Five ways to improve Channel Nine’s cricket coverage

Stephen Vagg Roar Guru

By Stephen Vagg, Stephen Vagg is a Roar Guru

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    Channel Nine’s cricket coverage has been part of my life since I discovered the game.

    I have vague memories of watching some matches on the ABC (did they broadcast Tests in 1982-83? Do I remember that right?) but overwhelmingly the images of cricket came via Packervision accompanied by the sounds of Richie Benaud, the Chappells, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry, Max ‘Tangles’ Walker and all the gang.

    I really loved Nine’s coverage – the bright colours and tunes, the animated duck, the cuts to the crowd, the fact they inspired The Twelfth Man. To my young ears it was much better than the endless drone of Alan ‘he’s a doyen so better not say anything bad about him’ McGilvray on the radio.

    In recent years it’s become increasingly common to watch cricket on other networks – the Big Bash on Network Ten and overseas tours on cable. You would think this would inspire Channel Nine to lift their game – commentate better, pinch good ideas for their own use etc – but if anything, it’s inspired them to become worse.

    Maybe it’s my age, but I can barely watch a game on Channel Nine now. The commentating is so poor and the quality of coverage is so inferior to the way other networks do it.

    I think cricket at Nine has been particularly affected by the passing of two men: Kerry Packer and Richie Benaud. Packer had a proprietorial interest in the game, which not only earned him a lot of money but also gave him a fame his many other achievements did not. He kept everyone who worked on cricket on their toes, something that has clearly been missing over the past decade.

    Benaud not only brought immense respect as a player but he was also a fantastic broadcaster. He actually trained as a journalist – real training, as in he did police rounds and learned the ropes properly, not just in an “I actually write my own copy” way – and had extensive experience commentating in other countries. He was a skilled user of words and an immense professional. Who comes close out of the current lot? Mark Taylor? Ian Healy? Michael Slater? Mark Nicholas?

    Okay, maybe it’s unfair to expect a second Packer or Benaud, but there are some things the powers that be at Nine could do to lift their game.

    (AAP Image/ Nine Network)

    Have it hosted by a woman
    Nine have never found someone to replace Richie Benaud in the anchor role. They should give it to a woman. It could be a former player or just a journalist. The two main requirements are that they (a) be actually good at broadcasting and (b) know a bit about cricket. There should be a lot of potential applicants around.

    A female in the commentary team would change the dynamic for the better. It would make the commentary feel more inclusive and it would offer a different point of view. Men tend to behave better when women are around.

    Mel McLaughlin did a fantastic job for the Big Bash. She knew her stuff, she was enthusiastic and she could act as a surrogate for the audience. Someone similar should be drafted in by Nine.

    Women are 50 per cent of the population and a growing portion of the cricket market. They should be represented in the commentary box. None of the current inhabitants have made the anchor role their own; it makes sense that job be given to an outsider.

    Have a commentator who didn’t play at a high level but who really knows cricket (who isn’t Mark Nicholas)
    You don’t have to play the game at a high level to be able to commentate it. Look at Jim Maxwell, Dennis Cometti, Ray Warren and Tim Lane.

    Sure, it’s good to have some former players, but having only former players makes listening to them feel like an awful school reunion where the old cool kids are reliving their glory days and the people who weren’t quite as cool are trying to suck up.

    After spending a lifetime listening to Ian Chappell’s commentary, I’m pretty sure I know every single anecdote he’s got in his repertoire – except maybe his enthusiasm for playing against South Africa in the 1970s; he doesn’t tend to bring that up a lot these days.

    Non-playing commentators will work harder. They will be able to understand issues, like how the Duckworth Lewis system works. They will do things like actually follow domestic cricket so that when players like Joe Burns and Hilton Cartwright debut they’ll know who they are. The lack of knowledge the commentary team have about the present day Sheffield Shield is embarrassing. They will lift everyone’s game.

    Mark Nicholas isn’t the answer here. There isn’t enough knowledge on topics like Australian domestic cricket, T20 and women’s cricket – and, to be honest, because those things involve a lot of work and research, I can only see a non-former player journalist doing it.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Bring back guest commentators from overseas
    This used to be a staple of Nine’s coverage. You’d have Tony Cozier when the West Indies were here, David Gower for a British tour and so on. Now it tends to be an all-Australian box, which means an increasing sameness in the views expressed.

    I know there’s a cost involved, but every touring team is accompanied by journos. Is it not possible to ask some over to the commentary box without having to pay for their flights and accommodation?

    Overseas commentators offer a different point of view, an insight into the touring squads and the potential for some interesting conflict.

    Adding a female, a non-player and an overseas guest would probably require room to be made among the commentary team. Everyone will have their own suggestions as to who should get the boot – personally, I don’t know what Michael Slater, Mark Nicholas and Mark Taylor are doing there; what do they provide that Ian Chappell, Shane Warne, Ian Healy and Michale Clarke couldn’t?

    Even if you like them and would prefer other heads to roll, everyone agrees there is fat that can be trimmed from the current lot.

    Produce the show better
    Someone – it may have been Jarrod Kimber – once pointed out that it’s often not so much that the Nine boys are bad at commentating, it’s that they are badly produced. They’re allowed to waffle on, indulge in antics and generally be crap – Shane Warne and Ian Healy, in particular, are commentators capable of greatness but who can go seriously off the boil. Michael Clarke can be good, but could he please do some vocal training to reduce the whine in his voice?

    Maybe it’s the producer. Maybe it’s the absence of Benaud. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes; I can only commentate as a viewer, but it does feel that no-one is telling the commentators to lift their game. Or if they are, they’re not being listened to.

    (AP Photo/Theron Kirkman, file)

    Don’t be afraid of drama
    I think the mantra at Nine for the past few years has been ‘fun’ – a bunch of mates talking about cricket and having good ole time. The result is cliquey and lazy – like watching some ‘legends’ get on the booze in the members’ bar and rehash the same old stories.

    I’ve watched enough cricket to know how boring it can be and that commentators can liven it up. Instead of reheating the same anecdotes, why don’t they challenge the commentators a bit? Remember how awesome it was when Ricky Ponting interviewed Kevin Pietersen during the Big Bash and he spilt dirt on his former teammates? Why not do more stuff like that?

    Have Steve Waugh guest commentate for a session alongside Shane Warne and Ian Chappell, or put Ian Botham or Kim Hughes next to Chappell. What about Steve Waugh next to Slater? Watto next to Clarke? Marlon Samuels next to Warne? Darren Sammy next to Mark Nicholas? The possibilities are endless.

    Nine could also film the game more imaginatively. When I saw the 2013-14 Ashes live at the Gabba I’d never seen a more bored or distracted fielder on a cricket oval than Kevin Pietersen – he was constantly looking at the crowd, barely noticing the game, and had to be pulled into line several times by Alastair Cook. You wouldn’t have known it from the cricket coverage.

    Channel Nine should out the drama on the field – broadcast the sledging, capture the dark looks that pass among feuding teammates, film the fielders who are bludging or flirting with the crowd.

    Will any of this happen? Probably not. And it’s a shame because at one stage Channel Nine led the world when it came to cricket coverage. Now, like their commentators, they’re living off old glories.

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    The Crowd Says (125)

    • October 31st 2017 @ 3:06am
      Mike Dugg said | October 31st 2017 @ 3:06am | ! Report

      Yeah definitely make all the commentators female

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:27am
        Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        I was unsure if this comment was meant to be a joke or not, but I was suggesting one female. More than that I feel would be too much of a culture shock for the audiences (and Nine), but I believe they could handle one.

        • Roar Guru

          October 31st 2017 @ 10:23am
          Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          I often feel like when women are involved in things like this, they just get one in and they feel a bit like “the token woman”. They have them presenting the coverage, and maybe doing some interviews, but rarely get very involved in the actual commentary itself. Introduce a few to the mix, have at least 2 that do regular stints in the commentary box, and one that does the main presenting, like Mel did with the BBL when she was there, and you start getting a better mix.

          If they are going to keep going with having a crowd in the commentary box (back in the day they generally worked in pairs, with just the occasional third if there was a “guest”, but of late they’ve had 3-4 pretty much all the time, sometimes more, on air doing the commentary at the same time) then there should probably be room to always have at least one woman in there at all times.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 10:47am
            Marshall said | October 31st 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Yep, a token ‘host’ role is not the way to go.

            I apologise for not knowing her name, but TripleM had a wonderful ball-by-ball caller last summer and she did a fantastic job.

            why not just have a woman caller or two as part of the 3 person rotations?

            • Roar Guru

              October 31st 2017 @ 1:31pm
              Ryan H said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

              Think ABC have a regular ball by ball caller who is female too, and last couple of seasons has done an excellent job

            • Roar Guru

              October 31st 2017 @ 1:34pm
              Michael Keeffe said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

              Isa Guha from the UK. She was fantastic.

              • October 31st 2017 @ 1:43pm
                Joe Bell said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                Yeah she’s brilliant too

              • October 31st 2017 @ 2:33pm
                Trevor said | October 31st 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

                Agree Isa Guha is excellent. She would be the best commentator nine has if they jagged her.

                Other ABC guys are good like Skull, Subrimanan when he’s around.

              • Roar Guru

                November 1st 2017 @ 10:48am
                Red Kev said | November 1st 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                Alison Mitchell too – she’s always good on the radio.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 11:24am
            Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

            There are plenty of good potential candidates. Even if someone doesn’t work out they can always try again. I feel for a long time Nine relied on “well we tried Kate Fitzpatrick in 1983-84 and that didn’t work out…”

            • October 31st 2017 @ 11:57am
              matth said | October 31st 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              There have been a couple of good ones on radio that they could use. Lisa Sthalekar was pretty good.

            • October 31st 2017 @ 1:03pm
              James said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

              But thats not what you are advocating, you are saying get in a woman not get in a good potential candidate who just happens to be a woman.

              • Roar Guru

                October 31st 2017 @ 1:22pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                Definitely it’s not “just happens to be a woman” but deliberately a woman. The coverage is way to blokey, they need a couple of women to break it up. In a team without a single woman it’s not at all unreasonable to explicitly say there needs to be some female involvement.

            • October 31st 2017 @ 1:42pm
              Joe Bell said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

              Mel Jones and Lisa Sthalekar are both doing a great job commentating on the Women’s Ashes at the moment, would both be excellent candidates for permanent Nine coverage

              • October 31st 2017 @ 5:31pm
                Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

                I really appreciate the way people are putting forward specific candidates – I have to admit I didn’t know there were that many.

    • October 31st 2017 @ 3:12am
      Ian said | October 31st 2017 @ 3:12am | ! Report

      Good article Stephen.I thought Geoff Lemon’s article a couple of years ago might have changed attitudes but apparently not.Most of them all played in the same (successful) era.It’s all to matey and jokey.The first thing they should do is hire Tim Lane to host the whole thing.He’s a total professional who knows his stuff.Secondly get rid of Healy and Taylor.Neither bring anything positive to the table and in Taylors case,just states the obvious all day.Slater was good once but seems content to play the office fool.He’s better than that.Lastly,concentrate on the cricket! I don’t need to know about Warney’s pizza,Healy’s carwash,Slater always getting out in the 90’s.The only bright side is at least James ‘I know nothing’ Brayshaw isn’t there anymore.That truly was an insult to us all.

      • October 31st 2017 @ 7:20am
        Simoc said | October 31st 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

        Not a fan of Lane. Personally I’de like a button where you get the crowd microphones and no commentary. So you get the atmosphere but miss the waffle.Like being at the ground. Of the present lot Nicholas is easily the best and Taylor the most boring.

        Obviously T20 is a lot easier with generally exciting games and only 3 hours to fill. But Gilchrist isn’t good at it.

        • October 31st 2017 @ 9:40am
          Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          that’s actually a great idea – to be able to listen to crowd atmos sounds. I’d also love a button where you could have the option of focusing on particularly players in the game (I believe there is this option for some football games?)

          There’s so many exciting new cutting edge things they could be doing with cricket broadcasting but they aren’t. I wish they’d take more risks – they could experiment techniques in, say, state one day games and so on. The depiction of the game lags far behind technology.

        • Roar Guru

          October 31st 2017 @ 10:26am
          Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          Did you catch any of the Shield live streams of round 1. We had WA with no sound, Qld with just ambient sound and SA with commentary and graphics. The SA one was a thousand times easier to watch. Having some commentary there significantly improves the experience. You say “like being at the game”, yet looking around the crowd at the game and every second person has one of those ear-pieces so they can hear the commentary.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 11:26am
            Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            I just like viewers being able to have the option of switching off commentary and listening to ambient sound for a bit . – then switching back if you wanted. Or even say switching from Australian commentary to English commentary.

            I feel there’s a lot more interesting things the production team could be doing with sound these days esp considering all the cool things you can do with TV now.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 11:53am
            Don Freo said | October 31st 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            If you watch the live stream then open a second window with the same game, you can click on the CA earphones and you will get a live stream commentary from SportFM with WA games. That commentary will continue even if you open links in other windows.

            • Roar Guru

              October 31st 2017 @ 1:26pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

              Hi Don, I did notice that. Though in some ways that makes it even worse. They actually have people there doing audio commentary, but haven’t included it on the video stream. Surely if you have people doing the commentary for an audio feed it should be pretty simple for them to just put that together with the video on the video feed and then you have commentary on their video stream without having to bring in any more people.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 1:16pm
            qwetzen said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            “We had WA with no sound, ”

            Chris, there was a separate audio stream available through for this game. This was ideal as you could open that in a separate window, go back to the video window and pause it for 10-20 seconds, then Resume and finally, go back to whatever you were doing; shopping, stock market, porn or whatever. So when the audio called; ‘Gonnnne. Got ‘im. Yessss’ you could go back to the video to watch The Moment.

            • Roar Guru

              October 31st 2017 @ 1:25pm
              Rellum said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              That is all fine, but there should still be commentary on the video stream as well. It is not good enough anymore for there not to be.

              • Roar Guru

                October 31st 2017 @ 1:27pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

                Especially as they already have the audio commentary there. Adding it onto the video stream should be pretty simple. They can’t say that it would be more expensive as they’d need to pay commentators, as they are already there!

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:29am
        Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Thanks Ian. Yes I have read Geoff Lemon’s piece a while back and agree it was fantastic.

        I actually don’t mind commentators talking about things other than cricket from time to time I just wish it was more interesting than what we get.

        Brayshaw was shockingly poor, I agree.

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:46am
        Don Freo said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        Some strange comments here and in the article.

        James Brayshaw was a courageous and classy Shield cricketer for WA and for SA. He is a trained journalist. He knows his stuff. The resistance to him is personal dislike, not any lack of knowledge. To me, he gave cricketers information. Those of us who played the game are aware he knows his stuff.

        Similarly, Mark Nicholas was a long term county cricketer and county captain. He has excellent delivery.

        By contrast, Jim Maxwell knows no cricket outside of NSW and just rides an ABC gravy train with emarrassing shallowness.

        If you want cricket commentary, these guys are fine. If you want slick entertainment, change them but don’t hang out for cricket comment. This article is an exercise in venting. Someone like Mark Taylor offers cricket knowledge that is non existent in this article.

        Same old, same (wrong) old.

        • Roar Guru

          October 31st 2017 @ 10:08am
          JamesH said | October 31st 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          I’m a bit torn on your comment, Don. On one hand I’ve always been a fan of Taylor and I never got the hate towards Brayshaw. He can get a bit worked up at times but he’s better than he gets credit for. I’ve also never thought much of Jim Maxwell.

          OTOH, it’s not lack of knowledge about cricket at the elite level that’s the problem with this current group. It’s quite literally everything else. Warney has a great cricket brain but you have to wade through all of his garbage to get to it. Slats and Heals seem to have trouble forming proper sentences as the day wears on. At the other end of the spectrum, the highly intelligent Nicholas just can’t resist lathering everything in honey. It’s like he’s unable to say something unless it comes out as prose.

          “If you want cricket commentary, these guys are fine.” Nope. Right now, the commentary team is just a mates’ club plus Nicholas’ polish. They spend too much time patting each other on the backs and larking about. I don’t begrudge them a bit of fun on the mic but there isn’t enough balance. They’re capable of delivering much more insight than they seem to be willing to give up.

          The best commentary teams in sport almost always consist of a mix of past players and professional journos because they compliment each other. One group has the elite knowledge, the other has the professionalism, communication skills and research. Sometimes you get lucky and find a person like Benaud who has the best of both worlds. I think Ponting has the ability to be something similar but he’s on a rival network.

        • Roar Guru

          October 31st 2017 @ 10:31am
          Chris Kettlewell said | October 31st 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          I find it amazing that so often people talk about how they hate Michael Clarke being in commentary, (I know it just comes down to the massive irrational Clarke hatred that so many have, not anything real, just as it did during his playing days) as very often it seems he’s the one and only commentator trying to actually focus on the play that’s going on, while all the others waffle on about their glory years. Through all that other junk, Clarke is there analysing what’s going on in the game, talking about the field settings and what the captain and bowler are trying to do, how the batsman is trying to counter that etc.

          I’d much prefer that sort of stuff, just like in NRL commentary how I much prefer Peter Sterling’s analysis of plays and showing how the movement of different players without the ball caused the defense to shift which opened the hole for this person to run through etc over the other commentators boofhead calls of “woah, nice hit!”, “Bring on the biff” and the like.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 11:30am
            Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

            My main beef with Clarke the commentator is his voice which is a bit high pitched but that’s something that could easily be fixed with some training. But part of the problem with Nine is it feels producers are afraid/unwilling to have those sort of talks with the talent.

            On why is Clarke is disliked, that’s a bigger issue but as I see it he’s not liked mainly because
            a) he got favourable treatment compared to so many other players, whether it was being picked to play for Australia or be captain (eg D Hussey, Siddons, Cox, Hodge)
            b) he seems to have been a poor manager of people, for all his tactical nous – not very sensitive to the needs of others (eg even recently urging the players during the pay war to go to arbitration so they didn’t miss one game of cricket, as if there weren’t other bigger issues at stake)

            • November 2nd 2017 @ 7:13pm
              gus said | November 2nd 2017 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

              Yep , the high pitched voice = not good for t.v. or radio. So where do the women fall in that categorie?

          • October 31st 2017 @ 8:19pm
            John Erichsen said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

            Whatever changes they make, ensure the new personnel are reminded that “silence is golden” and Richie’s mantra, “only say something if it adds to what the viewer can see”.
            Clarke would be much easier to listen to if he lost the close matey tie to current players. I get sick of hearing how well “Davey” is seeing them. Use full names or surnames when commentating. Its unprofessional not to and you start sounding like Shane Warne.

            • Roar Guru

              November 1st 2017 @ 8:00am
              Chris Kettlewell said | November 1st 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

              These are the sorts of areas they should be guided in. The commentary team sound almost like they are just thrown in and told to go for it with no guidance. Either that or Channel 9 are specifically aiming for the lowest common denominator and think that is the way to go about it and have actually advised them to be this way.

        • November 1st 2017 @ 8:57am
          qwetzen said | November 1st 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

          “Those of us who played the game are aware he [Brayshaw] knows his stuff.”

          No offence Don, well, not much anyway, but would you mind not acting as a spokesman. And then there’s the small matter that Brayshaw was a batsman. Some of us who’ve played the game are of the opinion that the only thing you ask a batsman is the location of a decent hair-dresser. If you want tech details then you ask a bowler.

          • November 1st 2017 @ 10:10am
            Don Freo said | November 1st 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

            No. I will continue to act as such a spokesperson. There are many who will benefit.

            As a bowler, my take is less combative than yours…intelligent comment being the defining characteristic of quickies that have taken up commentary.

            That sneering, sledging attitude of the other kind of bowler, the one you describe, is an embarrassment on a cricket field. Let the ball do that talking.

            • November 1st 2017 @ 12:59pm
              qwetzen said | November 1st 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

              Indeedy. I’d certainly rather listen to the ball talking than your pretentious & supercilious nonsense. As the Rev. Spooner would say; “You sir are a bucking fighead.”

              • November 1st 2017 @ 1:07pm
                Don Freo said | November 1st 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                I can understand your upset. Recently, you are not finding much of an audience in me.

                That must disappoint you.

    • October 31st 2017 @ 6:33am
      Not so super said | October 31st 2017 @ 6:33am | ! Report

      I don’t know who at channel 9 chooses any of their broadcasters in any sport? Do they do any market research?

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:31am
        Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        Most TV shows do market research, including feedback on what commentators are popular. It often (not not always) plays a big role in who gets asked back. There has been some turnover in the commentary box recently and market research may have played a big part in that… (this is only speculation though).

      • October 31st 2017 @ 7:16pm
        Timmuh said | October 31st 2017 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

        The coverage isn’t aimed at the hard core support base. Those people will watch regardless, its about trying to entertain and keep the casual eyeball for longer.
        They have probably done too much market research (for our liking) and found that making the hard-core support irate doesn’t cost them as much as they gain by keeping other people tuned in for the extra 15 minutes. The audience being chased hasn’t heard Ian Chappell’s anecdotes 15 times in the prior week, or got sick of the Taylor-Slater run out replays.

        That said, the NRL Footy Show is being axed – surely there is no reason to keep Slater on the books any more.

        • November 1st 2017 @ 8:20pm
          not so super said | November 1st 2017 @ 8:20pm | ! Report

          point taken Timmuh. still cant explain Emma Freedman

    • Roar Rookie

      October 31st 2017 @ 6:42am
      DJ DJ said | October 31st 2017 @ 6:42am | ! Report

      The channel 9 commentary is horrendous. Boring. Predictable etc. But worst of all THEY FORGET THAT WE CAN SEE THE PICTURES ON THE TV. Stop stating the bleeding obvious. Ironically the ABC commentators describe less but are more entertaining despite the fact you can’t see the pictures on the radio!!

    • October 31st 2017 @ 7:07am
      Duncan Smith said | October 31st 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      The main priority for cricket is to combat cisgender privilege, so an LGBT host must be appointed as soon as possible.

      Apart from that, what matters is people who are articulate, understand cricket, are prepared to give an opinion, and don’t state the obvious.

      • October 31st 2017 @ 7:27am
        not so super said | October 31st 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        thank you Duncan, do you feel threatened at all? the decision to appoint a women would be a commercial decision and not a PC one. guess what Dunc, not everyone likes what you like

        • October 31st 2017 @ 7:57am
          Duncan Smith said | October 31st 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          No, I feel triggered by your opposition to my push for an LGBT host. Do you have a problem with minorities’ being the face of channel nine cricket? I guess that doesn’t fit into your cisgender-privileged world, Ms/Mr not-so-super.

          The “battle between bat and ball” is a binary that needs further research from a post-colonial viewpoint. Don’t forget that cricket is a by-product of British imperialism. As such, it is a prime example of the attempt to impose a worldview upon the archetypal “other”. This is not how we should be doing sport in 2017.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 9:17am
            Mike Dugg said | October 31st 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            Very woke indeed

          • October 31st 2017 @ 1:20pm
            Jake said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

            Oh, you are being serious.

            Stop off slogans and statements from gender studies 101 without knowing what they mean. They are funny though. This one especially;
            :The “battle between bat and ball” is a binary that needs further research from a post-colonial viewpoint.”

            • October 31st 2017 @ 1:31pm
              Duncan Smith said | October 31st 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

              Jake, I guess the mark of a good parody is when people can’t tell if it is one or not, so thank you for the compliment.

              • October 31st 2017 @ 2:27pm
                Ben Brown said | October 31st 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                Duncan Smith almost thought you were being serious for a second!

              • October 31st 2017 @ 3:15pm
                Jake said | October 31st 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                But yours wasn’t parody. You are being serious.

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:33am
        Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Entirely possible Nine have had an LGBT commentator in the past just that we didn’t know about it. The ABC definitely have had them.

        • October 31st 2017 @ 2:31pm
          Adam said | October 31st 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          Before I’d read the joking comments about a LGBTI commentator, I had actually thought of Catherine McGregor who is very eloquent and has a great knowledge of cricket.

          • October 31st 2017 @ 5:33pm
            Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

            I’ve got to admit I didn’t know Duncan was joking! I know people who communicate seriously just like he did.

    • October 31st 2017 @ 8:30am
      Liam said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      I agree with all of this, but I also think you’ve missed the most fundamental part of it all.

      They can and should just talk about the cricket. At the moment, there’s a fifty percent chance that the group in the box will be talking about horse racing, or hoolios, or what they had for lunch, or something they did as a player on tour. Restrict their subject matter to the match unfolding before them, and watch inane commentary from Shane Warne and Chappell improve immeasurably.

      • October 31st 2017 @ 8:34am
        Stephen Vagg said | October 31st 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        As mentioned above, I don’t mind patter about non cricket matters so much as bad patter. Good patter about non cricket is hard to do.

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