The Good and the Bad in Cricket commentators

The result for the English Test series is well and truly decided but the coverage continues with a less urgent attitude which is probably a good thing when it comes to sleep paterns. I usually plan on watching or listening to it before bed with an option to hang on if it’s getting exciting.

There has been a few early nights.

And a few where I thought we were travelling well and missed another tragedy.

The attraction, especially now that the overall result is settled, is listening to the Pommie commentators. The good ones have me hooked in and the bad have me switching off and heading to bed.

The Aussies? Nope. They are just there. But the best of the Brits just reek of old school and it’s hilarious. Principal among them is Henry Blofeld with his “My dear old thing” and lately Phil Tuffnell has stepped forward to really add to the fun.

Listening to the banter is fabulous and often cricket is not getting a look in. Especially entertaining when the Poms are deliberately time wasting out on the field.

Last night there was a fly buzzing around in the commentary box and Phil had had enough.

“That’s it. I’m going to get him now.”

Swat. Much laughter.

Blowers, “I know you were only a number 11 batsman but you missed him by half an inch.”

There is a lot of laughter in that box and sometimes we aren’t privy to it. I’d love to be a fly on the wall to catch the stuff that doesn’t make it to air and if Phil is in charge of pest disposal I should be pretty safe.

But then we have the forces of darkness led by Geoffrey Boycott. Negativity just drips from this chap. If someone hits a magnificent straight drive, it’s the bowlers fault. A bowler takes a wicket? The batsman was inept. There is simply no outcome that doesn’t have some negativity hidden inside it. It would be a line ball between him and Tony Abbott over who whinges most. Tony wins on opportunity, Geoffrey on depth.

Over on the TV coverage things are much the same except for the depth of Britishness. I’m not one of the Radio on, TV on but sound off, chaps. I especially like Warnie but Ian Chappell has me jumping to the Mute button. Ian’s a living breathing human drone. Of course you do get the pleasure of regular adverts on the telly which seem to lack much variety late at night, but overall it’s not too painful.

Does this enjoyment of the Brits mean I’m a closet Monarchist? Hell no. Oz isn’t England and it shouldn’t need the Queen to validate our decisions but I might just be in the category that some of the Yanks are in. They don’t want the British Monarchy but quite like some traditional British behaviours.


6 thoughts on “The Good and the Bad in Cricket commentators

  1. Thanks for writing about this Pete….radio cricket commentary is one of the great loves of my life….it has accompanied me since I was knee high to a grasshopper when Frank Tyson and the Nawab of Pataudi were playing. I have only listened to small fractions of the England tour because the behaviour of the Aussie team is pathetic and dishonors the traditional high standards of the game. Richie Benaud is the doyen of commentators….I have never heard anyone better, but I enjoy Boycott..especially his accent, as well as dear old Blowers and Jim Maxwell…….and Kerry O’Keefe in recent years has injected much needed entertainment into the commentary teams.
    My love of cricket is perhaps the only interest which has been with me since childhood and will stay with me until I kark it.

    1. It is one of the traditional delights that hasn’t been ripped away by some brand new ABC GM who wants to build the radio world of his dreams. One of the very few.

      I have to say I was gob smacked when a team member was dropped for not doing his PowerPoint homework. My goodness gracious me! Next thing he wont be sitting around singing Kumbyar and meeting with management consultants.

      Call me an old codger but getting a bit of bat on ball seems more helpful than brain training and wearing plastic voodoo bands.

      >end vent>

  2. Every cricket season until I left home the radio would be on – dad even had a little transistor he’d take on the tractor or header with him.

    In the late ’60s to mid 70’s when we went to Sydney for our yearly holiday dad would get 2 tickets to the SCG and he’d take 3 of us kids in turns to whatever game/series was playing. I remember a lot of people in the crowd would bring transistors for the commentary even though the game was right there.

    I have not found the same enthusiasm for baseball as I had for cricket. I once asked the manservant if I could take a book to the baseball and he went without me! LOL. So I’ve still never been to a game and can’t stand it on the telly.

    1. I have similar memories from my childhood…wonderful …and I suspect baseball doesn’t have commentary like the following from Kerry O’keefe. 😉

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