Commentary December 23, 2009

A code for commentators

 
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Richie Benaud: “… and if there are no infractions for three years, you get to wear a cream suit, just like mine” © Getty Images
 

I love the ICC Code of Conduct. I read it all the time. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. Drama, pathos, tragedy, even a little romance. Oh and an awful lot of “Thou Shalt Nots”. Really, if Moses had had to bring this little lot down from the mountain, it would have taken a fortnight. I particularly like the rules on showing dissent at an umpire’s decision, which, as far as I remember, forbid a batsman from lingering overlong at the crease, raising either eyebrow quizzically (both eyebrows is a Level 2 Breach) or making sarcastic quips over the salad bowl at the post-match buffet.

Now, to be honest, I do enjoy watching the occasional dust-up on a cricket field. It brings out the Roman emperor in me, watching these gladiators tear into one another. Admittedly, I’m not sure that Nero would have been satisfied with a little bat-waving or the kind of handbag scuffles that we witnessed in Perth, but as Harbhajan is behaving himself these days, it’s the best we can do. But after a bit of an on-field set-to, there is nothing I like more than the serving up of a big steaming plate full of justice. And thanks to the ICC, there is a punishment to fit every crime.

Yes, when it comes to codes, I’ll pick the ICC version over Dan Brown’s any day. But, Haroon, I feel you can do more, much more. Television viewers may be considered the lowest of the low, even more unworthy than the plebs who pay good money to sit on uncomfortable seats amongst the drunks, but we pay our satellite subscriptions and we are entitled to at least a modicum of consideration. Hearing Shane Watson scream like a four-year-old who’s just beaten his older brother at Buckaroo is mildly troubling, but it pales into insignificance when set against the aural torture that the sofa-dweller must endure from the commentary booth.

Following recent events in Australia, impressionable youngsters may start waving their bats, scuffing the floor with their boots or pretending to hurl cricket balls at elderly ladies waiting at bus stops. I don’t have a problem with that. But what if they start to imitate their idols with microphones?

At the breakfast table yesterday, I had just delivered a smart blow to the shell of my boiled egg, whereupon my daughter declared, “When he hits them, they stay hit.” I demanded to know where she had heard that and she confessed to having stayed up late one night listening to some IPL commentary. I have informed her teachers that any other such lapses should be dealt with harshly.

So, if not for our sake, for that of our children, let’s bring in a Code of Conduct for Commentators. I’ve already made a start. Here is just a brief extract:

“Article 2.1: In describing the progress of a cricket ball from the moment it leaves the bat, no commentator shall be permitted to refer to a) tracer bullets, rockets or munitions of any description; b) imperial measurements such as a mile, a country mile or non-specific distances such as a long way, a very long way or over the hills and far away; c) specific seating areas of the stadium, particularly Rows X, Y & Z; d) interjections such as “wow”, “shot”, “gone”, “out of here” etc.

Article 2.2: In attempting to communicate technical information to the viewer, no commentator shall be allowed to employ complicated jargon likely to be difficult for the non-cricketer to grasp. Specific examples are given below:

2.2.i If you’re going to flash, flash hard. In addition to introducing an unwanted element of innuendo to a family sport, this phrase is likely to leave the viewer confused, since this use of the verb “to flash” does not appear in any dictionary.

2.2.ii Tickled that one down to fine leg. Coaching manuals are silent on the question of the tickle, and as it is not an officially sanctioned shot, it could lead to confusion, since little actual tickling is involved.

2.2.iii Got im! Used to indicate that the bowler has successfully dismissed the batsman: silence at this point is usually to be preferred, since, barring a power cut, the viewer will be fully abreast of the situation.

2.2.iv This pitch isn’t doing much. Avoid, except at those venues situated within an earthquake zone, since in the ordinary course of events, viewers will not be expecting the pitch to do anything.

I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but there will be heavy fines for transgressors, including reduced dry-cleaning allowances, withdrawal of comfy chair privileges and community service spent covering Division Two of the County Championship. Harsh, but fair, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ayemdee on January 11, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Mr Nicholas: "MAXIMUM!" Ummm, isn't that a six? MR Lawrey: "And he's a Victorian" Aaah, so what? Mr Warne: "getting his balls in the "right area"" What about the old fashioned "line and length"? Mr Greig: "Marvellous shot!" Der! Obviously

    (Sir) R Benaud was once quoted as saying that unless you can add something to what is happening on the fiels (as a commentator), then it is best to say nothing. Nuff Said!

  • keralite on December 27, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Isn't "tickling to the....and got im" .. used by Richie Benaud? I just want to say one thing.. .. I enjoy the crazy commentary as much as you enjoy "the occasional dust-up on a cricket field". Also I am happy (being an Indian) to know that your daughter has stayed up late to watch ipl ( or listen to the commentary)

  • mikeywhisperingdeathholding on December 26, 2009, 23:06 GMT

    some time ago - and for maybe two tours we had Sidhu on the radio broadcast back in australia. Local broadcast probably but jim maxwell and glen mitchell were also on. I loved Sidhu - he was original, funny and very wacky... bit like kerry o'keefe - but deeper. More please!!!!!

  • jamshed on December 26, 2009, 18:22 GMT

    Benaud is the undisputed master.Next comes Ian Chappell.Tony Greig is insufferable,loud and extremley biased.I also enjoy listening to Ian Bishop,David Gower and Harsha Bhogle.It is disappointing that only former Cricketers become commentators these days.They are not necessarily very articulate and most of them,if anything,are rather annoying.John Arlott is such a revered name and he was not a former Test Cricketer.

  • vish on December 26, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Agree with JB completely. Mark Nicholas - OMG !! its almost disgusting the way he fawns over any australian cricketers .. whatever happened to the pommie pride ?? i like nasser hussain though.Quite balanced and one of the best at the moment.

  • andy(england) on December 26, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    hey mate dont kill the excitement in the game. restricting commentators would only make it boring since they have to think twice before saying anything and by the time they utter some words the actions is long happened..well i know the ICC is trying best to cripple the game but the article is bullshit.. are you guys trying so hard to kill the game....come on.

  • JB on December 26, 2009, 10:38 GMT

    I always have to go for the mute when Mark Nicholas enters the commentary box. The accent. The smarmy delivery. Terrible! Anyone who has exclaimed "Crikey O'Reilly!" after seeing a six hit should immediately be sacked and possibly jailed. Why he gets to interview most guests on Channel 9 I'll never know....even Richie Benaud looks like he wants to punch him!

  • ShortLegsLongArms on December 26, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Tracer rounds (bullets) have, for various reasons not presently relevant, a lesser velocity than "normal" rounds, at least over longer distances. Hence it makes not sense to liken a shot hit with power and timing to the boundary to a tracer round. Better to drop the modifer completely.

  • donaveraged99 on December 26, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    Well this jargon made it interesting didn't it? I grew up watching a lot of world-series cricket and i just loved it. Specials were lawry's "Got 'im" , "ripper", "buzz around the gabba". Benauds calmness contrasted lawry's enthusiasm- it was a perfect mix. Somehow it lacked elsewhere- english commentators barring maybe Lloyd were too demure. Allots or willis's voice reminds us of a glum autumn day in london. Australias up-coming commentators are rubbish - healy,taylor included. The lowest point in commentary was of course the DLF maximum crap. but a lot has been said on that already. Bias is understandable but somehow it is very pathetic to see grown up men having orgasms when their favorite players do well. As the article seemingly points towards the indian commentators. I may add that despite being biased Gavaskar and shastri are quite al right. However Shiv is total crap, and sometimes you wonder what language he speaks.Maybe the worst after athar-ali-khan.

  • lukas on December 26, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    on a second note i personally like the commentary of Greig, benaud, haysman,bishop, and mark nicholas , Ramiz Raja's a load of crap and so are most of NZ commentators. Sri lankan commentators are too afraid to express their views barring Russel Arnold who is quite good. English commentators - willis,allot etc are useless old-lady's . Bhogle is an entertaining commentator but he speaks a lot of BS. Shivaramakrishnan and arun lal are ear-sores and so irritating to hear.Gavaskars quite ok but biased. And shastri in the same league. Nuff zed. Oh and athar-ali khan needs english lessons.

  • Ayemdee on January 11, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Mr Nicholas: "MAXIMUM!" Ummm, isn't that a six? MR Lawrey: "And he's a Victorian" Aaah, so what? Mr Warne: "getting his balls in the "right area"" What about the old fashioned "line and length"? Mr Greig: "Marvellous shot!" Der! Obviously

    (Sir) R Benaud was once quoted as saying that unless you can add something to what is happening on the fiels (as a commentator), then it is best to say nothing. Nuff Said!

  • keralite on December 27, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Isn't "tickling to the....and got im" .. used by Richie Benaud? I just want to say one thing.. .. I enjoy the crazy commentary as much as you enjoy "the occasional dust-up on a cricket field". Also I am happy (being an Indian) to know that your daughter has stayed up late to watch ipl ( or listen to the commentary)

  • mikeywhisperingdeathholding on December 26, 2009, 23:06 GMT

    some time ago - and for maybe two tours we had Sidhu on the radio broadcast back in australia. Local broadcast probably but jim maxwell and glen mitchell were also on. I loved Sidhu - he was original, funny and very wacky... bit like kerry o'keefe - but deeper. More please!!!!!

  • jamshed on December 26, 2009, 18:22 GMT

    Benaud is the undisputed master.Next comes Ian Chappell.Tony Greig is insufferable,loud and extremley biased.I also enjoy listening to Ian Bishop,David Gower and Harsha Bhogle.It is disappointing that only former Cricketers become commentators these days.They are not necessarily very articulate and most of them,if anything,are rather annoying.John Arlott is such a revered name and he was not a former Test Cricketer.

  • vish on December 26, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Agree with JB completely. Mark Nicholas - OMG !! its almost disgusting the way he fawns over any australian cricketers .. whatever happened to the pommie pride ?? i like nasser hussain though.Quite balanced and one of the best at the moment.

  • andy(england) on December 26, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    hey mate dont kill the excitement in the game. restricting commentators would only make it boring since they have to think twice before saying anything and by the time they utter some words the actions is long happened..well i know the ICC is trying best to cripple the game but the article is bullshit.. are you guys trying so hard to kill the game....come on.

  • JB on December 26, 2009, 10:38 GMT

    I always have to go for the mute when Mark Nicholas enters the commentary box. The accent. The smarmy delivery. Terrible! Anyone who has exclaimed "Crikey O'Reilly!" after seeing a six hit should immediately be sacked and possibly jailed. Why he gets to interview most guests on Channel 9 I'll never know....even Richie Benaud looks like he wants to punch him!

  • ShortLegsLongArms on December 26, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Tracer rounds (bullets) have, for various reasons not presently relevant, a lesser velocity than "normal" rounds, at least over longer distances. Hence it makes not sense to liken a shot hit with power and timing to the boundary to a tracer round. Better to drop the modifer completely.

  • donaveraged99 on December 26, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    Well this jargon made it interesting didn't it? I grew up watching a lot of world-series cricket and i just loved it. Specials were lawry's "Got 'im" , "ripper", "buzz around the gabba". Benauds calmness contrasted lawry's enthusiasm- it was a perfect mix. Somehow it lacked elsewhere- english commentators barring maybe Lloyd were too demure. Allots or willis's voice reminds us of a glum autumn day in london. Australias up-coming commentators are rubbish - healy,taylor included. The lowest point in commentary was of course the DLF maximum crap. but a lot has been said on that already. Bias is understandable but somehow it is very pathetic to see grown up men having orgasms when their favorite players do well. As the article seemingly points towards the indian commentators. I may add that despite being biased Gavaskar and shastri are quite al right. However Shiv is total crap, and sometimes you wonder what language he speaks.Maybe the worst after athar-ali-khan.

  • lukas on December 26, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    on a second note i personally like the commentary of Greig, benaud, haysman,bishop, and mark nicholas , Ramiz Raja's a load of crap and so are most of NZ commentators. Sri lankan commentators are too afraid to express their views barring Russel Arnold who is quite good. English commentators - willis,allot etc are useless old-lady's . Bhogle is an entertaining commentator but he speaks a lot of BS. Shivaramakrishnan and arun lal are ear-sores and so irritating to hear.Gavaskars quite ok but biased. And shastri in the same league. Nuff zed. Oh and athar-ali khan needs english lessons.

  • lukas on December 26, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    For gods sake cant a single post go without Indians getting worked up that it was aimed at defaming their commentators,specators,modi,ipl,the team bla bla bla......is this guilty conscience? Surely if Shastri and the rest of those appalling lot are good, and if modi's a role-model administrator, and the IPL the best thing invented since condoms, why get worked up?

  • Anonymous on December 26, 2009, 3:09 GMT

    Can somebody pls tell some subcontinent commentators that there is no such thing as an 'Inning'. it is always called 'innings'

    i was watching cricket (SL-Ind series) after a gap of 2 years and i was surprised by the pathetic commentary on NEO cricket. and i felt that Ravi Shastri was the worst of the lot..the same cliches.. not one bit of thinking..

    for me, the 4 best commentators are (not in any order) 1. tony cozier - talks a lot of interesting history and has got the best voice even now. 2 - ian chappel - thinks a lot 3 - richie benaud 4 - bill lawry - most exciting

    worst are 1. ravi shastri - u could write a program that repeats the same thing again and again and we wont even notice the difference 2. harsha bhogle - talks too much.. interferes when others are talking. (typical mba attitude) 3. all the others on neo cricket

  • Abhinav gupta on December 25, 2009, 23:42 GMT

    It is outright clear that the examples are targeted at Indian commentators specifically Ravi shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, L Sivaramakrishnan, Arun Lal. While I agree with the standard of commentary delivery is different in different countries, it is a form of entertainment in the subcontinent. Normally you think in the language you speak. However, in the subcontinent we invariably think in the multiple local languages and translate to English and deliver in the closest possible meaning. Thrills of the game are dished out in what the locals understand. Here cricket is entertainment. Not a language class. Its about communication of the occasion not a moment to think about purity of the language. I have been an avid follower of Australians and have often found, the dryness and bias of Ian Healy, the flurry of adverbs in a single sentence by Tony Grieg or the "jump out of the seat"statements of Bill lawry, apalling. But nevertheless entertaining. Live the moment and embrace the change !!!

  • Ken on December 25, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    Spare a thought for the Australian ABC commentators during an Indian tour. Suddenly with the appearance of Harsha in the commentary box all the Aussie commentators suddenly move from present tense to present continuous! e.g. from "Harbijan bowls and Ponting defends" to "Harbijan is bowling and Ponting is defending". I would hate to lose such idiosyncrasies. The only penalty shoulf be for boring repetition of cliches.

  • shark810 on December 25, 2009, 22:37 GMT

    yawn

  • Keith Bennett on December 25, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    Ban such comments as "when he hits them, they stay hit" (Tony Greig was the first one I heard say that ludicrous statement many years ago - not sure if he invented it or not), and the hugely annoying "boundary four", which I first heard announced by Bob Willis, but has grown alarmingly. All fours are boundaries! There's no need to say both words together!

  • scrohatgi on December 25, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    Could have we have an Australian article on code of conduct by Australian commentators on Been incident.It will be Ben attacks Waston. Saints like Ritche have spoilt the ugly Australian. The only know intidimation .Pointing bullying umpires.

  • pDiv85 on December 25, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    Isn't commentary like being part of an Old Boys network in the first place? I blame the media moguls (yes you Murdochs, Packers, and whoever owns the TV rights for most of the Subcontinent coverage of cricket) for roping in the ex-players who are on friendly terms with the media. Then again, cricket is not the only sport suffering from the malaise of bad commentary...

  • Krish on December 25, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    I just hv one comment to add...No offense though..When a batsman hits a fulltoss or a over pitched delivery for a boundary, this is what Sunny Gavaskar will say every time "Full toss alright!!!! it still needs to be put away"

  • Arvind on December 25, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    @ Santosh Nemani: So you think we should decide who is good or bad based on "Public Polls"? By the way, Ravi Shastri has often compared the spectators to dogs, clowns, and what not. (Once when some spectator came on to the field, he said, "They should have dogs to keep a watch on the spectators, because these pitch invaders have a dog mentality", and some years later, he came up with "Play has been held up because some clown wouldn't mind his own business, and wants to stand right in front of the sightscreen") Public Poll, eh? What's with people in India were not interested in cricket before Shastri? Which India are you talking about?

  • Santosh Nemani on December 25, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Well its a funny article but I think its more offensive. If you think shastri is a poor commenter then I can bet you that you will end up loosing poorly in a Public Poll. Roughly 90% people in India doesn't understand English/Australian Accent and hence they were not interested in Cricket before Shastri. Ravi, Sunil, Laxman, Harsha are the true messengers of today's cricket for India. If you ban them then you will loose the Spectators of the Game. So whats the catch?

  • Paul on December 25, 2009, 0:01 GMT

    I wouldn't have a comm code of conduct but this article is absolutely hilarious! Keep it up! Phrases include: stock ball. Are the rest sold out? Stand and deliver. The bowler has got some thinking to do here. Does he not think all the time? That ball has cut the batsman in half. That's disgusting. Also out of ground when it goes 2m over boundary rope. Also the off stump goes for a walk. Since when did it have legs? Robin Jackman: He's DLFed that! Allan Donald can get repetitive in T20 when high scoring: I don't know what a good score is anymore. I don't like how Indian comms think that only a four is a boundary. A boundary is a 4 or 6. Also as BCCI choose Indian comms, all of their commentary is fact, no opinion and don't talk about controversy. Aus should have a foreign comm as their commentary is biased.

  • Anonymous on December 24, 2009, 20:56 GMT

    A nice article. But why the bias? Do u think Bhajji alone as a traitor of discipline? How abt the Aussies? I don remember a single match where there has been good behaviour. Also mate why deprive us the joy of these comical commentators? Esp on a boring match only interest point is the commentators. Maybe just a few rules to preserve their neutrality. Someone like Arnold praising his team little too much. Same happens with every commentator for his team. That apart hilarious commentary is as interesting as an Andy Zaltzman or Andrew Hughes or Anand Ramachandran.

  • Ram on December 24, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    This is not even funny.

  • Arvind on December 24, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    Commentators, especially Ravi Shastri, should be banned from "stating the obvious". Examples: 1. If the required run rate goes high, batsmen come under pressure. 2. If he concedes too many runs, he may be taken off the attack. 3. His bat is outside the crease, and the bails are off, that's out. (A related phrase is "not even in the frame/picture") 4. Tendulkar (or Ponting or someone) raises his bat to acknowledge the crowd, and they give him a standing ovation. 5. (often heard during last innings of a Test match) Australia need 270 runs to win, India need 10 wickets. There is also a possibility of a draw. and so on ...

  • Ashamed Indian on December 24, 2009, 13:10 GMT

    I agree with you Ashamed Aussie. But that year, if you look back, how Indian player behaved. I was certain that most likely player to a get slap on his face would be Sreesanth and most likely player to do it will be Harbhajan. At the end of the year it proved that I was not wrong.

  • Chandra Pokhriyal on December 24, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    And how many times we hear this phrase in pre/post press interviews 'Bowling in RIGHT AREA' OR 'RIGHT CHANNEL'. This should be banned from players/skippers/coach's vocabulary because I want to hear what right area or channel they are talking about.

  • Jay on December 24, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Bad commentators describe the action badly. Good ones describe it well. Great commentators annotate.

  • Some white guy on December 24, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    @T N Prabhu

    Tony Grieg Australian?

    I gues we all just sound the same. :)

  • Roberts on December 24, 2009, 8:03 GMT

    Iam from middlesex and i like the commentary of ravi shastri very much.i dont think we must have restrictions for the way they are entertaining the viewers in their own way.but i hate when i hear words like batters.i think commentators like ramiz raja and russel arnold should be banned.i think commentary is only for entertainment and not to torture the listeners

  • A K on December 24, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    Good one!! Now we need a code of conduct for Cricket Blog writers too.... Dunno what the punishments could be, I can think of one , writing meanings of 10 phrases for a cricket commentary dictionary ....

  • samir on December 24, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Most Indian commentators talk almost entirely in cliches. I hate Gavaskar (the commentator), Shastri, Arun Lal and Siva.

    Couple more:

    1. The bowlers will have to do something different now.

    2. That was a very good bouncer and XYZ had to take evasive action.

    But I reserve a special hatred for the recently coined 'expressing himself'.

  • Shreyas on December 24, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    Funny article!! I too agree that commentators nowadays overdo it when it comes to describing 'th progress of the ball after it has left the bat'(Tony Greig on Sachin Tendulkar in Sharjah - it was hilarious! People are right when they say that half of Tendulkar's success was Tony Greig.) Perhaps, with Lorgat's new vision for cricket, your suggested restrictions will be implemented as well...

  • Balaji on December 24, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    Two additions: Level 3.1.3: No commentators will be allowed to yell other than extreme situations where the co-commentators puts a gun on his head or a terror strike in the ground.

    Level 3.2 No commentator shall describe the obvious a wicket as "Hes gone", shot to the boundary as "thats four" and/or "He has despatched it to the boundary" and six as "thats six"and/or "maximum" and/or "Half-a-dozen"!

  • Prasad on December 24, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    hahahahaha!!!!! oohhhoohohohohohoh!!! wat a crap!!!!

  • Amish on December 24, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    and wht abt "he knew exactly what he was doing"....i remember shastri and co. used the same phrase lot of times in the previous Ind vs SL match, not to mention who the 'little' batsman was :-P

  • milinda on December 24, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    I don't see anything wrong with that type of commentary. It is just fantastic. Really the language doesn't matter as long it conveys the message. But I think they need a code of conduct in being bias. Specially the Australian commentators. They know the language but not the conduct....

  • AarP on December 24, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    And you should have Michael Holding's photo along with Richie's one. Hope he is a good commentator in the modern era...

  • Parthipan on December 24, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    How about this one which is regularly used in Cricinfo commentary " squirts this into the leg side " - brings a doubt if we are watching a family website ( the commentators remind that infact it is for minimum three times a day - not sure

  • R Suresh on December 24, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    Very valid - Lets also add

    1. Every sentence spoken should be complete without any pause clearly distinguishing the subject, verb and object - adverbs and adjectives to be used from the ICC code dictionary

    2. Statistics to be presented as it is - 39.8 should not be mentioned as nearing forty

    3. Committment on minimum/maximum number of sentences per ball, between overs, at wicket fall, in breaks and innings break. Not adhering to this to be treated as breach of agreement and suit filed.

    Regards

  • nik on December 24, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    We miss your commetary Ritchie. After all the sub-contient is now dominating cricket but lacks the true essence of commentary. I guess Gavaskar is the best of (the worst) all the blokes here but the remaining like Shastri, Shivramkrishnan, Arul Lal are biased towards the home teams and when ever Sachin or Sehwag hit a six or four - they seem more excited and scream instead of providing commentary!! Please notice this viewers. Also, Arun Lal is fond of talking and likes it so much that he never allows others to speak. Please learn something from this great man!!!

  • vnu on December 24, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    Australian cricket players behave well within the field when they are winning. When the opponents start threatening them that's when they combine cricket with abuse thinking that may help them. That is certainly not in the spirit of the game. They should be taught first how to behave sportsmanly. Then their commentators should be taught commentating. Baring few of them everyone should be taught commentating including the non-Australians like Ravi Shastri, Arun Lal, Sivaramakrishnan. Specially the likes of Ramiz Raza(who is a carbon copy of Ravi Shastri commentry) and Ranjit Fernando(UURRRRRGGGHHH) need to come up with their own style. Ravi Shastri is stuck with his old style commentry. Either these guys should change with time OR just shut their mouth.

  • kalpss on December 24, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    I think the COC should extend to the sports anchors on Indian English news channels as well, I dont even want to mention the hindi ones.

    It was an NDTV anchor who used the words batters more often than not and refer to India as "we" for godsake journalists act like journalists not like fans!

  • Pramod on December 24, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    I am glad you say that the code is still in the works. A few pointers of what should come :

    Theres NO money involved, so bowlers can never be right on the money!!!!

    An edge is an edge is an egde. An edge to Thirdman by an Aussie batsman does NOT become a fine shot by opening the face of the bat.

    Oh and commentary team must have equal representatives from both playing sides and one neutral commentator at least.

  • shank on December 24, 2009, 1:40 GMT

    hilarious dude. Keep bringing the good stuff. cheers!! Id also hv a code for : cow corner, INSIDE OUT over extra cover, jaffer, peach of a delivery.

  • Muhammed Shahzad on December 24, 2009, 1:29 GMT

    Funniest thing i have read in a long long time.

  • rk on December 24, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    Haha.. this is a classic!! Love it!! Such humor with lots of sense!!

    Apart from the dig on County, LOL for ticking comments :-)

  • Roy on December 24, 2009, 1:08 GMT

    I remember listening to radio commentary years ago and the man behind the mike was saying that Kapil Dev was getting a lift at that end. Someone interpreted that as he was saying someone was inappropriately dressed close to that end and he was getting a "hard on".....My grandmother once asked if disabled people are allowed to play. How come the commentator is saying SHORT LEG and FINE LEG. They had to be polio victims playing the game....Funny.

  • Vig on December 24, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    All talk about wildlife, especially birds, shall be forbidden.

  • boes on December 24, 2009, 0:47 GMT

    Unlucky dismissal. To be avoided; batsmen are dismissed either by their lack of skill/judgement or by superior skill/judgement by the opposition. Examples; An amazing catch is not unlucky - if the ball is in the air the batsmen should expect that it could be caught. If the non-striker is backing up and is run out by the ball deflecting off the bowler from a straight drive - kudos to the bowler for having the skill and reflexes to touch the ball being belted back at him. If the batsmen was int he crease he wouldn't have been 'unlucky' The only possible exception to the 'unlucky dismissal' rule would be for a poor umpires decision....which of course have all now been eliminated with the successful implementation of the review system

  • len rogers on December 24, 2009, 0:31 GMT

    Other no-noes: That's a big six, never a small six? Big hundreds, he's now got to go on to get a big hundred - never defined for the innocent viewer. Bowling in good areas - surely the pitch IS a good area, better than not on the pitch. Change up to describe a slower ball???? Forty year old banter - I remember when you stood in something at Adelaide in the 1968 test against....who cares? I'm sure others have similar offerings. All those described above are grade 2 offenses and the punishment should be a 2 hour solitary confinement listening to Tony and Bill at it together. Harsh I realise but these offenses can only be eliminated by strong action! LenRog

  • samjay on December 24, 2009, 0:11 GMT

    Fine piece. The banality of majority of commentators is unmistakable, specially from the subcontinent.

    For those who will start bashing me, I am from the subcontinent.

  • Grant (Sydney, Australia) on December 23, 2009, 23:03 GMT

    Great article Andrew. Might I suggest one more item be added to the commentator's code: "excessive use of adjectives and adverbs is forbidden". That will shut that idiot Mark Nicholas up for good.

  • Tosh on December 23, 2009, 22:54 GMT

    Great post!! Ramiz Raza should also be banned from trying to rhyme while commentating.

  • CTG on December 23, 2009, 22:35 GMT

    You missed out "nurdled", which is fast becoming the Cricinfo standard description of a shot tickled down to fine leg. Criminal.

    But I have to disagree with 2.2.iii - The dulcet tones of Bill Lawry saying "Got 'im, he's gone!" is one of the main reasons for watching cricket.

  • Zandu Balm on December 23, 2009, 21:42 GMT

    This is very interesting. I think ICC has better to worry about than telling commentator how to do their job.

  • Vish on December 23, 2009, 20:48 GMT

    I absolutely oppose what this article says. It is a pleasure to listen to different commentators, their individual peculiarities, words they use etc. Cricket is a specialised sport that you enjoy more, the more you know about it. Hence the ongoing popularity of test cricket among those that have played the game at a serious level. You wouldn't suggest to a rugby commentator to avoid words like "try", "pass" because they have different meanings, would you. Yes, commentators use words like tickle rather than glance, flash rather than cut, but that's what makes it more fun to differentiate commentators' personalities.

  • Surojeet on December 23, 2009, 20:32 GMT

    Reminds me of the typical ramiz raja commentary quips which left even other commentators dumbfounded...very good humorous article

  • Mark on December 23, 2009, 20:20 GMT

    Definitely there needs to be more objectivity in the commentary box. The Aussie vs. W.I. series showcased a lot of ex-Aussie players in the commentary box, who did little preparation except shine their shoes and dryclean their suits! They seem to support the Aussie team no matter what happens on the field - despite the general public being shocked by the Aussies complete lack of sportsmanship. How about hiring not on the basis of a playing career, but on the basis of providing a good commentary of the game?

  • Harry on December 23, 2009, 20:18 GMT

    Appreciate the article but i am forced not to agree with the rules for commentator's yet because we have clean our ICC & Players first and more so over the code of conduct of players. If you look back at the incidents in Aus & WI, It was a bit too much going on there. And more so over ICC who could not judge properly neither can impartial decisions (always support Aussies). I am not from WI nor WI fan who supports them. I am supporting cricket and teams like that must be warned first and ICC stop biasing. I'll not be surprised if they come up with new rules of Code of Conduct and how to give decisions by Refrees too. Lets clean up that first and go for the commentators. What is done on the ground hurts more than what they speak in the mike.

  • Durrab Aslam on December 23, 2009, 19:48 GMT

    I totally agree with this. ICC need to have code for commentators. This is just because that for last decade or so there is no such qualified commentators accept who finish with the cricketing carrier became commentator. The main reason for this thing is lot of cricket for last 3 or 4 years. when there is lot of cricket they have to fill up the commentary box, with whom doesn't matter

  • viral on December 23, 2009, 18:35 GMT

    common...are u serious...code of conduct for commentators...i know its a game of gentleman but this is just too much..

  • viral on December 23, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    common...are u serious...code of conduct for commentators...i know its a game of gentleman but this is just too much..

  • rabi Thapa on December 23, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    How about a ban on branded commentary? DLF Maximum Sixes and Citi Moments of Success? It boggles the mind how commentators can call themselves such - why not just blare the trumpets and have an announcer scream out a brand associated with every shot in the book?

  • Ajay Sridharan on December 23, 2009, 18:07 GMT

    This is one of the most hilarious pieces of cricket article I've read in a while. this had bite in it and had me swinging both ways in laughter!

  • Rajiv on December 23, 2009, 18:01 GMT

    And while we're at it, why not add another clause to keep these buffoons from screaming out in mock-excitement "Thats a Jaffer" (Poor ol' Wasim Jaffer must be reminded of tht sad fact tht he's no longer in favor with the selectors), or "DLF Maximum" or "Super four" or "Citibank Masterstroke" or "Kitply moments of madness".

    Please. We have enough ads shoved down our throats courtesy Mr. Modi n his cronies, so much so that almost inevitably, the 1st ball of the over disappears from view, almost magically.

  • Vijay on December 23, 2009, 17:56 GMT

    Article 2.3 The commentator shall not be allowed to read the statistics such as i) The score is ...ii) The required rate is ... when appearing on the TV screen. It is quite unnecessary for the viewer to both read and listen to the same thing.

  • Rajiv on December 23, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    Spot on ! You hit the nail right on the head .... Gavaskar, Shastri, Laxman Sivarama-whats-his-name, ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING ?!?!?!?!

  • Mina Anand on December 23, 2009, 17:12 GMT

    just too funny - couldn't stop laughing..

    most enjoyable...

  • Mohan Krishnamoorthy on December 23, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    "That went to the ropes like a tracer bullet!" -- Use this phrase very sparingly, especially considering the troubled times we live in!

  • Peter on December 23, 2009, 16:53 GMT

    2.2v Full Flight. Used to indicate that a someone is batting well: As opposed to what? If he's not batting well, is he taking the bus? "Swing and a Miss. He's really on the bus today".

  • Ankit on December 23, 2009, 16:40 GMT

    And you need to have an article 3 for dealing with Sidhuisms alone. My favourite "It kissed an airhostess on the way back".

  • Richard McFarland on December 23, 2009, 16:28 GMT

    A really interesting view on what's becoming an increasingly significant part of the game. Over the past few weeks it seems we read more about the law and discipline in the game rather than the achievements and failures of the players in the middle. However your article is amusing and gives a different perspective. Cheers!

  • Richard McFarland on December 23, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    A really interesting view on what's becoming an increasingly significant part of the game. Over the past few weeks it seems we read more about the law and discipline in the game rather than the achievements and failures of the players in the middle. However your article is amusing and gives a different perspective. Cheers!

  • Aswin on December 23, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    And what else? Have a sensor board for commentators??? For heaven's sake, we have more important matters to deal. I guess the on-field behavior spoils kids more than the commentary.

    And, don't tell me kids are not smart enough to know the meaning of words like FLASH, Tick etc. This is the age of the internet, anyone can access information anywhere. Your article is flawed.

  • aSingh on December 23, 2009, 16:09 GMT

    I always place the sound on mute when watching a match from Australia where all the commentators are Australians. It is one of the more degrading aspect of watching cricket from Australia. With every other country, there are commentators from other parts of the world to give a balance view. It happen that my dad wanted to watch Chanderpaul bat (so the mute was off) and after that bias, contradictory display of Australian commentary and Asuad Raulf decision, the mute was on for the rest of the series and believe me when a Haddin point a bat at Ben I knew that he(Ben) would bear the brunt of the penalty. Do they show on TV, in Australia, Johnson, Doug , Waston and Pointing swearing at their opponents, Pointing bulling the umpires --- for kids to see--- is that in the spirit of the game. Definitely, the Australian cricketers and their Australian commentators are doing another grave injustice to the game of cricket. The sound will be on mute, Australian are poor spirited cricketers.

  • Puneeth Nagaraj on December 23, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    1. Batsmen are batsmen, not batters as most Indian commentators (especially Arun Lal and the Neo Cricket team which boasts of such stalwarts as Laxman Sivaramakrishnan et al.) refer to them. This is cricket not baseball, it's bastard half-brother. 2. Commentary should be banned during Twenty20s, for there's little anyone can add to whatever is happening on the field. 3.Toupees or any form of synthetic hair should not be worn (Yes Harsha Bhogle, this one's for you). 4. Commentators such as Ravi Shastri should be subject to doping tests for testosterone. 5. Ramiz Raja should be banned.

    Finally, if commentators are found in breach of any of the above, they should be tried for human rights violation.

  • Mohammad Jawad on December 23, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    I dont like (especially from Arun Lal) when they say "thats what the doctor ordered"...lol..i mean they all giving their best out there...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt...n also sounds like the bowler had a fever...

    (in run out situation, especially when its quite obvious!!).."if that had hit the stumps, he would have gone"...lol...gr8..thnx 4 informing...i mean gimme a break..we all know that and we can see that for crying out loud...its not the first time i am watching cricket..

    "now what is he gonna do??" (especially towards the end of the innings...) well, if the batsman has not lost his mind, then he will try not to get out and score as much as possible..n if the bowler has not lost his mind, then he will try to save runs, if not get the batsman out..i mean this is what they are there to do, right??think commentators!!!

  • MANISH on December 23, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    Thats it there goes Ravi Shastri's commentary career into the dumps. The above mentioned are the only thing he says. For "educated" indians living on a diet of the western media,movies,programmes, print,commentary and their teachers Wren & Martin english,innovation & originality in english commentary is long way off .We may get there sometime in 2050 but by then the chinese will be ruling the world and hence we all will have to switch over to mandarin boo hoo.

  • Umair on December 23, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    This is the best piece I've read on Page 2. Wonderfully written. So true.

  • Karthik Gopalaswamy on December 23, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    Hilarious!! One of the best pieces by Andrew. Another phrase that has to be banned is 'knifed through the covers'. Any viewer new to the game would be shocked at such gory language!!

  • Bill on December 23, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    2.3 There is no such thing as a 'half chance'. It is either physically possible to take a catch or it is not. The former is a chance, the latter is a good shot (or possibly edge).

  • Gupta Girdhar on December 23, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    I appreciate the views.Many commentators saying much more which are funny.

  • Sam P on December 23, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    For a punishment, how about commentating for an old match on tv and being recorded for it and to submit it to the ICC for review where 3 mistakes and you are to do it all over a gain.

    Another one would be to cover matches between school teams

    Finally, to learn the art of commentary from the Australian team , they are so kool in teaching the various jargons of the game (from either symonds or hayden)

  • sajjan on December 23, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    what a stupid article.A perfect waste of my time.

  • Allan on December 23, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    For those of us who live in North America and cannot follow all the live action as we are at work, maybe, there should be a code for the Cricinfo Ball - By - Ball Update commentators. Words like 'biffed that one', the bowler 'leaked' and several other nonsensical words can be left out too! Like your humour!

  • Rob Steen on December 23, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    Wonderful stuff, Andrew - had me laughing aloud before lunch, twice, which is possibly a Sussex record. But you didn't go far enough by any means. How about:

    2.2.v Golly, or any other pre-1960s English expression that only serves to make the commentator sound as if he should have been pensioned off a decade or two ago. Not a terribly clever idea in the circumstances.

    2.2.vi He's bunted that - taken from baseball parlance, this actually means to nudge the ball a few feet and take the fielders by surprise, precisely the OPPOSITE of what its utterer-in-chief thinks he means. Utterances of this ilk should carry a life suspension. Or, at the very least, back-to-back Tests in Antigua.

  • Richard Lee on December 23, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    I almost agree, but how do you propose to deal with priceless ones, like the one from "Boyks", which from memory was in SA's first innings, commenting "I could have hit that with a stick of rhubarb".....I am still smiling.....can the system also be designed to hand out credits as well as impose fines?

    Regards

    Richard

  • Philip Gnana on December 23, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    More red tape. I am reminded of political corretness. I as a listener/viewer/reader do not find any issues with the terminology nor the language used as a matter of importance. What we need to hear is plain English presented to us as simple as possible... current speak. Philip Gnana

  • Philip Gnana on December 23, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    More red tape. I am reminded of political corretness. I as a listener/viewer/reader do not find any issues with the terminology nor the language used as a matter of importance. What we need to hear is plain English presented to us as simple as possible... current speak. Philip Gnana

  • ChachaJohn on December 23, 2009, 12:46 GMT

    "If you’re going to flash, flash hard"

    Brilliance, sheer brilliance! LMAO!

  • Sajjid Abbasi on December 23, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    This was an excellent article, albeit a bit cheeky, on attempting to draw attention towards the diabolical state of cricket commentary these days. I normally tend to mute the volume on my TV while watching the matches because I cannot stand the rubbish that these so-called cricket commentators regurgetate. The vocabulary is low, poor command on English language, too judgemental, not funny, hidden skeletons (e.g. paid loyalty to BCCI) in closets etc etc. I really wish to hear some old BBC commentators or Richie Benaud again. Get someone who has good skills in commentating and just put a cricket knowing puppet like Shastri, Akram, Waqar, Ramiz alongside as expert view if needed. Definetly get rid of Hersha Bhogal and similar clowns with funny accents.

  • Darren on December 23, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    What about "he didn't trouble the scorers" for a batsman being dismissed for a duck? Only uttered by commentators who have never done scoring.

    And can we get commentators to tell us instantly whether they think an lbw is out before seeing any replays? That might shut them up when the poor old ump gets one wrong.

  • Boiragi on December 23, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    good one mate.

  • Yogesh on December 23, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    Develop this theme man. Dont just leave it now. Deliver us from this evil - commentators.

  • Raghav on December 23, 2009, 11:40 GMT

    Excellent Article , brings to fore the torture the cricket lover has to go through while listening to commentary. Especially the likes of Ravi Shastri who have been disturbing furniture and giving out more of such stuff repeatedly since time immemorial.. Maybe we should ask Richie Benaud to tutor a few of the current lot whilst the real cricket fan is being made to sit through more and more of T20 Hard times i must say for cricket lovers

  • Mir Ishfaq on December 23, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    Interesting comments..

  • Karthik on December 23, 2009, 10:35 GMT

    Terrific! And to amend Article 2.2 with due sanction... Shastri, Fernando, Waqar, some more rules to follow sadly! 2.2.v "He CAN turn the ball!" Well if that’s what he’s supposed to do, he’d better do, it better turn! 2.2.vi "And that’s maximum!" It need not be. The ball can fly out of the fence even on a bowler’s over-step. Or an overthrow to the ropes after running 3. Er… More than maxium then? 2.2.vii "He sees it like a football now!" Ahem! Are we in the right sport with a wrong piece of apparatus? Or is it a piece of advice to visit an ophthalmologist to state something’s amiss for a potential match winner! 2.2.viii "(Look and talk to a fellow commentator when the camera’s on you)" We all know an international game on in the middle seeking more attention. Why then pose for a camera to sound natural? 2.2.ix "(Raising decibels on a fellow countryman’s performance)" In short, read this last code first. The neutral principle. And surely before reviewing umpire’s referral systems!

  • sid dasgupta on December 23, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    Great idea!! Have always felt that the commentators needed a code of conduct, specially in India. Blind adulation of a certain hero, for one, needs to be firmly put down as a no-go in any cricketing broadcast, at least not before a century has been scored!

    I have heard Geoff Boycott asking one commentator if he is in the payroll of a certain master batsman, by the degree of adulation showered on him, merely on his arrival at the crease!

    Complete the code of conduct and let us have a proper cricket commentary sans the excesses!

  • cadet018 on December 23, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    "Tickled" that one "down" to fine "leg" Yeah .. that can be very devastating for someone who is not familiar with cricketing terms :D

  • Abhi on December 23, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    Oh my word!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

    As a part of Article 2.1 if you could put an image of Ravi Shastri - the most talented non-commentator of our age. You as well call him Clichéd Shastri.

    I think all commentators should be forced to take a course from the Richie Benaud school - if there is nothing you can add - ZIP IT!

    I am very aware that the ball has gone for a four "one bounce into the fence" - I have just seen it!

    I am equally aware that when a Batsman is down writhing in pain with the Physio on or when the sight screens are being adjusted there is "A hold up in play".

    Thank you!

  • Marc on December 23, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Very good, though one assumes different rules would be required for Radio commentary. I would also add a restriction on the number of exceedingly long anecdotes about matches which occurred before the viewer was born. Preferably none.

  • Pramod on December 23, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    Excellent article and good humour. Inadvertently, you touch on a spot seldom covered in the press: the bias of commentators. During the 1st England v SA test match, I had the luxury of having Sky commentary as well as Supersport's - and I was amazed to hear how different their views were!

    Also, listening to the Australian commentators talking about Australian batsmen, you'd swear we were watching Don Bradman and Greame Pollock batting - such were the superlatives for a fairly ordinary shot through the covers for 4.

    Geoff Boycott is my favourite commentator: he calls a poor shot what it is, and applauds good play regardless of which side it is. I think all commentators should take a leaf out of his book.

    Anyway, happy holidays, and enjoy the wonderful test cricket on display during this festive season. Thanks for a great website (still my favourite site in the world!)

    Pramod JHB, SA

  • Kashif Siraj on December 23, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    Spot on Andrew!

    I suggest that no one should be allowed to perform as a commentator just because he is an ex-player. Some of them start using all sorts of adjectives and at times expletives just to cover up the drab ;-) they are only capable of. Being knowledgable about the game is a must for commentating but not the ONLY prerequisite.

  • Manish on December 23, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    No offense but that was boring!

  • niels on December 23, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Darryl Cullinan should never be allowed to commentate with David Lloyd unless Insomniac Hour is declared. David Gower should be encouraged to retire. Michael Atherton should be restricted to print (he is very good at it). Ian Botham should become a memory. Tony Grieg should be made to choose a country... but just one. Henry Blofeld makes a better commentator than he did a James Bond villain.

  • cameron Skirving on December 23, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    I love it. I think Bill Lawry and perhaps Tony Greig would be visiting the match referee's office every minute, wouldn't they? Bill doesn't know much other jargon except for the sins you have described.

  • n.sabesan on December 23, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    The ball-by-ball description of the play is for enjoyment of sports lovers who could not be present physically at the venue of action and to find literary values in the commentary is too much! The worst thing that has happened to the use of the english language is the advent of 'compu-language'flourished by the computer wizkids around the world! does Andrew think of doing something about it as well?

  • Siddhartha on December 23, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    Nice one... There are few other phrases we can add, like " he comes dancing down the pitch" or "Its up up and away!!!" with the voice going equally up up and away!!!

    Coming to the fines, I think the best punishment would be to have them listen to six hours of their own commentary!

    (Btw, webmaster, something wrong with the text, portions are repeating...)

  • T N Prabhu on December 23, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    It is outright clear that the examples are targeted at Indian commentators specifically Ravi shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, L Sivaramakrishnan, Arun Lal. While I agree with the standard of commentary delivery is different in different countries, it is a form of entertainment in the subcontinent. Normally you think in the language you speak. However, in the subcontinent we invariably think in the multiple local languages and translate to English and deliver in the closest possible meaning. Thrills of the game are dished out in what the locals understand. Here cricket is entertainment. Not a language class. Its about communication of the occasion not a moment to think about purity of the language. I have been an avid follower of Australians and have often found, the dryness and bias of Ian Healy, the flurry of adverbs in a single sentence by Tony Grieg or the "jump out of the seat"statements of Bill lawry, apalling. But nevertheless entertaining. Live the moment and embrace the change

  • Tarik on December 23, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    So far i can remember that Richie Benaud told once that commentry is such not chattering what is neccessary to talk it is commentry for cricket match

  • Navin on December 23, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    So nice, you had to write it twice... And there I go sounding like Navjot Singh Sidhu's long lost nephew again

  • S Michael Ponnudurai on December 23, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Good article. It was humorous

  • Ashamed Aussie on December 23, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    Richie...if you think the Aussies are honest and clean on the cricket field, mate, you are completely out of it....

    The problem is that Harbajan dished it out, and the Aussies, typical, cant stomach somebody giving out the "aussie medicine"...

    All I can say, is grow up Aussies...and get some rest Richie..you are loosing it.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ashamed Aussie on December 23, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    Richie...if you think the Aussies are honest and clean on the cricket field, mate, you are completely out of it....

    The problem is that Harbajan dished it out, and the Aussies, typical, cant stomach somebody giving out the "aussie medicine"...

    All I can say, is grow up Aussies...and get some rest Richie..you are loosing it.

  • S Michael Ponnudurai on December 23, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Good article. It was humorous

  • Navin on December 23, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    So nice, you had to write it twice... And there I go sounding like Navjot Singh Sidhu's long lost nephew again

  • Tarik on December 23, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    So far i can remember that Richie Benaud told once that commentry is such not chattering what is neccessary to talk it is commentry for cricket match

  • T N Prabhu on December 23, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    It is outright clear that the examples are targeted at Indian commentators specifically Ravi shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, L Sivaramakrishnan, Arun Lal. While I agree with the standard of commentary delivery is different in different countries, it is a form of entertainment in the subcontinent. Normally you think in the language you speak. However, in the subcontinent we invariably think in the multiple local languages and translate to English and deliver in the closest possible meaning. Thrills of the game are dished out in what the locals understand. Here cricket is entertainment. Not a language class. Its about communication of the occasion not a moment to think about purity of the language. I have been an avid follower of Australians and have often found, the dryness and bias of Ian Healy, the flurry of adverbs in a single sentence by Tony Grieg or the "jump out of the seat"statements of Bill lawry, apalling. But nevertheless entertaining. Live the moment and embrace the change

  • Siddhartha on December 23, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    Nice one... There are few other phrases we can add, like " he comes dancing down the pitch" or "Its up up and away!!!" with the voice going equally up up and away!!!

    Coming to the fines, I think the best punishment would be to have them listen to six hours of their own commentary!

    (Btw, webmaster, something wrong with the text, portions are repeating...)

  • n.sabesan on December 23, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    The ball-by-ball description of the play is for enjoyment of sports lovers who could not be present physically at the venue of action and to find literary values in the commentary is too much! The worst thing that has happened to the use of the english language is the advent of 'compu-language'flourished by the computer wizkids around the world! does Andrew think of doing something about it as well?

  • cameron Skirving on December 23, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    I love it. I think Bill Lawry and perhaps Tony Greig would be visiting the match referee's office every minute, wouldn't they? Bill doesn't know much other jargon except for the sins you have described.

  • niels on December 23, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Darryl Cullinan should never be allowed to commentate with David Lloyd unless Insomniac Hour is declared. David Gower should be encouraged to retire. Michael Atherton should be restricted to print (he is very good at it). Ian Botham should become a memory. Tony Grieg should be made to choose a country... but just one. Henry Blofeld makes a better commentator than he did a James Bond villain.

  • Manish on December 23, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    No offense but that was boring!