Hey cricket commentators, stop talking to players mid-game, ok?
Shane Warne drops Aaron Finch cold - doesn't make it into the Big Bash First XI (AAP Image/David Crosling)
The Big Bash League is a part of our lives now – and I’ve accepted that. Just like I’ve begrudgingly accepted that Apple’s domination of consumer electronics – and the world in general – is a part of modern-day life, and that e-cigarettes are a “thing” now.
But it seems that television producers are not content to let the “cricket” speak for itself.
As if we, the public, are not already over-sensitised enough, with all the sixes, “free hits” and dancing cheer-girls (not to mention the KFC “million dollar catch viewer competition”, for which I am speechless: I have no speech) but we must now have unadulterated access to the players’ thoughts in between balls.
Obviously, television producers want to make us feel like we are part of the action. And part of this strategy is to attach microphones to select players – both batsmen and bowlers/fielders – and ask them a series of inane questions throughout the telecast.
This does not make me feel a part of the action. Instead, it makes me lament society, technology and modern-life. Shit, even “life,” per se.
Firstly, from a purely sport-related perspective, it cannot be good for a cricketer to have Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh, Viv Richards and Mark ‘Howie’ Howard up in your grill during a match.
And these guys, it must be said, are not blessed with Benaud-like timing – be assured that they’ll persist in talking to a player as the bowler is running in, which would likely disturb the cricketer’s concentration while simultaneously annoying the viewer.
But secondly – and most importantly, for mine – do we need, or even want, to know what is going on in the mind of a cricketer?
Can’t we have a little mystery anymore? In this age of explicit and illicit, rampant status updates/tweeting, and Snapchat, sometimes we crave a little mystique.
I don’t want to hear Dave Warner talk us through his shot selection while batting; not just for the fact that it doesn’t interest me in the slightest, but more because I have no desire to see him as a human being, with real human instincts and emotions.
He is there purely for entertainment purposes and should never, ever, under any circumstances, be asked to speak in a public forum – especially one where he is under pressure and has little time to filter his speech.
If Channel 10 is to continue bugging the hell out of the Big Bash players, then the least they could do is make the questions slightly interesting. Newsflash: T20 cricket is ACTUALLY NOT REALLY THAT TACTICAL, so perhaps they could take the liberty to actually get to know the players, rather than just asking them what they think the pitch is doing, which we as viewers can already tell for ourselves.
I’d be far more interested in Dirk Nannes’ Dutch heritage and former life as a professional mogul skier than whether he thinks 140 is a “defendable total on this pitch.”
I’d also actually like to hear Ajantha Mendis’ talk about his active military service as a gunner in the Sri Lanka Artillery – you know, that kind of thing would actually interest me.
If this is the “future” of cricket, then send me back to the 1980s.