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Boring Cricket Commentating Idiots XI

by Mahek

With commentary being such an integral part of the cricketing experience, it's only fitting that there was a discussion on the best in the business. There have been teams of the year and sides of the century, but honours don't come much greater than being part of the greatest collection of commentators to have irritated us with their cliches and prejudices. So with much satisfaction and a large dose of fear, BCC! is introducing the definitive search for the all-time crappiest commentators from all the Test-playing countries.

It's time we recognized the booming voice of Ravi Shastri, the patronising comments of Sir Ian Botham, those anti-white remarks of Sunil Gavaskar. Ian Healy needs to be appreciated for wearing his baggy green in the Channel 9 commentary box. And this list wouldn't be complete without Tony Greig who is in a tririlemma about what team to call his own. Make no mistake, the competition will be tense and since there can only be a team of 11, something will have to give. Rest assured the race will go down to the wire.

In order to ensure none of these commentators slip through the web, I encourage our readers to nominate the commentators that have enriched their cricket-viewing experience with their description of the bleeding obvious. We're talking about the kings of cliches, the princes of bad puns, the badshahs of bias. Nominations are welcome until 00:00 GMT on Sunday, December 6. Once the nominations are in, due diligence will be done to examine their commentating credentials. The list will be divided into groups based on the commentators' primary job when they were cricketers. Our XI will comprise 2 opening batsmen, 3 middle order batsmen, an allrounder, a wicket-keeper, 3 pace bowlers and a spinner.

Voting with start from Monday, December 7 with readers choosing their opening batsmen. It will continue for 7 days, after which it will be turn of middle order stalwarts. This will continue for six weeks, after which BCC! will announce the Elite Eleven.

In case you're wondering what's in it for the voters, there is absolutely nothing. However, it does give them a chance to hurl abuses at commentators, share their favourite quotes, basically provide further evidence of how bored and cricket crazy they are.


Rohit said...

Come can't restrict the list to ex-cricketers! Where will we find the place for 'suddenly hirsute harsha'??
And still bald as ever Charu? Charu has to be there. He is the creme de la creme of commentary. How about a supersub non ex-cricketer option for either of these?

Mahek said...

Hmmm, I guess every team has to have a coach. You're right, there should be a position for the Charus and Nicholases.

Anonymous said...

Damien Fleming!

Leela said...

This is eerie... I was about to put up a post today on the comm box ... specifically the inclusion of Brad Hogg in the current IND-SL series.
Oh well, I shall scrap that.

Anyhow, my vote goes to Arun Lal.

pRAFs said...

Surely, Nicolas has to be there
seems to find it exciiiiiting, and amaaaaaazing all the time.
like he's actually enjoying collingwood nurdle a single off scott styris.
may be i'm playing cricket 2007 too much

Rohit said...

You guys are deciding ways too quickly. There are so many numbskulls out have to give it more thought! Doull nd Morrison, Akram, Mohinder Amarnath, Srikkanth himself, vijay dahiya etc etc etc the list goes on and on and on. Requires a lot of thought. Srikkanth is a shoe-in for the opener's slot though...No competition there

Mahek said...

Leela, think of all those greats who have serenaded you with their voice. While Arun Lal is one of the greatest ever to have held the microphone, feel free to add some more names.

Prafs, Mark Nicholas is "simply marvellous".

Rohit, way to get the ball rolling buddy!

pRAFs said...

matthew hayden should get the other openers slot after sreesanth.
the guy just bumbles on without making any sense

pRAFs said...

i meant srikkanth, not sreesanth

Mahek said...

Good point, but Hayden isn't a professional commentator yet. He could, however, find a place in Symonds's kitchen.

harry said...

Thought the following makes great reading :
The Sound of Cricket - Vinod Mehta in Outlook Sep 21, 2009.

When I was living in Mumbai in the mid-’70s and cricket on television had not yet arrived, there was no greater pleasure than listening to BBC’s Test Match Special ball-by-ball radio commentary. There were such greats as Trevor Bailey, Norman Yardley, John Arlott, Brian Johnston, Fred Trueman, Christopher Martin-Jenkins. The producer’s brief was clear: convey the atmosphere on the ground and crack jokes. And don’t forget the cricket. Old ladies from Henley-on-Thames used to send Johnston freshly baked chocolate cakes which were consumed on air by the commentary team while wickets were falling! I remember the way Arlott signed off the air after a 35-year commentary career. He had, like Neville Cardus, become a legend. After his fellow commentators had paid him a fulsome tribute, Arlott remained silent and ended his stint on Test Match Special with the words: “And after Trevor Bailey, it will be Christopher Martin-Jenkins.” What a way to go!

A worthy successor to those greats is the Lancastrian David Lloyd. On TV during the recent Ashes series, he said of an English player: “If that fellow is a Test bowler, my backside is a fire engine!”

Mahek said...

Harry, Bumble is one the the fellow commentators who make you laugh without losing respect for their cricketing knowledge. He's neither boring nor an idiot!

Tifosi Guy said...

Ever had surgery without anesthesia ? If not, the closest you will get to it is when Ranjit Fernando and Athar Ali Khan do a stint together. If that is followed by Akram and Charu Sharma - you'll be visiting the gravyard pretty soon !!

Mahek said...

Good stuff TG, these are the kind of compliments we're looking for!

pRAFs said...

though, akram's little insights or anecdote can be of some help.

bumble is actually good in the comm box, what's your opinion on slater?

Mahek said...

Slats talks based on which commentary box he's in. I'd say he is a long shot for the XI but deserves a nomination nonetheless.

Gaurav Sethi said...

First, the Jay walkers, who in the box, become the J talkers:

Arun Lal (he gives hallucinatory drugs a bad name)

SMG (last day of the Kanpur test when he repeatedly imitated a South Indian umpires South Indian accent)

Cheeka (SMG deserves him, and Cheeka deserves SMG)

The Drug Store

Anshuman Gaekwad (on mute he cures insomnia, hear him and you're gng Heath Ledger)

Vivek Razdan (can't recall what he sounds like, don't want to, but he will creep up on me one Challenger Trophy)

Bob Willis: The Dirge

Ranjit Fernando: So much enthusiasm for what? Does he froth while he speaks?

Russel Arnold: sounds like he's apologizing for what he sounds like..

Imran Khan: A more self obsessed Bob Willis

David Gower: back to public school

Pep Fizz:

Mike Hayesman: Froths, even spits

raj said...

Ravi "Anil Kumble is a tall man" Shastri

Russel "The ball has hit the stumps. He is bowled." Arnold
L. "rhythmic lullaby" Sivaramakrishnan
Sunil "Australia sucks" Gavaskar
Ian "Australia rocks" Healy
Mark "I suck Australia's *&^%" Nicholas
Krish "Random combination of Hindi and English words" Srikkanth
(Note: Fernando/Arun Lal are too mediocre to be in any list, best or worst!)

Anonymous said...

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

and Bob Willis, of course. Does anyone else think he looks like he's about to lash out with his tongue on the nearest fly?

Samir Chopra said...

Ranil Abhinayake surely.
Barry Richards: Pompous
Jeremy Coney: Pedantic
Hussain/Botham: The Queen's Minions

Mahek said...

I can already see a pretty good list with some usual suspects and some lesser lights. This is going to be fun!

Jai said...

I'm surprised no one so far has mentioned Sidhu!