Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cricket Commentary Now and Then

Saw the West Indies – Australia Champions Trophy match last night on television. The match was played at the Brabourne Stadium, yes, the Brabourne Stadium. (Brings fond memories of Vijay Merchant’s stentorian voice piping over the All India Radio, stressing every syllable carefully as some Gujaratis do, “This is your commentator Vijay Merchant from Brabourne Stadium.” It was another day and age, long , ago. There was no television those days and the only way of relaying the proceedings on the pitch was the trusted All India Radio. They knew their cricket and cricketing history and could immediately quote statistics and what match was played where and who scored what. There were some colorful characters and one was JRF Taleyarkhan (What do you think “Jimmy?” Vijay would ask), another was the statistician fondly called “Mama” and another was Polly Umrigar, all have faded away from memory to be replaced by Mandira Bedi, Charu (something), and, Sidhu.

That brings me to what I am waffling towards, has become a habit these days, these waffling, I mean. What purpose do Mandira and Sidhu serve. Firstly Mandira has no knowledge of the game, and most of the time she is completely lost, pouting, blushing, batting eyelids, and saying inane things like, “Isn’t that how it is supposed to be,” to Charu, who can easily bring out the most obvious comments that can ever be thought about. They add nothing to the viewer’s knowledge, absolute nothing.

And now I come to Sidhu. Well Sidhu has his Sidhuisms, for which he has become world famous, but should he be overdoing it the way he is doing. No offense. I like some of his Sidhuisms like, “Bicycles falling” and “Light at the end of the tunnel is the train coming toward you,” but, God, should he be in the overdrive that he is in, at present? When a bowler took a wicket, he said, “He is over the moon.” Come on, slow down the train a bit will you?


Raj said...


Some issues here.

a. Please stop thinking of extraaa innings as a pure cricket show but as an entertainment show. To my mind, the show was conceived to be able to draw a wider audience to tamasha around cricket.

b. Cricket commentators like Sanjay Manjrekar, Ravi Shastri, Geoffry Boycott, Tony Greig, Ian Chappell, Rameez Raja, Ian Bishop and L Sivramakrishnan are not bad commentators at all.

c. If you MUST watch extraaa innings and dislike what you hear there, use the mute button!

d. If you listen to commentary on AIR, you would be stunned into speechlessness much of the time!

John said...

Hi Raj,

Thanks for the comment. Next time I will use the mute button during "Extraa Innings". That way I can see the sphagetti top and not be bothered by the gyan.



Raj said...

thanks for the comment on my blog, john.
u r kind!