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New Zealand fans will have to paint their roofs this summer without the sound of cricket commentary in the background. Radio Sport has announced it will not be broadcasting live commentary on matches from the Plunket Shield, New Zealand’s domestic first-class competition. Instead they will have someone provide updates on the matches from online scores. Radio Sport will continue to broadcast live commentary from the domestic one-day and Twenty20 competitions. The move to cancel live coverage of the Plunket Shield has already caused a stir among New Zealand cricket fans, and an online petition has been started to change the radio network’s minds.
“Cricket is a sport that is made for radio commentary; it is the perfect backdrop to that other great NZ tradition of painting house roofs. Can someone please think of the roofs,” a petition on ipetitions.com reads. Dallas Gurney, the general manager of talk programming for The Radio Network, said listeners would not miss the action from the Plunket Shield since there would be updates. "Instead of running extended periods of commentary and crossing between the multiple games, we are going to have a commentator in a central commentary position providing updates on the games," Gurney said. “It is as much about providing the best possible coverage for our Radio Sport audience as it is any money that we might save by not having a commentator at every single Plunket Shield game.”