There are somethings that you can’t let go unspoken.
At the stroke of lunch on day one of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka, the moment arrived. One of the Channel Nine commentators had to speak up and voice their opinion on a terribly clumsy runout involving Phil Hughes and Dave Warner.
“He’s back,” Michael Slater announced on the Cricket Show, referring to Hughes surviving the first session.
“He has been impressive,” Bill Lawrey said.
“Unfortunate runout,” Ian Healy added at the beginning of the second session.
Hughes ignored every fundamental of cricket when he decided to call a run when Warner pushed the ball into the covers.
First law broken: If the ball is hit forward of the wicket, the batsman on-strike makes the decision on whether there is a run or not.
Second law broken: As the session nears the close, avoid risky calls for singles.
Hughes chose to crucify his teammate Warner, who was looking ominous for a big knock.
Hughes might have tightened his technique a little but he sure hasn’t refined his understanding of the game. His game sense and awareness is not at Test level. He might have not been dismissed in the first session but he sure cost Australia a wicket, which equally hurts the team (if not more by the fact that Warner can devastate bowling attacks).
Channel Nine’s commentary reeks of the “mate syndrome”. What cricket commentary needs is not the dismissal of the current commentators but an addition to the commentary box.
What they need is a Charles Barkley- Not always politically correct, not always the most fluent of speakers (but who is on the Channel Nine team), but sure does voice his opinion on everything.
Barkley is a retired Hall of Fame basketball player in the United States who features on the premier NBA coverage on TNT.
Barkley doesn’t mind telling the world when a great player should retire or when a media identity doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.
Yet, behind Barkley’s inability to pronounce names correctly or please cities around America (claiming women in San Antonio are fat), he sure does know his basketball like very few and has a great comedic sense.
“When I was recruited at Auburn [university], they took me to a strip joint. When I saw those titties on Buffy, I knew that Auburn met my academic requirements,” Barkley said on TNT’s Inside the NBA.
The Australian public deserve not to be blindfolded by the “mates syndrome” in the Channel Nine commentary box.
Honesty is always the best form of journalism and commentary.