Today we welcome new writer Alan Giggs. I imagine he feels a lot better after getting this off his chest …
Cricket has coursed through the veins of Alan Giggs (no relation) veins since the age of 8, when I started following the England team. Unfortunately, the first series I remember was the 1989 Ashes series against Australia. And it got worse from there before it improved.
Throughout the toils and travails of collapses, heart-in-your-mouth run chases, bowlers getting launched for straight sixes (Eddie Hemmings, Stuart Broad), and continual foot-shooting, there have been the commentators both on TV and on the radio. And those commentators – like the late, great Brian Johnston (a great favourite of mine) have also taken people through the sadness and the celebrations.
But as is the case with God and Satan, there are commentators that induce warmth and also those who make you want to jump down the mic and ring their neck. And here’s my list of the worst. The dregs of the cricket commentary world.
Danny Morrison – In Morrison’s world, a block on a flat wicket has got to be greeted WITH A SCREAM AND A WELL-BOWLED. In the IPL, a six is greeted with an orgasmic blow-up of epic proportions. Repeatedly. Oh, and he manages to make you want to punch products that he’s selling, not buy them.
So yes, Danny, SHUT THE **** UP. One of the best comments on Reddit about Morrison? “YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T STAND HIS COMMENTARY? HERE… ON REDDIT CRICKET! AWW YA LOVE IT BUDDY… AND YA BETTER BELIEVE IT!”
Mark Nicholas – Mark Nicholas was a mediocre cricketer but has now made his name making money on the commentary scene. The sad thing for us is that the fact that Nicholas – who has a demeanour reminiscent of Swiss Toni from the Fast Show (“Watching myself gladhanding people is like making love to a beautiful woman”) – seems to be trying to take over from Richie Benaud as the voice of Australian Cricket without, you know, being Australian. And it all seems so tactical.
Harsha Blogle – It’s not the fact that Bhogle lacks being lively – cricket needs those – but it’s the fact that he can’t seem to breathe a word without something being sponsored. It’s even annoying by American standards. Yet Bhogle makes it ten times worse. Heck, I’m surprised KIA’s not sponsoring his bronze medal on this S**T commentators list.
Michael Vaughn – Yes Michael, we know that in your day, England were better. Yes, Michael, we know in your day that we won the Ashes. Yes, Michael, you’re the best. I just hope that whenever he gives a best man speech he doesn’t turn to the groom and say: “Mate, you would’ve done better if I’d picked your wife, she would have been better than this one. Seriously. Because I’m the best.”
Ravi Shastri – As one writer says, Shastri just talks any rubbish going, without filling it in to make it interesting. As India’s test boss, he did however make my summer by letting Virat Kholi run the team.
James Brayshaw – If you want a more disliked cricket commenator Down Under, it’s Brayshaw. From our Aussie friends: “[Brayhaw is] far and away, without shadow of a doubt, the worst commentator in the history of the universe” while another said how happy he’d be if Brayshaw never went within 50 ft of a mic again. Harsh but fair.
Ray Illingworth – Sorry Ray, but I still remember you on TV during England’s crap decade while we were getting torched left, right and centre. I needed a little positivity and you never gave it. It seemed like you were the only person who looked more miserable about English cricket than I was at the time.
Shane Warne – It’s not Warne’s commentary that I find so annoying. Nor is it all those horrific Ashes defeats he put me through. It’s the fact that every time he’s on the telly it seems like he’s had another hit of botox to couple with the hair replacements. And to boot, the teenager in me gets jealous of his relationship with Elizabeth Hurley.
Geoffrey Boycott – Please get me a coat if Boycott is ever happy because undoubtedly hell would’ve frozen over.
Nasser Hussain – He’s known as being a lovely chap, but that doesn’t stop his montone. The non-stop clichés don’t help, either.
Reaction from the commentary box: “THIS IS SUCH A GREAT TOP 10! I CAN’T BELIVE IT! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! THIS IS GREAT! THANKS FOR INCLUDING ME!”- Danny Morrison