Wisden Cricketer / Features

The Wisden Cricketer Readers' Poll

'Death seems a better option than listening to those zombies'

We published the results of the Wisden Cricketer poll which asked you to name your commentary dream team

Cricinfo staff

August 18, 2005

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We published the results of the Wisden Cricketer poll which asked you to name your commentary dream team . This attracted massive feedback, and we publish a selection of your responses, in no particular order



Summer in Australia is the smell of freshly mown lawn, hot days and the sound of Richie Benaud commentating © Getty Images
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Whenever Bob Willis, Ian Botham and Paul Allott begin to commentate I mute my TV and switch on the TMS commentary or switch off the TV completely & take the radio to the loo for a No. 2. I am already dreading listening to Willis and co. next season on Sky. Death seems like better option than listening to those zombies Arup Vidyerthy

Colville is an amiable buffoon - I would much rather hear him than Botham or, God forbid, Willis. When listening to Botham pontificating on some issue, I can never forget his inability ever to answer a cricket question on Question of Sport in the late eighties and early nineties. Stephen Cottrell

The prospect of having to listen to Botham and Willis next year fills me with utter dread. Botham's Neanderthal pronouncements are straight from the school of the bleedin' obvious while Willis's voice and mogadon delivery are an invitation to fall into deep depression and decline George Cazenove

Charles Colville reminds me of the village cricketer who turns up to a game with "All the gear, no idea". Continues to ramble on about the smallest detail, hyping it up as the story of the day. David Gower gives the impression that he's a guest commentator, not the anchorman ... continues to gives his views on the matter instead of giving us the chance to hear form the others. Sky should give him a Tigermoth instead of another contract! Neil Picton

Richie Benaud uses silence as a tool very effectively. Allan DeSouza

The apparent popularity of Ian Botham makes me fear for the state of humanity. He makes watching cricket on Sky genuinely painful, especially alongside the suicidally miserable Bob Willis and his Beadle-esque microphone grip. Daniel Wakely

How the urbane, avuncular, Charlie Colville, who can talk entertainingly for hours (extremely useful for rain interruptions) failed to get the wild card placing well, words fail me (as they never do for Charlie). Ian Stewart

What a blessed relief that CC didn't seem to even register a solitary vote. Ivan Veall

Botham's high vote surprised me. Obviously some people like a moany old git in Fred Trueman mode ("I just don't understand this slip field at all"). Steve Bailey

I would like to express my pleasure at seeing Ravi Shastri figuring so low in the list! Shastri's cliché-filled commentary and verbal diarrhoea has made watching Indian cricket a dreadful experience. N Razdan

Channel 4's cricket commentary is a class of its own, not even comparable to Sky. Next year you will be paying a lot of money for Sky to listen to ****. My plea to Sky is for them to hire some of the Channel 4 lads. Anura Malaweera

There is no argument that Jonathan Agnew is by far the best commentator out there behind Benaud. And, by the way, I am an Australian. Simon McQuoid

Geoff Boycott ...you either loved or hated him as a player and it's the same with his commentary. Personally I'm glad he's back. I don't think that anyone spots and explains a player or team's technical deficiencies better. With age he's even managed to develop a more positive line of assessment too. Karl Williams

Boycott remains the best in the business - brash & big headed yes but a knowledge for the game unrivalled. Nigel Mallender

I am a die-hard cricket fan originally from the West Indies now living in Canada. I would literally jump off a cliff just to hear any cricket commentator doing any cricket match, something we don't get here on Canadian TV. Ron Saywack

I think Tony Greig is brilliant. He is funny (admittedly not always intentionally) and knowledgeable, and brings his experience of three Test nations to the commentary box. Mike Fordham

Simon Hughes deserves a much higher commentator ranking than he received. Granted, he's not especially witty or entertaining during his short spells. However, for the cricket fan who's trying to understand the game more deeply, and especially for all the new fans now coming on board, I've found him immensely valuable. Richard Harris

Mark Nicholas and David Gower are in a similar mould and we don't need both of them - Nicholas is the more perceptive and eloquent commentator.Tim Parry

Tim de Lisle recommends Murdoch sign up Benaud for Sky cricket commentary, I am sure he would love to get him but the decision rests with Richie. He can't work for both Murdoch and Packer, it is as simple as that. One media mogul as master at a time, even for Richie. Adrian Motherway

Summer in Australia is the smell of freshly mown lawns, hot days and the sound of Richie Benaud commentating on the cricket. It wouldn't be the same with out him. Andrew Murray

This is the biggest joke of 2006 (sic) that Richie is being voted as the best cricket commentator. Survey results depend on who is included in the sample. Perhaps a drunken bunch of pommies. Richie is good to make people fall asleep on their chairs and for nothing else. I would brand him as a bedtime story teller and not a cricket commentator. Paul Caldera

I am surprised at the selection of Richie's selection as the leading commentator because first quality any commentator should have is to be neutral in the comments. Richie's comments are always tilted towards Australia. Raman Sikand

Send us anyone - Jonathan Agnew (423), Christopher Martin-Jenkins (408) or even Bob Willis. Anyone! Here (India) we are stuck with Gavaskar, Shastri and Rameez Raja. On a lucky day, we get Henry Blofeld & Tony Greig. Mahesh Venu

I believe Paul Allott was extremely hard done by in the poll. He's an intelligent and precise commentator. Gabor Torok from Hungary

Richie Benaud is the best of the lot, with all of his quirks and general niceness, but I like the new blood of Michael Holding, who always seems to understand what is really going on. Botham provides the never-say-die attitude. But I miss good old Ian Chappell, Tony Greig and Bill Lawry - their fights were legendary. Today's new blood, with the exception of Holding, just aren't good enough. A K Me

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