What makes watching sport fascinating on visual media- its not just the quality of the game being played but also the quality of the commentary on offer. Sometimes the game played can be mediocre but the commentator can lift the game and make it interesting till the game ultimately reaches a boiling point. For example, imagine a target in an ODI like 10 runs needed in the final over and someone like Bill Lawry on commentary! Here is my pick of 5 top cricket commentators ever –
“Oh oh oh, what a ripper!” – this is one of the famous lines from the Bill Lawry stable and was usually reserved for one of those cracking deliveries from the Spin wizard, Shane Warne, that would bamboozle batsman. Overs 45-50 in a close ODI chase with Bil Lawry on commentary – it is an irresistible combination and must be an advertiser’s delight…
“Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!” – Cut to the The world T20 final earlier in 2016 between West Indies and England and those 4 towering sixes from Carlos Brathwaite.. What also became famous after this match was this one liner from Bishop that was apt for the moment and captured the imagination of the cricket audience across the world!
“My mum would have scored runs and taken wickets against the Bangladeshis. She’d have wanted to bat and bowl at both ends!” – This line from Boycott that heavily criticized the performance of the Bangladesh Cricket team a few years back was not taken well by the Bangladesh players and the cricket administration there. Boycott’s Yorkshire accent and style of commentary was very popular with the cricket viewers, especially the ones from the sub-continent.
Cricket in Sharjah is never the same without Blofeld on the mike! He was a regular for all the key matches in Sharjah in the late 80s and early 90s and was a huge hit in India and Pakistan.. Any beautiful women in the stadium who had even prettier earrings on – it was highly likely that the cameramen would pick it up and Blofeld would come up with aptly suited one-liners to describe it!!
Imagine one of those classical straight drives from Sunil Gavaskar or David Gower. Whom would you want behind the mike to describe the shot – Richie Benaud, isnt it? Benaud is one of the most classical and gracious commentators ever and is adored by Test cricket fans across the world.. A riveting test match session with a good contest between bat and ball – a cup of tea and Benaud on commentary, a fascinating combination for a test cricket lover!!!
Let the league of great cricket commentators keep flourishing!!!