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Top 10 Worst Cricket Commentators

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

Alan Giggs

2018-09-24T14:03:49+00:00 September 24th, 2018|Fun|63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Richard Clark September 24, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    No mention of Sanjay Mandrekar or Alan Wilkins. Therefore I cannot take this piece seriously! 😉

  2. Robin Varley September 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    When any combination of three former Australia players poses as some sort of brains-trust triumvirate, complete with microphones, I have to switch the sound off, that being the only way of coping with their non-stop drivel

    • James September 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      There is an obvious fallacy in 3 Australians posing as a brains trust!

  3. Andy H September 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    You know, this won’t be popular, but I have to say I thought Henry “my dear old thing” Blowfeld was an awful commentator. He was ok if the general chit chat was about chocolate cake or the the little filly running in the 2,30 at Epsom, but once he got into the cricket………… This is fairly typical as far as I recall…

    “And he’s bowled….er no sorry LBW, Warner, played and missed a straight one, errr no it was Smith, er Clark, great ball by Broad, er sorry Anderson and England are 72……no Australia are 72-3……sorry 73-2” All in that awful accent from the 1920’s.

    • Rupert September 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Completely agree, I was delighted when he left. I have nothing against eccentric old codgers, I quite like them actually, as long as they are genuinely eccentric. He was just another narcissist playing that role in a forced way purely for the attention.

    • Pushkin September 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      You’re quite right, your opinion is not going to be popular.

      • muffin September 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm - Reply

        Blofeld was OK until he became popular, when he got into self-parody.
        I did love the story of him arriving in Australia on the customs officer saying “Blofeld, eh. Master criminal eh?” “My dear chap, I didn’t reailise it was still a requirement to come to Australia!”.
        Wasn’t Ian Fleming at school with Blowers’s father, or something?

        • JohnB September 24, 2018 at 10:19 pm - Reply

          I’ve read that Ian Fleming looked through the membership list at the London club of which Blofeld, his father and other relations (and I assume Fleming) were members, specifically looking for a name for his villain. He got to Blofeld and looked no further.

          • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 7:24 am - Reply

            I thought that Fleming and Henry Blofeld’s father went to school together. They were friends. Therefore choosing the name Blofeld as his villain was a bit of a joke 🙂

  4. Shubham Pandey September 24, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Some of the names here don’t make sense. Would really like to know who according to you are best commentators then?

    • Lolly September 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Punter is proving to be an exceptionally good commentator but it’s early days yet…. I wish Ganguly would do more, he was very good when on Sky.

      • dlpthomas September 24, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

        I only heard Ganguly do one series (and that was a long time ago) but I thought he was brilliant.

    • James Morgan September 24, 2018 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      It’s all subjective at the end of the day 🙂

      • Shubham Pandey September 24, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

        Yeah, Ganguly is amazing. I also miss the mussing voice of Robin Jackman.

    • Simon H September 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Ponting, Atherton, Ganguly, Hussain pre-2014, Russel Arnold, Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Hussey, most of the Kiwis… are all examples of good commentators.

      Some of it is also the combination of commentators – for example, Warne can be really good combined with someone like Atherton who keeps him on the cricket but insufferable with someone like Botham or most of C9.

  5. Lolly September 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    A trio of Slats, Heals and Tubbs on Nine Aus took some beating. As a group, they made James Brayshaw sound rational and learned. Heals had a habit of drifting off into a made-up language of his own that was incomprehensible to those who expect to understand a commentator and the others were given to talking up reality shows, making really weird sound effects and just babbling blokey stuff that would have nothing to do with the cricket for the entire session, plus they all had this dreadful and tiresome obsession with boasting about Warner. A really high point of awfuldom in cricket commentary. Thank god another channel is getting the broadcast rights.

    • Simon H September 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Healy’s problem was that he was so ridiculously one-eyed. Taylor should never have been anywhere near a commentary box once he was working for CA – but, hey, this is cricket and we don’t do conflicts of interest.

      I’d prefer to listen to either of them than Mark Waugh though who’s ignorance of anyone or anything Australian is legendary.

      • Simon H September 25, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

        Missed a ‘not’ out of that last sentence of course!

      • Lolly September 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm - Reply

        Mark Waugh is quite funny though. I’m not sure he realises there are other states or that the Federation of Australia doesn’t consist of New and South and Wales.

  6. James September 24, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I think I’d have put Shastri higher up the list (with a tracer bullet, of course). The real problem with Ravi (and Sunil Gavaskar) is that their contracts prevent them discussing things the BCCI doesn’t want them to discuss. The sponsorship thing may be in Bhogle’s contract. Danny Morrison is an obvious no 1. A commentator (especially on TV) needs to say something when it enhances the listener’s understanding, and shut up otherwise. The same applies to summarisers on radio, so I wouldn’t include Boycott on the list (his blasts are usually justified, and Graeme Swann is far more inane, except when discussing spin bowling). Possibly Willis instead (and Fred Trueman and Trevor Bailey from yesteryear). And where is Ramiz Raja?

    Will you do a “best commentator” list? The ones I can think of would include (in no particular order):
    Atherton
    Agnew
    Benaud (of course)
    Arlott (ditto)
    Laker
    Holding
    Dujon (if only for the comment that Adrian Barath “should be taken round the back of the pavilion and given a beating” after a particularly stupid dismissal)
    Rahul Dravid (as a summariser – as elegant as he was as a player)
    Navjot Siddhu
    Brian Johnston

    • d'Arthez September 24, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      And what about the ECB stenographers? Do we really have to dig up Downton lecturing Warne about saying things he was not supposed to say about the “brilliant captaincy” of Cook? And lo and behold, Warne changed his tune quite abruptly after that, despite there being no discernible improvement in the captaincy whatsoever.

      Similar stuff applies to other boards. Tony Cozier was left out for several series, not because of poor health or anything, but because he had the habit of pointing out WICB’s incompetence.

      • James September 24, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

        The difference is that the BCCI directly employs the commentators for series in India so they can’t discuss certain issues which are important to the team such as choosing overseas test teams on the basis of IPL performances.

      • James September 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm - Reply

        And I should probably have included Tony Cozier in favourite commentators (though he was a better writer). And he had plenty to go at when it comes to WICB incompetence. I believe their player disputes are about to celebrate their golden jubilee.

      • d'Arthez September 25, 2018 at 12:03 pm - Reply

        It only took a loss at Lord’s against India, after somehow contriving to lose to Sri Lanka, after the difficult winter before Hussain and Vaughan started speaking up. That is when honesty FINALLY kicked in. And that disappeared quite quickly after the 95 in Southampton.

        Crap captaincy could not be discussed for 3 years …

        Apparently I must consider this the highest standard in the world?

  7. azaro September 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Well the top two on your list are way ahead IMO. Danny is an embarrassment; I happen to know one of his high school teachers and she opined that he really hasn’t changed much! Nicholas is just Nicholas – a popinjay of the first order.

    The rest could be debated though although Warne is very irritating and Hussain just a bore. Thank goodness for Mikey and Athers to redress the balance!

  8. Doug September 24, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Ian Ward – his pally pally attitude towards the top players is irritating. His interview with Shane Warne was bordering on obsession. Never asks the tough questions, just pure brown nosing. It’s like he got invited to the top table because there was a spare seat and nobody else was around. Out of his league.

    • Rupert September 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      My opinion of him is literally the precise opposite of every single thing you’ve said.

  9. Rupert September 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Bit rough on Nasser IMHO, he and Athers are the most insightful commentators going around. Agree with the rest though.

    • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 7:24 am - Reply

      I think Nasser is fine. I’ve met him twice and he’s a lovely bloke too.

  10. lionel joseph September 24, 2018 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Danny Morrison is paid ( i imagine not too badly) to play the clown for T20 matches (Catch him on some test cricket, which he does occasionally and he’s perfectly normal). It’s a part, and he does what’s expected. So you can not like the act, but plenty do, so he gets the work. Sadly the same has happened to Bob Willis who’s been a parody of himself for donkey’s years now.

    Slater, Healey, Warne, Knight, Nicholas, Bhogle and Botham and are broadly just being themselves and they’re all fucking unbearable for it.

    • James September 24, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Same applies to all commentators at the IPL. I think it’s part of the contract that they have to make every ball momentous. And plug the sponsors at every opportunity. So the language starts to evolve. A 6 becomes a “DLF (or whatever) Maximum”. As if sixes are rare in T20. The IPL is actually a good product and there’s no need for WWE style commentary.

  11. ajit September 24, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    You missed “Sanjay manjrekar” here,,

    • James September 24, 2018 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      I have never missed Sanjay Manjrekar when he’s not doing commentary.

  12. Jackie Litherland September 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Hussain is insightful when he stops hectoring us
    about his agenda. He really forces his opinions onto the commentary at every opportunity. Ian Ward stood up to him by disagreeing and got told off!!! Hussain likes to boss the debate by closing it down. I like Atherton who seems to get better and Flintoff can afford to tell the truth – he owes the ECB nothing. Mark Butcher is fair. My worst is Nick Knight who is so unctuous it’s embarrassing. He tries to second guess the party line. Rob Key can’t resist laying traps for him.

  13. Steve September 24, 2018 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Warne. He has a great cricket brain but bigs up his mates and often takes the opposite view just to start an argument which can lead to ridiculous proclamations. Nasser is ok but his hero worship of Cook was bordering on embarassing at times. Flintoff was awful, a poor mans Danny Morrison awful ! Atherton is head and shoulders the best of the sky bunch.

  14. muffin September 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    btw I would have to go with Danny Morrison as worst ever – and didn’t he have some unwanted batting record too?

    • James September 24, 2018 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Yeah. Most test ducks I think. Not sure he still holds it. Only stopped one team from winning a test with the bat. England. I still have nightmares about that.

  15. Tony Hutton September 24, 2018 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Once upon a time I was a cricket commentator on hospital radio no less. Now I rarely listen to TMS as they ramble on without giving the score until my short car journey is over.
    Even worse with limited overs games were they give the score they fail to give the number of overs, without which the score is irrelevant.

  16. David September 24, 2018 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Mike (what exactly is your accent) Haysman would be near the top of the list for me, closly followed by the many increasing number of female commentators.

    • Hamish September 24, 2018 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      That last comment surely has no place on this board.

      • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 7:29 am - Reply

        I’d actually like a debate about the girls. Obviously we don’t want any sexist comments (!) but it would be good to know if people like / dislike them. Personally I think they do pretty well, and if having them broadens the appeal of the game then I’m all for it. After all, it’s pretty awful when the ‘lads’ get too chummy like on C9 down under sometimes. Personally I really like Isa Guha. She talks intelligently about the game and certainly outshines some of her male counterparts.

        • James September 25, 2018 at 7:36 am - Reply

          I agree about Isa. Alison Mitchell is a pretty good commentator too, even though her voice takes a bit of getting used to. That might be me being sexist (if so, apologies, Alison), but I think she’s better suited (voice-wise) to limited overs than tests.

        • Marc Evans September 25, 2018 at 10:26 am - Reply

          I just find the higher pitched the voice is the more potentially irritating it becomes, so women commentators, by and large I find off putting. When they get excited it all degenerates into screaming. As summarisers they are fine where you have to be more considered. It’s just a personal thing, like high pitched voices in music. I’d rather listen to Tom Waites than Mariah Carey, or more generally Tenors to Sopranos. One of the best is Hazel Irvine, who combines a well researched genuine interest in whatever she fronts with a relaxed professionalism. It helps she isn’t a Sky sports babe. It amazes me in this day and age anyone can get away with using Barbie dolls as presenters. The older, less obviously attractive types, get the graveyard shifts at night and early morning. I guess this sexism applies to newsreaders and weather girls generally.
          You’d never get the female equivalent of a Michael Wood at prime time fronting the news or a female Michael Fish (god forbid) the weather. They’re all slim, attractive and twenty or thirty somethings. ‘Friends’ has a lot to answer for.

          • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

            Why is it Friends fault? I’ve got to name and shame America’s Fox News for having the most plastic / barbie doll type presenters. It’s so cynical.

            By the way, I don’t watch Fox News per se. I just occasionally tune in to see what bollocks Trump is up to. I find it interesting how Fox spin everything whilst somehow managing to maintain the strapline ‘fair and balanced’.

            • Marc Evans September 25, 2018 at 11:08 pm - Reply

              Friends have the most corporate looking cast I’ve ever seen in a TV a series. Nice clean cut twenty and now thirty somethings all preoccupied with their own image with nothing of any consequence to say about anything. Every other line is just a vehicle for another predictable gag. Sends me to sleep.
              Give me shows like Gimme Gimme Gimme, Game On and Men Behaving Badly. At least they’re not afraid to be non PC and take the piss out of themselves ridiculing the very types Friends celebrate.
              Sorry about the rant, but I do hate the show with a passion, even Phoebe.
              Incidentally, Fox News can be quite entertaining, unlike Friends, so no need to apologise for watching it, as it can be addictive, in the same way as a car crash.
              Unfortunately TV has adopted the cult of the young in an effort to win them off gaming consoles and social media. So you get a lot of attractive, self obsessed, unremarkable people with nothing original to say. The mantra of cable TV. The worst modern trend is the camp gay with a big mouth. It’s assumed the more you say and the louder you say it the more entertaining it is, whatever the content. It’s an insult to the gay community, yet TV seems to get away with promoting it. It’s only a matter of time till we get a sports commentator like it.

        • James Wilson September 26, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

          Donna Symmonds was a crashing bore, like a colonial schoolmistress hectoring the children, but I don’t think it was anything to do with her being female. There has been many a Male at least as annoying. In my youth there was Fred Trueman, with his farcical fings ain’t wot they used to be act, and Don Mosey, who wrote a bio of Botham that was so bad it was embarrassing.

  17. AndyB September 24, 2018 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    I tend to think the worst commentators are, by definition, those who base their comments on personal prejudice rather than either informed opinion or what they are seeing in front of them. On that basis, for me, the worst commentator has to be Agnew. He has never been known to utter a single positive word about Woakes, even in response to the recent century or past 5fers. And he seems to think the sun shines out of the rear end of Ben Stokes, even if the figures suggest otherwise. I do not ask for perfect balance – but total imbalance is unacceptable.

    The good news is that all cricket commentators (even the execrable Agnew) seem like a combination of Arlott and Johnson next to the almost universal rubbish used on athletics (with the honourable exception of Michael Johnson). If there is a worse sports commentator in the known universe than the stumbling brain-dead Denise Lewis I have yet to hear them. She is to sports commentary what the Vogons are to poetry.

    • Marc Evans September 25, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      Maybe we should open a hyperspace bypass to allow the Denise Lewis’s of this world a convenient exit.

  18. Paul September 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Going to stick up for Mark Nicholas as he never assumed that the viewer knew what was going on during the period cricket was on channel 4 and he deserves credit for that. I only wish that mentality was still ongoing now on Sky. Also feel like Nasser and Shane Warne are the best at letting the viewer know about field positions and why the captain has put various players in certain positions (but that hasn’t happened as much of late)
    I personally can’t stand Bothams commentary. He seems to jump on any bandwagon going and Ian Ward is sooooo chummy with the players it’s difficult to watch. Nick Knight comes across as trying to be more insightful than he is. I found Blowers massively up his own backside considering he has no right to be so up his own backside (like say Warne). However, probably most controversialy, the biggest dick in cricket commentary is Aggers. Absolutely anything new such as DRS, Test championships and day/night cricket is treated with contempt and constant negativity. I can’t stand his pomposity.
    Athers is awesome. He is the barometer that all cricket commentators should compare themselves too

    • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 7:36 am - Reply

      I have mixed feelings about Aggers. In many ways he’s like ‘a pair of old jeans’ (what Billy Birmingham said about Richie Benaud) in that his voice is so familiar and therefore comforting. But I also sometimes get a little frustrated that he doesn’t ask too many difficult questions when interviewing people. His view is that he manages to extract more meaningful information by being nice, and making the interviewee feel more comfortable. Whilst this is a perfectly legitimate approach I do find it a bit softly softly for my particular (and miserable!) taste.

      We should also mention that Aggers agreed to do an interview for TFT once upon a time. Here’s a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goiGhcwfc5k I recall it’s because Maxie (our ex-co-ed vaguely knew him). I always regret that they subsequently fell out over an article we published about Andy Flower. Aggers then blocked us on Twitter, and we remain blocked to this very day. It’s a shame as obviously Maxie has long since retired to the stands. I doubt Aggers even realises this.

      I’d give that Aggers interview a listen actually. I recall there’s some interesting insights into the life of cricket journalists / broadcasters and the relationships they foster with players and officials.

  19. Marc Evans September 24, 2018 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    I always feel the ideal sporting commentator is one who adds to the picture painted by the camera. Sometimes the camera says it all (a picture paints a thousand words) but the modern day penchance for verbal diorreah doesn’t permit it. For me this best cricket commentator on TV was Jim Laker as he clearly understood this and coupled with this, was never afraid to pass opinions at odds with what TV companies, who wanted viewers irrespective of the quality of the entertainment, would have wanted. In soccer I always preferred the considered commentary of Barry Davies to the incessant chatter of John Motson, but the TV companies clearly preferred Motson. Today ‘Chappers’ is flavour of the month. He Infuriates the hell out of me by asking questions of the ‘experts’ and then answering them himself, so showing how knowledgable he is.
    Back to the cricket, agree totally with the pantomime that is Danny Morrison, closely followed by the execrable ‘Slats, Heals and Tubbs’. I can understand why the TV companies like them, as there is no ‘dead air’ with just the picture, something the MTV ‘life is loud’ generation switch off to. Here, even the most tedious passages of play can be made to feel like a party by exaggerating or distracting the viewer with some mindless sideshow.
    As to radio commentary, that is a different animal. I loved Arlott, but can understand he is an acquired taste. The quality rather than quantity of words was what mattered to him. I always felt individually Johnston and Blofeld were distracting, as they often seemed to struggle with what they were there to commentate on, but there was a clear cameraderie amongst that TMS team that made their interactions consistently entertaining. I preferred ‘The Alderman’ as he kept up with the play whilst bringing other relevant topics into the equation.
    The problem with using ex players is they tend to be one dimensional, useful to refer to for inside information but often with limited vocabulary and life experience, having lived in the celebrity goldfish bowl for years. This becomes a major issue on radio, where to be interesting you have bring something original. Success as a sportsman doesn’t make you interesting per se, as we can see in almost every sporting interview.

    • James September 25, 2018 at 7:50 am - Reply

      I entirely agree your starting point. Both Jim Laker and Richie Benaud (both top class ex players, by the way) were very good at knowing when they could add something, and when to shut up. However, as a general rule, ex players should probably start as summarisers. There they can add to the discussion. Swann does this pretty well on spin bowling, where he’ll say he’d have an extra fielder in position X, and, crucially, why. Boycott can dissect a batsman’s “teckneek”, however irritating he may be sometimes, and explain why he keeps getting out.

      • Marc Evans September 25, 2018 at 10:51 am - Reply

        I agree, sportsmen are best left to giving specialist information. There’s no reason for them to be more insightful or interesting about anything outside their specialization than the man in the street.
        I still have the radio on for the cricket, but find TMS has become more chatty than insightful. It still retains a very English informality, but the crew of the 60’s and 70’s had that ‘X’ factor, brought on by their broader life experiences outside the world of celebrity, largely in old school journalism.

  20. Alex September 25, 2018 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Always enjoy listening to the ABC’s Jim Maxwell. Has one of those strong, warm Australian accents, untouched by an inappropriate rising intonation pattern that makes people sound constantly surprised. He may have been my childhood hero, but Botham always gives me the impression he would rather be on a golf course or in a river fishing and I generally agree with him.

    • James September 25, 2018 at 7:40 am - Reply

      Jim Maxwell: good call.

      • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 2:17 pm - Reply

        Agreed.

  21. James Wilson September 25, 2018 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Well I have a few contenders for worst but on a happier note there’s no competition for the best – Billy Birmingham …

    • James Morgan September 25, 2018 at 7:38 am - Reply

      Bravo!

  22. Chris September 25, 2018 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Date I say it but there have been occasions when I have thought Michael Clarke has made some good points. Is in danger of being another company man though. If he avoids that he could be good.

    • Lolly September 28, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      It’s because he still cares about the cricket and not about himself and his ‘schtick’. Clarke and Mike Hussey, when he did it,were both good as they kept trying to talk about what was happening on the pitch and why.

  23. Comte September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    The worst in my view is David “Bumble’ Lloyd, a man who think he is funny (in the same way that Jimmy Clitheroe) but wants to be in yer face all the time. Left to him, the Blast Finals Day would be the David Lloyd show. He should stick to the after dinner circuit where there is just a chance that a few people might not have heard his inane crap before.

    Best commentator was Benaud. Nobody else was or is the same league.

    • Marc Evans September 25, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      Always found Benaud to be too judgemental for my taste. No one doubted his qualifications for analysis of the game, but I don’t rate him that high as a commentator. To me he always seemed to have a superior air that the likes of Jim Laker, my personal favourite, never exhibited. You always felt like a pupil at school watching with Benaud. Laker knew how to let the camera speak better than any other in my view, but he would not be acceptable today as he was too sparse and unanalytical, coupled with his tendency to rubbish poor play in a way that would be unacceptable to any TV company looking to promote the entertainment value of their product. Hence the rise of the Morrisons of this world who hysterically overhype everything.

  24. Tate September 25, 2018 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Can’t believe nobody has mentioned Sangakarra as one of the worst – his rambling on, even when the ball is being bowled, this summer has been a particular issue of mine all summer. (As has the missus draining the colander upside down, but that’s another problem all together). Kumar was an unbelievable player and he is obviously very well educated, but he really does need to learn to shut the fk up and let us watch in a bit of peace.

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