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Put 'em in a box

Eleven players we'd like to see take up commentary duties

Oh brother, what next? Kevin Pietersen deep in thought at the Antigua Recreation Ground nets, Antigua, February 11, 2009
"God, my skin feels like sandpaper. Must be that wretched media glare thing again" © AFP

Gautam Gambhir
At 80 words a minute, he could broadcast more sponsor names an over than the IPL marketing team can bring in. Clearly wasted in his current role as a "dangerous Twenty20 batsman".

Virender Sehwag
At three words per question, two of them being "of course" and "definitely", Sehwag will bring in the taciturnity that commentary booths all across the world desperately lack. "Outside off, six. Of course."

Kevin Pietersen
During a pitch invasion of the undressed kind, a good commentator will ignore the embarrassing situation and talk about something entirely different. Enter KP, who likes to talk about himself more than Warnie likes to text. While the streaker avoids shoulder barges, KP will discuss how he feels naked in the media glare and wants to let it all hang out.

Jesse Ryder
The non-alcoholic version of Ryder is so boring, and it's keeping window-pane-makers out of work. His one tipple during the IPL didn't even result in any black eyes. Something must be done. Send him over to mingle with Ramiz and Co and see if he doesn't clutch at the bottle like Samir Kochchar at the cheerleaders. "Thatsh another Dee Left shot, hic, jusht like my tequila here."

Sourav Ganguly
The IPL commentary team is one irritatingly cheerful bunch, with Danny Morrison in particular displaying dangerous levels of nitrous-oxide intake. Ganguly, with his flair for Machiavellian politics, would drop a rumour here, leak a story there, and turn the Brady Bunch into world-weary citizens like you and me.

Andrew Symonds
To keep you from switching channels during yet another rain break, a special show called Fish with Roy. Aw, gee, mate, not outside the off stump, but in the river, preferably when the Bangla boys come visiting. "If you're fly-fishing, I suggest you use the swivel tackleā€¦ and now, back to the game."

Irfan Pathan
How many others can include "mashallah" and "mate" in the same sentence? And don't for a moment think his vocabulary is limited to just that. He can cannily replace "mate" with "buddy" when talking to non-Australians, so there.

Shane Warne
His ability to hand his mates nicknames can extend to the commentary box, with "Hollywood Wannabe" for Danny Morrison, "Failed Shane Warne" for L Sivaramakrishnan, and "The Idiot I Don't Understand" for Jeremy Coney.

Ishant Sharma
The guttural squeak isn't adequately represented in the commentators' box. Not entirely pleasant to hear, but it will take you back to the days of your adolescence, when every third word hit a falsetto.

Sreesanth
Tony Greig brought drama to the microphone with "The Indians have come alive" and other such cult phrases, but only Sreesanth can take it up to melodrama by actually sobbing every time a wicket falls. Added entertainment will be provided when he starts referring to himself in the third person: "Sreesanth will not bowl a yorker next ball." Is he on the ground, is he behind the mic, is he out of our lives? The mystery continues.

Glenn McGrath
It's not like he has anything better to do. The IPL is no paid holiday, as Dale Steyn will tell you.

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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