May 25, 2012

Watching MI fade, minus Morrison

Andrew Hughes
The IPL commentary team (from left): Mike Haysman, Robin Jackman, Harsha Bhogle, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Sunil Gavaskar, Danny Morrison, Pommie Mbangwa and Ravi Shastri, Mumbai, April 25, 2010
The most compelling reason yet to upgrade your auditory canal protection programme, if you haven’t already  © Getty Images
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Like many franchise fans, over the last few weeks I’ve loaded up with IPL merchandise. My bathroom is well stocked with Preity Zinta’s Kings XI anti-bacterial wipes, my appliances are fitted with Deccan Chargers rechargeable batteries (charger no longer manufactured) and there’s a punnet of Royal Challengers strawberries in my fridge (each strawberry genetically engineered to take on the facial characteristics of a different player).

But I was most proud of my set of official IPL earplugs. Expertly moulded in luxurious ear-canal friendly foam, designed to fit snugly into even the gnarliest aural orifice, they are hand-painted with the logos of all nine franchises. This mint condition collection sat prominently on my shelf next to Ravi Shastri’s signed moustache comb and was going to be worth a fortune. Sadly it was not to be. Let me explain.

Over the last few weeks I have been training in the “Leaping Couch Potato” form of Kung Fu, and having reached Bruce Lee levels of agility, I can now dive across the room, snatch up the remote and depress the mute button in the time it takes a commentator to clear his throat. Thanks to these new skills, I have managed to avoid most of the output of the one-man noise pollution machine that is Mr Daniel Morrison.

Readers not familiar with his work may think I am exaggerating. I am not. Danny is a perfectly amiable chap but his commentary is an abomination. He emits short bursts of speech, each word emphasised in the rising tones of a manic game-show host with a faulty microphone who is forever going to commercial. Usually you have to fall foul of an oppressive government to end up suffering that kind of noise torture but IPL viewers get it for free.

So there I was, settled into my sofa, my phone unplugged, a fresh cup of Lady Grey on the side table and the Eliminator about to get underway, when I hear that Mr Morrison is warming up his vocal chords and will shortly be broadcasting. No problem. I turn to the velvet cushion where I keep my remote control. But it isn’t there. My blood runs cold. What can I do? I look around desperately but no joy. And now Danny is talking.

I say talking, but with just three games to go he has abandoned mere talking and is screaming random words and phrases into the microphone. “Boom!” “It’s all happening!” “Dancing shoes on!” “It’s RP Singh!” I withstood it for an over or two but then I cracked. With tears in my eyes I prised the Pune Warriors earplugs from their case and installed them. Naturally they didn’t work, so I used the CSK ones instead.

And from within my silent, Morrison-proof cocoon I witnessed the sad end to yet another Mumbai Indians IPL campaign. For an over or two things looked promising, but Dhoni was soon helicoptering Malinga into the crowd, and then Dwayne Smith ran out the little Master, which in IPL terms is like accidentally tripping up the Queen at an official garden party. Dwayne looked suitably mortified and in that moment all the hot air in the Mumbai blimp escaped with a melancholy sigh.

Still, although they are out, it isn’t all bad news. Mrs Ambani can at least console herself with the knowledge that her team’s song was the only one to get through the rigorous qualification process to make it onto the Hughes ringtone list. For the next three days, every time I get a call from my credit card company, I will hear the sound of “Duniya Hila Denge” and pause for a moment to think what might have been.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Keywords: Commentary

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by missing-a-bail on (May 28, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Chill out all you Morrison-haters!! Danny is the antithesis of all those boring wind-bags you have to suffer on the other broadcasts. Bless your crazy soul, Danny. Can't wait until you're on again.

Posted by Ashok Vasan on (May 26, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Andrew..I love Danny Morrison's commentary. As much as I love your writing!! Hmmmm..

Posted by Apologetic Kiwi on (May 25, 2012, 21:49 GMT)

As a Kiwi I am deeply sorry for the national disgrace that is Danny Morrison. He makes watching the IPL a cringe worthy experience. The sad thing is his commentary career is only marginally worse than his playing career which is saying something. I can assure cricket fans that Morrison has never commentated NZ matches in NZ and I pray that he never will. The damage listening to him has done to cricket is of underarm levels. Is it possible to have him sent to Guantanamo Bay as an audible terrorist?

Posted by Giriraj on (May 25, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

Nicely written article although i like danny he is a great entertainer all the mumbai jokes were terrific

Posted by Ratan on (May 25, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

Brilliant article!! Unleashing of Danny on poor un-suspecting viewers seems to be a master-plan by BCCI. He is here to make otherwise irritating Shastri and Gavaskar look good!

Posted by njr1330 on (May 25, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

About 30 years ago, Liverpool CC engaged a New Zealand fast bowler as their overseas player. He was quite good, but was overwhelmingly keen and loud and simply never stopped talking. His name was...er...Danny Morrison! Surely, no relation !

Posted by Bashir on (May 25, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Well said.....Danny 's commentary iz really annoying to say the least....when he say "and this time he goes over long on" he tries to make even a rubbish mistimed shot look like a perfectly timed Hashim Amla Back foot drive.....any way....to say the least he commentates as if he is commentating in WWE....come on DANNY its the game of gentlemen.....not some rubbish sport......i thought i was the only one noting Danny....Thank GOD you said it and said it well....

Posted by Samir on (May 25, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

Among commentators, I like Rameez. He isn't too old worldly nor too over the top! Just the right blend that makes the IPL a convergence of entertainment yet as part of a cricketing discourse.

Posted by Shaun on (May 25, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

I personally like his over the top antics. The IPL is cricket on steroids - why shouldn't the commentary be the same. I respect the commentary of TMS and Richie Benaud etc., and it appropriate for test cricket. But this is T20, and the IPL. We need pizazz, and oomph, not introspection, monotone and baritone!

IT'S DANNY MORRISSON!!!

Posted by ars on (May 25, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Danny is the kind of commentator that makes you wish for Ravi Shastri. I wish the MEA would deny him a Visa next year :(

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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