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Opinion

'Only one Richie Benaud': The importance of a great sporting commentary team

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Roar Guru
15th November, 2020
30

Never underestimate the importance of great sporting commentary.

The dynasty which covered Australian cricket with Richie Benaud at the helm was truly legendary, including the likes of former greats Tony Greig, Bill Lawry and Ian Chapell.

“Richie” was probably the finest, creating a long-lasting impact.

The knowledge, nous, camaraderie and banter displayed really provided a template for the way in which cricket and sport was to be successfully commentated.

The comedy parody of these greats by Billy Birmingham in the twelfth man series and even now with the ongoing club of Richie Benaud loyal fans in “The Richies” during the summer Test series really extended the legacy of this great commentary team.

The Wide World of Sports commentary team did somewhat lose its way with the advent of Twenty20 and the Big Bash.

Channel 10 and Fox picked up the ball and delivered on this new take on cricket in spades.

With the likes of Damian Fleming, Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and anchor Mel McLaughlin proving to be an unbeatable light-hearted pairing and combination of commentators.

This new format made for their casual yet informative style. The same could be said for rugby union and their commentators with dynasty of the likes of the “voice of rugby Gordon Bray” now successfully commentating for over 40 years.

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The latest Fox commentary incarnation including the very knowledgeable grouping of Rod Kafer, Phil Kearns, George Gregan and Justin Harrison is proving to be a great team. Their commentary on Test matches and Super Rugby has provided us with rock-solid analysis and insight as well as camaraderie in their delivery making for a successful commentary team.

Importantly, respect must be shown to the loyalists and traditional fans first, as they will always be the ones ready to switch on.

Channel 9 and now Stan has a great opportunity, with the new rugby broadcasting rights. If it is to be successful, it must go along with these parameters.