highlights rather than a full day of commentary — is instant. Simon Hughes is quieter and when he does his Analyst stuff you can see just how much more cricketers know than the keenest, most knowledgeable writer or spectator. Doing it for 25 years, watching for another 25, I suppose.

July 21: My job is not easy. Arrive a couple of hours before play, sit in the same seat for two hours in each session, and leave about an hour after the end of the day. I start off by talking to the producer Gary Franses — I have been working for him for 16 years with various companies and that's since he broke new ground by televising the first overseas tour in West Indies — about what is likely to happen. Geoff always refers to Gary as "the holiday maker" because he has so much less to do than he did over the seven years when we produced the cricket for Channel Four. Gary is a lot more relaxed than he used to be except when Boycs teases him. One way and another we have fun in the box and a lot of it stems from Geoffrey although he is in a bit of trouble at the moment because he thinks everyone ought to know who he is and that he should not have to wear a pass. Securitymen, at a pop concert one day, a cricket match the next and a game of football the third day, can't know everyone.

July 22: I'm going to stick my nose into the injury story, particularly since Freddie Flintoff is about to have another operation. It is another time when a woman's word might have been better. I mean when you were a kid and you fell down your dad said "stop crying it will soon be better" and your mum took you inside and washed the little graze and put a plaster on it and sat you down for a sweet or a cup of tea. More sense, right. So why did the ECB medical staff tell Freddie to have a rest for five weeks when they ought to have realised he was going to need an operation? Someone somewhere needs to find a long-term solution and not keep crossing their fingers and hoping bits of bone floating in an ankle will go away with a rest.

July 23: We got home on July 17, had to restock the larder, put on the washing machine and — thank heavens Ted loves ironing — get ready for the next trip. I have spent the last five days stuck in my study — 34C and getting hotter every minute in this heat wave — making my archives up to date, in-putting dozens of Twenty20 matches, checking county scoreboards and catching up with work I should have done in the week we were at Lord's.

Sorry, got to go. Ted's back so I'll just tell him the diary has been sent, smile sweetly and he'll think his is finished for another week. What a shock he'll get when the magazine arrives.