Champions League 2009 October 11, 2009

The miking of Tresco

 
26


Here we are now, entertain us © Getty Images
 

“Make some noise!” screamed the DJ, although from where I was sitting, the Hyderabad crowd needed no instructions in the etiquette of din-making. A raucous, joyful racket seems to come naturally to an Indian cricket audience, as does its counterpart: complete and utter silence. And the passing from one state to the other can be disconcerting to the non-Indian, sofa-bound viewer. In the time it took the white ball bowled by Peter Trego to pass VVS Laxman’s bat and crash into the stripe-y stumps, the deafening nightclub atmosphere of the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium was replaced by a quiet so complete and so eerie that we could have been watching a county game at Taunton. At first, I thought I’d pressed the mute button by mistake.

“I want rainy sixes”, read one banner in the crowd, clearly fashioned by a Somerset fan pining for the dampness of old Blighty. There was no rain, but there were sixes, my favourite ones being those dished up by Venugopal Rao, who for his first effort seemed barely to touch bat on ball but managed to send it crashing into the Deccan-blue plastic chairs beyond the long-on boundary. And, mercy of mercies, these big hits were entirely unsponsored. They were sixes in their natural state, as God intended them, with just a comforting cliché or two (“Oh that’s gone a long way!”) to mark their passing.

Some IPL innovations are hard to shake off, though. For some reason, Marcus Trescothick was miked up, and halfway through the Deccan innings Harsha Bhogle engaged him in a meandering conversation that redefined the word “interminable”. Eventually, poor Trescothick was allowed to concentrate on the game, although not before an edge from Rohit Sharma went flying past his left hand as he stood at slip. Bhogle speculated excitedly what it would have been like if Trescothick had been talking to them as he took the catch. More pertinently, we wondered what it would have been like if the incessant prattling of the studio-jockey had caused him to drop it.

And alongside the irrepressible Harsha was one time fast bowler and Atherton-baiter, Allan Donald, in his new incarnation as commentator-cum-expert. It’s early days but I am pleased to report that he is already showing the skills you need to ascend to the punditry pantheon. For example, as the Somerset run-chase faltered, Craig Kieswetter lofted a ball from Pragyan Ojha high towards long-on. Donald seized his moment. “Shot!” he exclaimed, confidently, “And this could be out as well… it is! Not a good shot!” With such admirable verbal dexterity, Donald could be a fixture in the commentary box for many years to come.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abhishek on October 31, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    A few facts about Harsha Bhogle:

    He is an IIM-A graduate, which means that he has come on top in a selection procedure which has a rejection ratio of about 1000:1.

    He is a respected presenter on the biggest sports network in India : ESPNStar and has been for a long time (15 years or so).

    Add to this a widely held perception that his comments during a match are seldom dull and quite frequently enliven an otherwise boring match proceeding. His zest for the game beats almost any brit commentator by miles. Please do your homework before criticizing a man that none of you can be even half as good as.

  • Venkat on October 20, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    The most irritating and partial commentator i have seen/heard was Sidhu and is Mark Nicholas!

  • Marto on October 17, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle could have been the straw that broke Trescothick's back. I choose to blame Harsha Bhogle for Trescothick's return home.

  • Lucy Ferr on October 14, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    Miking isn't a bad thing. Distracting the players during the game is a bad thing. I agree the latter should be banned, but I would like to see more of the former. Like in Rugby Union, where the refs are miked and the spectators can hear every word they say. The refs aren't distracted since they aren't trying to say anything outside the game (no irritating commentators are talking to them) and the spectators get a taste of on-field activity.

    In fact, I'd like the entire wicket area to be miked so that we can hear the sledging. And if players are embarassed for the world (and their mothers) to hear the verbal abuse they hurl at each other, then they shouldn't be uttering such filth, should they? Besides, if sledging is as cool and witty and 'all in good fun' as the cricketers claim, I want in on it!

  • siddharth Mirashi on October 13, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    Guys guys..all those who are hating harshas commentary I would request them to put their remote controls on mute simple..coz clearly espn star sports one of the world leader in sports admire him and hence hes on their commentary panel for the last 15 years..also hes one of the guys who havent picked up a bat yet is in the television commentary and presenting business for quite a while and I think that speaks volumes..so bhogle haters plz can you please press mute coz clearly people love him..so shoo..

  • srikanth on October 13, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    I think harsha bhogle is the best commentator ever. He is also the most entertaining, just that his sense of humour is very intellectual and some don't understand it.

  • srikanth on October 13, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    I think harsha bhogle is the best commentator ever. He is also the most entertaining, just that his sense of humour is very intellectual and some don't understand it.

  • Jonathan on October 13, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Miking players is an IPL innovation?

  • Arshad Khan on October 12, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    I would not agree with Bingo Haley when he says Harsha is a stupid commentator. On the contrary, I think, he makes a lot of sense most of the times - it is just that he is a bit more wordy and philosophical. And he certainly is a non-partisan, as cocmpared to the likes of Simon Doull!!

  • Armchair Pundit on October 12, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    "Harsha Bhogle is the most irritating commentator around." - couldn't have said it better, Michael Ince.

  • Abhishek on October 31, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    A few facts about Harsha Bhogle:

    He is an IIM-A graduate, which means that he has come on top in a selection procedure which has a rejection ratio of about 1000:1.

    He is a respected presenter on the biggest sports network in India : ESPNStar and has been for a long time (15 years or so).

    Add to this a widely held perception that his comments during a match are seldom dull and quite frequently enliven an otherwise boring match proceeding. His zest for the game beats almost any brit commentator by miles. Please do your homework before criticizing a man that none of you can be even half as good as.

  • Venkat on October 20, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    The most irritating and partial commentator i have seen/heard was Sidhu and is Mark Nicholas!

  • Marto on October 17, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle could have been the straw that broke Trescothick's back. I choose to blame Harsha Bhogle for Trescothick's return home.

  • Lucy Ferr on October 14, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    Miking isn't a bad thing. Distracting the players during the game is a bad thing. I agree the latter should be banned, but I would like to see more of the former. Like in Rugby Union, where the refs are miked and the spectators can hear every word they say. The refs aren't distracted since they aren't trying to say anything outside the game (no irritating commentators are talking to them) and the spectators get a taste of on-field activity.

    In fact, I'd like the entire wicket area to be miked so that we can hear the sledging. And if players are embarassed for the world (and their mothers) to hear the verbal abuse they hurl at each other, then they shouldn't be uttering such filth, should they? Besides, if sledging is as cool and witty and 'all in good fun' as the cricketers claim, I want in on it!

  • siddharth Mirashi on October 13, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    Guys guys..all those who are hating harshas commentary I would request them to put their remote controls on mute simple..coz clearly espn star sports one of the world leader in sports admire him and hence hes on their commentary panel for the last 15 years..also hes one of the guys who havent picked up a bat yet is in the television commentary and presenting business for quite a while and I think that speaks volumes..so bhogle haters plz can you please press mute coz clearly people love him..so shoo..

  • srikanth on October 13, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    I think harsha bhogle is the best commentator ever. He is also the most entertaining, just that his sense of humour is very intellectual and some don't understand it.

  • srikanth on October 13, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    I think harsha bhogle is the best commentator ever. He is also the most entertaining, just that his sense of humour is very intellectual and some don't understand it.

  • Jonathan on October 13, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Miking players is an IPL innovation?

  • Arshad Khan on October 12, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    I would not agree with Bingo Haley when he says Harsha is a stupid commentator. On the contrary, I think, he makes a lot of sense most of the times - it is just that he is a bit more wordy and philosophical. And he certainly is a non-partisan, as cocmpared to the likes of Simon Doull!!

  • Armchair Pundit on October 12, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    "Harsha Bhogle is the most irritating commentator around." - couldn't have said it better, Michael Ince.

  • prasanth on October 12, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    All of you guys who hate harsha please get some break..I have folks who just watches the game by harsha's commentary and my joy is just doubled..and some one who commented that he does a school boy commentary..Yes we really feel that and enjoy as a school boy and i dont bother not been grewen up to loose that sense of innocence.

    He was by far the best the best commentary..if u have any doubts go check cricinfor awards and there are many ardant fans of his words..go Harsha go..

  • Arshad Jamal on October 12, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    From this commentary team not a single commentator is able to electrify the viewers. Even with the biggest of cheers from the crowd, the excitement factor for the TV viewer is very low. The type of commentators like Harsha bhogle and Sunny Gavaskar are not suited for this format atleast. Might be ok with ODI and test.

  • Hassan on October 12, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    I couldn't agree more on Harsha Bhogle. He wanted Deccan to win so badly that he was clearly coming with ideas what Deccan needs to do to win and his gasps were funny when the two Sussex batsmen motoring along nicely. I wonder why he is even a commentator!

  • john doe on October 12, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is a disgraceful commentator who basically has no right to be commentating! please get him off the air!!!!

  • Roy on October 11, 2009, 20:52 GMT

    I disagree with this Harsha bashing. He is the only non cricker on the panel and makes for a refreshing change.

  • jimjones on October 11, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    I have been enjoying the champions league so far, especially the Somerset game last night. Anyway its not as if this miking up of players is a new thing, its been a feature of sky sports commentry for at least the last two seasons.

  • jsg10 on October 11, 2009, 18:22 GMT

    When somerset had 1 run to win from one ball, donald was the commentator, and he said "oh that sounds familiar" hahaha i cudnt stop laughing. it has been 10 years now and still the best moment in cricket history.

  • Bingo Haley on October 11, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    Never watch this crap! Thank God!

  • Michael Ince on October 11, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is the most irritating commentator around. I wish there was a mute button which could cut out his stupid remarks which are always ambiguous ramblings to say the least.

  • Shashank on October 11, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    Very important point being made here.

    I think its ridiculous to "mike" fielders. The other day Boucher was miked. He was being interviewed while standing up for a spinner. I am a keeper myself and I can tell you that theres no scope for loss in concentration even for a single delivery, especially when standing up. Boucher failed to collect twice during that on-field interview.

    Okay, even if one is so desperate to mike players. Call them up when there are relatively longer gaps, lets say, in between deliveries of a fast bowler.

    This disturbance is avoidable.

  • Grockle on October 11, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    The miking of the UMPIRES was even stranger. How can they have the time to talk to the telly while officiating on a game?

  • g on October 11, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    LOl, this cracked me up! Especially the commentator thing, so true!

  • George Marshall on October 11, 2009, 9:55 GMT

    well spotted on the donald "volte face"! very nifty mouthwork there! c'mon zummerzett!

  • Tim on October 11, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    And each time Somerset scored runs as they approached the target, Donald exclaimed "Oh Dear!!" - did he have money on Deccan?

  • uday on October 11, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    hahahah, I noticed that too. The miking up thing isn't too great, but Donald does say some pertinent things about cricket and bowling, much more than Harsha Bhogle definitely.

  • Roamer on October 11, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    yesterday was the first game I watched and was really happy to see that there are no sponsored breaks after 10 overs, no DLF sixes or fours or wickets .... but commentary team is still a joke .... like as you mentioned Harsha is somebody who I really cant listen .... it seems he is doing commentary for children still in schools .... and then donald thing was quite funny too .... as always a good piece, keep them coming :)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Roamer on October 11, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    yesterday was the first game I watched and was really happy to see that there are no sponsored breaks after 10 overs, no DLF sixes or fours or wickets .... but commentary team is still a joke .... like as you mentioned Harsha is somebody who I really cant listen .... it seems he is doing commentary for children still in schools .... and then donald thing was quite funny too .... as always a good piece, keep them coming :)

  • uday on October 11, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    hahahah, I noticed that too. The miking up thing isn't too great, but Donald does say some pertinent things about cricket and bowling, much more than Harsha Bhogle definitely.

  • Tim on October 11, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    And each time Somerset scored runs as they approached the target, Donald exclaimed "Oh Dear!!" - did he have money on Deccan?

  • George Marshall on October 11, 2009, 9:55 GMT

    well spotted on the donald "volte face"! very nifty mouthwork there! c'mon zummerzett!

  • g on October 11, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    LOl, this cracked me up! Especially the commentator thing, so true!

  • Grockle on October 11, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    The miking of the UMPIRES was even stranger. How can they have the time to talk to the telly while officiating on a game?

  • Shashank on October 11, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    Very important point being made here.

    I think its ridiculous to "mike" fielders. The other day Boucher was miked. He was being interviewed while standing up for a spinner. I am a keeper myself and I can tell you that theres no scope for loss in concentration even for a single delivery, especially when standing up. Boucher failed to collect twice during that on-field interview.

    Okay, even if one is so desperate to mike players. Call them up when there are relatively longer gaps, lets say, in between deliveries of a fast bowler.

    This disturbance is avoidable.

  • Michael Ince on October 11, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is the most irritating commentator around. I wish there was a mute button which could cut out his stupid remarks which are always ambiguous ramblings to say the least.

  • Bingo Haley on October 11, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    Never watch this crap! Thank God!

  • jsg10 on October 11, 2009, 18:22 GMT

    When somerset had 1 run to win from one ball, donald was the commentator, and he said "oh that sounds familiar" hahaha i cudnt stop laughing. it has been 10 years now and still the best moment in cricket history.