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Favourite Cricket Commentator

Discussion in 'Sport' started by Ian J, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Cricinfo has conducted a poll of 12,000 cricket fans to see who the most popular cricket commentator was and predictably Richie Benaud came out on top quite a long way ahead of the second placed Michael Holding.

    The cricket commentry dream team comprising the six highest votes was Richie Benaud, Michael Holding, Geoff Boycott, David Gower, Mark Nicholas and Ian Botham.

    Those that didn't make it - in order of votes cast - were Mike Atherton, David Lloyd, Nasser Hussain, Simon Hughes, Bob Willis, Dermot Reeve and Paul Allot.

    I must admit that whilst I like Benaud and Holding I don't much like Boycott as he is an anachronism that should be pensioned off like the great Fred Trueman was and I don't like David Gower and Mark Nicholas much either as they witter and waffle too much. I think that Mike Atherton is a revelation in the commentary box and I even like Bob Willis but wish that he had a more interesting voice.

    Of the guest commentators here every year I rather like Michael Slater this year but can't wait for India to tour again in the hope that Navjot Sidhu will be in the commentary box so taht we can hear more gems like "India has to keep on its toes like a midget at a urinal"
     
  2. HMHB

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    I'm in agreement with you on that one Ian, my personal favourite has to be Ian Botham as he usually speaks his mind and he's been there and done that from a bowling, batting and fielding point of view. I also remember fondly the good old days of John Arlott and Jim Laker and Richie Benaud.
    From the radio I really miss Johnners, I don't listen much to radio commentary these days since he went to that great commentary box in the sky :(
     
  3. Lex

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    Completely agree about Boycott - he often makes me inwardly cringe and am often tempted to press the mute button when he comes on.

    My favourite would be Michael Atherton, he is both insightful and articulate. I also think Nasser Hussain has been really good. Agree about Slater, but actually I quite like Mark Nicholas. I really like Tony Gregg, Simon Hughes is also worth listening to.
    Whilst I like Richie Benaud as a commentator I find him a little understated during the really dramatic moments. Same with Michael Holding. Bob Willis is good, but he says some stupidly harsh things at times. Bumble is great at the Twenty20. Botham is trading on his name, David Gower is more wooden than a cricket stump.
    Okay, who have I missed? :D

    What has happened to Dermot Reeve this year btw?

    Any word yet as to who will be fronting/commentating for Channel 5 next year?
     
  4. The Dude

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    The thing people don't like about Sir Geoff is that he's right all the time...:D


    Michael Slater for me.... just ahead of Atherton.. who's a bit too nice still.
     
  5. HMHB

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    Yes, I can't take Geoff seriously when he criticises someone's bowling, he's no expert bowler is he ! I also get the feeling he's saying a lot of stuff just to wind people up.
     
  6. Lex

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    He winds me up when he starts gloating about the Australians poor form - it just isn't cricket! :)
     
  7. The Dude

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    well...I think you need a bit of banter in the commentary box... It's going to be a boring listen without Boycott if you ask me.... unless they get Slater in..

    he's dry, he's class... he can come for a beer with me anytime.. :smashin:


    I'm still smiling inside over his Pietersen fielding comment the other day... :thumbsup:
     
  8. Ian J

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    I think that since admitting that he had a serious cocaine habit and that he couldn't remember some of the Test matches that he had commentated on, his services have been dispensed with.

    Shame as I used to like his comments, especially when he was on with Sir Geoffrey
     
  9. Ian J

    Ian J
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    There was a lovely moment during the Old Trafford Test when he was talking about airships with Tony Greig and Boycott suggested that they might need a bit of extra ballast if Greigy went up in one as he was a big bloke. Greigy replied that Boycott had a lot in common with an airship as they were both full of hot air.
     
  10. scrapbook

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    I don't mind Boycott and his "corridor of uncertainty" to be honest.

    I much prefer the Channel 4 coverage to sky, I think they have done a great job with cricket after winning the rights from BBC.

    I wouldn't say Richie Benauld is my fav as I am not sure I have one, but Richie and Athers is probably my fav partnership. I was a big Athers fan as player, in generally a very average England team, and I think he is a top notch commentator.

    More thumbs up from me for Michael Holding, he comes out with some cracking one liners.

    I think Mark Nicholas is a better front man rather than commentator, Gower too.

    Slater is excellent.

    I haven't made my mind up on Tony Greig.

    I don't really like any of the sky commentators other than Holding. Willis bores me to death, Lloyd comes across as a clown most of the time. I think Botham is terrible, Hussain not much better.

    Is there anyone else? I am trying to think of the Radio 3 commentators...Aggers and the late Johners of course :smashin:. Everyones else must be forgetable.
     
  11. HMHB

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    I do find it annoying that Channel 4 are supposed to show the home tests on terrestrial but as soon as there is horse racing you have to tune in to Film 4. A lot of people still don't have access that channel.
    I remember the first time they had cameras at both ends of the ground, what excitement that caused :)
    I remember reading Botham's book, and it comes across very strongly that he doesn't like Boycott who he sees as a totally selfish person.
     
  12. scrapbook

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    Yep, I dislike the break for the horses as well, but that used to happen on Auntie Beed as well I seem to recall.
     
  13. The Dude

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    I'm all for it TBH.... I need a few minutes to regain my composure every now and again, the way these last two tests have been going...!
     
  14. Dubster

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    All the sky commentators especially beefy and richie for ch4.
     
  15. Lex

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    Blimey! I missed that one! You'll be telling me that Richie Benaud is on Speed next! :eek:


    Talking of the Airship does Richie really think that there are people up there taking those shots? Every Test Match for the last three years he has mentioned "the people up there", I can't work out if he is being serious or not!

    I have always enjoyed listening to Tony Greig whenever Sky show coverage from Australia's Channel 9. Talking of which, who is covering the Ashes for Australian TV? Both Channel4 and Sky have mentioned that their broadcast is being aired live down under, but surely there must be an Ozzy channel covering it as well? So that would mean at least three live feeds going out across Australia...
     
  16. scrapbook

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    Geoffrey is making lots of valid points this morning, in particular about the England players playing between test amongst other things, I don't understand why people dislike him so much.

    Apart from the dodgy hats of course.
     
  17. The Dude

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    euchhh those hats!!!! :lease:
     
  18. Ian J

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    For many people it's a hangover from his playing days where he was self centred and selfish and attracted a great deal of criticism from thousands of cricket lovers outside of Yorkshire.

    His commentary is along similar lines as he constantly refers to himself and his skills and achievements. Thanks to Sky we now have football all year round and interest in our national summer game has been dwindling but if the sport is to attract a new young audience it won't be with old buffers constantly referring to a past that is of no interest to most of them.

    David Gower was arguably a far better cricketer than Sir Geoffrey but he doesn't feel the need to constantly refer to his own exploits when commentating - mind you I don't like Gower's commentary much as his philosophy is "why use a simple word when there are longer more complicated alternatives" and he also has the sort of wittering voice that some of my old schoolteachers had and I had to struggle to stay awake whilst they were droning on and on and on and on.
     
  19. keiths

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    Not exactly on-topic, but...

    A few years ago a mate of mine lent me a comedy CD by aussie impresionist/comedian Billy Birmingham (I think) called "The 12th Man... It's Just not Cricket". It's basically various spoof commentaries where Billy takes off Benaud, Gower, Holding, Tony Greg, Bill Lawrie, The Chappell Brothers etc. Lots of swearing and very,very funny. Well worth a listen if you can still find it.
     
  20. scrapbook

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    I tend to look past the Geofrey talking up his career comments and if you do that you tend to have a number of both excellent technical observations and accurate (imo) opinions on attitude, heart,guts etc.

    I particulary liked the way he 'observed' today that although the England players are not allowed to play this weekend because of risk of injury / resting etc that they are all scheduled to play in a Michael Vaughan benefit match between the 4th and 5th test. :D

    I think I will sit over here in the corner on my own in the 'I dont mind GB' club!
     
  21. The Dude

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    well I'm sitting here already.... get out of my 'Boycott Rules' chair!! :D


    people just don't get Geoffrey, half the time he drags up his own achievements he's not bragging as such, he's just (needlessly) vindicating his prescence in the box as an expert..... It's an 'old fashioned' Yorkshire thing.. nearly all the guys I know that age are just the same.... :lesson:

    and he loves baiting Aussies...did you see him with Slater today? it's his chosen sport these days!! :D

    We need a new Boycott before we get rid of the old one...!
     
  22. Ian J

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    I didn't watch the C&G games but in his first year with C4, which may have been last year, he and Dermot Reeve started needling each other with Geoffrey telling him on more than one occasion that although Deremot only played a handful of tests he shouldn't have played any as he wasn't good enough. Dermot clearly wasn't happy and there seemed to be clear tension throughout their stint together.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere in this thread Geoff has also been verbally sparring with Tony Grieg this time around and came off worse.
     
  23. The Dude

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    Yeah he probably does go a bit far sometimes...:devil: still, If I was Dermot Reeve I'd be more careful about sparring with someone like Boycott.. At least they both kept the personal stuff off the air! :D

    he's pretty good Tony Grieg definitely.... like him a lot. I reckon Geoffrey does too from the sound of the banter... Where was he hiding before now? has he moved over from Sky or something?
     
  24. Ian J

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    I think that he lives in Australia now and commentates full time for overseas TV stations. There used to be a weekly half hour programme on Sky called ICC cricket world (centred on the Asian countries) and Greig would often be commentatiting on South Africa versus India or somesuch match.

    Talking about Sky - they cover quite a few National League games (Durham & Somset this afternoon) and they tend to drag one or two of the players into the commentary box for a stint and I am constantly surprised at how articulate and intelligent most of these cricketers are. Mark Butcher, Mark Ramprakash, Nick Knight, Ian Ward, Stuart Law, Graeme Swann and Charlie Dagnall are those that immediately spring to mind that I have heard recently.
     
  25. Lex

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    Tony Greig usually works for Channel 9 in Australia (along with Ian Chappel, Ian Healy, Mark Taylor etc) who are the main domestic cricket broadcaster there - during the UK winter Benaud, Atherton and Nicholas go down under and work there too. Sky Sports uk show the channel 9 feed overnight when Australia are playing Test Matches or in the VB Series...

    As for D Reeve vs G Boycott - Boycott may well have been the better cricketer, but I would always far rather listen to Reeve comentate.
     
  26. infcrickfo

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    I am shocked that so few have mentioned the TMS (Test Match Special for the uninitiated). Aggers, Blowers, CMJ etc have not only the greatest job on Earth, but also the collective title of "National Treasures". Of the others, the much missed Channel 4 guys did a great job. Mark Nicholas exuded class, and Simon Hughes (although not a commentator), did an excellent job of explaining the finer points of the game to the uninitiated. Of the Sky team (and although not their fault, but what a shame that at the height of cricket's popularity it was sold off to a minority station), I have been impressed with Nasser's rapid and continual improvement, love Mikey's laconioc style and Bumble's eccentricity. David Gower is a very accomplished MC rather than a commentator and much in the Peter West mould for those old enough to remember when cricket was played exclusively in black and white. Ian Botham is rapidly turning into Freddy Trueman and like Fred is valued more for his heroic exploits than his rather laboured verbal dexterity. I am however just old enough to have grown up with the mellifluous tones of John Arlott ...surely the Daddy of them all.
     
  27. Ian J

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    Cricket has an uphill struggle to attract youngsters and I don't think that old buffers like Blowers, CMJ et al help the cause and they should be pensioned off and replaced by younger people who are more in tune with this century.

    I was never much of a fan of Mark Nicholas as I found him too "oily" and in my opinion David Gower is the worst of the current crop as he drones rather than talks and seems to have a philosophy of not using a simple word or phrase if there is a much longer and more complicated substitute available.

    I would like to see Mr Gower retired and replaced by Michael Atherton who is my favourite of the current crop.
     
  28. city fan

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    I have to agree. Scrolling down this thread and no mention of the great commentators on TMS. For me it was Brian Johnston, didn't he make the gaffe of "The bowlers Holding rhe batsmans Willey",. Classic

    Truman and Bailey were good.

    Better than these was Blofield, CMJ and Aggers- very funny. Great partnership. Get you involved when there is nothing happening. After that on TV- Holding and Botham are quite good.
     
  29. Ian J

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    It's an excellent line but I don't think that anyone actually said it.
     
  30. city fan

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    I think there was some confusion if he did or not. Blowers in a later actually he said this-

    Brian suddenly announced to an unsuspecting world: 'Well I can tell you the bowler's Holding the batsman's Willey'.

    As you say, a great line, and I think those boys painted a great picture on the radio. The cakes thing was quite funny as well....
     

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