More supporter tributes

More praise for the commentary candidates


Ian Healy "calls a spade a spade" © Getty Images
Voting has begun for Australia's best commentator and to help you judge here is more praise for the candidates. The leading tributes are here and to vote for your favourite go here.
Channel 9
Ian Healy
Ian Healy is my favourite commentator because he's cheeky, calls a spade a spade and doesn't take any rubbish from Tony Greig when he's putting down the Aussie team. He pays out on his fellow commentators and whoever is playing, including his own countrymen, but all in good fun. He makes listening to commentary funny and enjoyable, unlike a few of the more "experienced" commentators. Cole McIntosh
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor was undoubtedly the most intelligent modern-day international captain. The ones who played in the 60s and 70s are too detached from modern-day cricket. Their strategies and comments are too hollow, obvious and mainly speculative. In Tests Taylor always speaks as a captain: the way the captain would be thinking; planning how to get a batsman; why a fielding change was made; why a particular bowler was brought on. In ODIs he is simply the best when it comes to setting targets for the next five or ten overs. This is exciting and most commentators fail to do this regularly. Mark's understanding of the game is far superior to the others in the box. Leo Eheliyagoda
Mark Taylor has great presentation that comes across to the public as confident and a vast knowledge of the game and rules. He also has a great analytical mind to help analyse and digest the game. Tony Eglington
Of Australia's captains it is hard to separate Don Bradman, Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell and Taylor as the best. So his cricket knowledge is undoubted, but he is by far the youngest of that group in a game where tactics have evolved enormously. Probably the greatest opener we have had since Arthur Morris, Taylor is statistically the greatest slips fieldsman we have ever had and consequently talks more intelligently about fielding skills than other commentators. Finally, his speech is both simple and articulate, a dual quality lacking in many of his fellow commentators. Neil Gorman
Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell has a wealth of knowledge on the game which stems from having played 75 Tests and commentating for Channel 9 every summer for more than 20 years. While Richie Benaud and Mark Taylor are great commentators, they can be a little biased towards the Australian team whereas Ian Chappell provides objective commentary and isn't afraid to criticise if he feels it is warranted. His forthright views and knowledge of the game and the players make him the obvious choice as No. 1 commentator. Jason Webster
Chappelli by a mile. His insight into the game, coupled with a frankness few exhibit, makes for interesting listening. With Chappelli, I feel that Ian Chappell the person is discussing the game with me, as opposed to a generic "Broadcaster 1" trying to make me feel excited about what's about to happen. Stephen McLellan
Ian Chappell would have to be my pick. He's the consummate professional. Not as excitable as some, and nowhere near as dry as others. He's not afraid to embrace changes, and at the same time is willing to stick to the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Makes good use of his experience and anecdotes, rather than rambling on. Andrew Sanderson
When Ian Chappell commentates he actually provides an insight into the game rather than reading out stats that we can see on screen or describing literally what we are actually watching on screen. I enjoy listening to his opinions and well structured arguments. Susie Smith
Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud is, has been and always will be Australia's greatest commentator. He is the only gentleman left in world sport and with his charismatic wit and charm, Richie makes cricket a joy to watch. Richie is the world's greatest commentator because of his ability to draw in people that wouldn't know cricket from a bar of soap. Take my mother. She would rather watch paint dry, but every time Richie comes on her ears prick up and she listens to everything he has to say. Richie is the greatest and he will be sorely missed the day he steps down. Alex Wright
Richie Benaud is No. 1 then there is a chasm to No. 2. What a curriculum vitae. He was the first Test cricketer to score 2000 runs and take 200 wickets, an innovative and inspirational captain in an era that re-energised Test cricket and then a commentator that as a consequence of his 63 Tests knew and understood the strategic thinking taking place before the crowd's eyes and conveyed that so eloquently. Not a word is wasted with Richie. He possesses the best economy rate for words. Even "marvellous" conveys to the viewers skill and brilliance. John Letson
Richie's technical knowledge is second to none. His life has been cricket since he was knee high to a grasshopper, and still is today. He's 76, so that 's 70 years' background knowledge. "Marvellous effort that" "A superb piece of spin bowling". When there's not a lot happening out in the middle, he'll always find something interesting to talk about. I hope he's still commentating when he's 110! Mr Benaud, I salute you. Cameron Patten
Richie Benaud has to be the ultimate commentator of all time. Mr Benaud is able to convert the information gleaned from his experiences into precise, eloquent and respectful commentary that is easy and entertaining to listen to and regularly leaves the audience with a smile on their face. Simon Stafford

"Not a word is wasted" with Richie Benaud © Getty Images
This is an absolute no-brainer. Richie Benaud is not Australia's No. 1 Commentator; he is the world's number 1 commentator. The man literally is cricket commentary. When you think cricket, you think Richie. He is non-biased, funny and witty, and it just won't be the same when the man hangs up his off-white, white, ivory and bone-coloured coat for the last time. Whether you're playing backyard cricket and someone shouts "what a catch, what-a-catch" or "maaarrvellous effort that", there simply is nobody greater. Chris Layton
Richie Benaud never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge of the game. Usually commentators who were bowlers in their prime talk more about the bowling perspective. But Richie is one who is so well versed in the game that he could analyse any aspect and give intelligent comments. He is always poised and dignified and keeps the viewers interested. Sanjay Sambasivan
Richie Benaud is the greatest commentator of all time. Absolutely marvellous, 'nuff said. Matt Colledge
Bill Lawry
Bill Lawry should start for the first ten overs and finish from 45 to 50. His comic style and high pitch is valuable. Jason Rothery
Bill Lawry is always excited regardless of whether it's a Test or ODI, which makes watching the Tests far more interesting and enjoyable. He has a fantastic/brilliant knowledge of the game and his ongoing feuds with Tony Greig are a joy to listen to. I have grown up listening to and watching this great game with Bill and I know that cricket wouldn't be the same without him. He also comes across as a total gentleman. Tony Jovcevski
He is the most exiting, exhilarating commentator. I haven't seen many American commentators go on about our baseball or other sports like he does. He is a livewire during the death overs. "Dear'o'dear!!" And "It's all happening here" are trademarks of a special person. You need him during a World Cup final or close matches. He has drawn me into cricket (I'm an American and a basketball fan). I enjoy the way he can pull/attract people into a game. He has it all. There's no one else who can come close to this man. David Solly
Ohhhhhhhhhhh What a ripper!!! ... Bang Bang, here she goes ... Warney, you are a SUPERSTAR ... Ohhhhh, he's hit that like a bullet, That's gooooooonnneee. Bill Lawry is the undisputed king of commentary. With him in the commentary box, there is never a dull moment in cricket. But behind that ever-proud Victorian voice is a very shrewd cricket brain. He never shirks away from criticising even the best in the business. The drama, the atmosphere, the energy, Bill, you are the SUPERSTAR. Kervin Merchant
Bill Lawry for no other reason than "the tension, the drama, the buzz, the atmosphere". Just remember that at every key moment in one-dayers or Tests this year, Channel 9 specifically put Lawry into the commentary box. He has insightful knowledge (the declaration debate vs Tony Greig is a classic example) and an exuberant spirit that makes watching cricket enjoyable. And he's a Victorian. Lucas Garth
There is something in Bill Lawry's commentary that makes you feel you are right there watching the game as it is being played. I remember listening to him during the 2003 World Cup and I couldn't wait for his commentaries to come on. He is also very knowledgeable and descriptive and you wont fall asleep! It's a pleasure listening to him. Harry Seebaran
Bill Lawry is insightful, knowledgeable, intuitive and adds excitement and a humorous aspect to the game. His verbal battles with Tony Greig over the years have been legendary. His familiar cry of "GONE" make the heart pump faster, and shouts of "you won't see better than that" bring a familiar sense of contentment for the viewer. Peter Collins
Mark Nicholas
Mark Nicholas is a first-class and very welcome addition to the Australian squad. Incisive, decisive, urbane, articulate, impartial, but most of all, so obviously a professional. Thank goodness someone at Channel Nine realised it and snapped him up. Norm Carter
Mark Nicholas is the natural successor to Richie Benaud. He does not state the obvious. He asks his commentators interesting questions that they can use knowledge to answer even if they have dull voices. His delivery is clear and not monotonous. He does not talk just for the sake of it. Rod Rodwell
Mark Nicholas clearly takes the cake for mine with his unbiased, yet amazingly accurate in-depth knowledge of both players and teams from any nation. He does his research, and it shows. I pay more attention to the match when listening to him. Rob Greatbatch
Michael Slater
Michael Slater is by far the best. As opposed to Tony Greig, Ian Healy and particularly Bill Lawry, who are quick to attack Australia, Michael Slater takes a balanced approach, promoting each side. RD Maio
Michael Slater brings a fresh voice to the commentary box and is very knowledgeable. He tries to let you in on how the players are feeling, based on his personal experiences. His talents speak for themselves, considering how quickly Channel Nine signed him up after the 2005 Ashes with the Channel Four/SBS coverage. He was such a tremendous batsmen to watch and because I liked him so much as a player, I like and appreciate his commentary. Steve Mandis
Michael Slater is the fresh-faced man on the box with all the youthful exuberance and passion for the game that is required to spark interest and excitement back into the Australian family living room. Benaud, Lawry and Greig, although vast in knowledge, have been lost in time and are more suited to the pages of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, not in front of the cameras of commercial television. Enter Michael Slater who brings back the real spirit of cricket, which has been long lost in the outfield. Slats - that's absolutely marvellous! Cameron Lovell
Like Mark Nicholas, he seems to know what he's talking about and is moving with the modern game - or is that just because he played in the modern game? His opinions make sense and his conclusions are built on logic, unlike many of his colleagues. He is also flexible and does not shut his fellow commentators down if he disagrees. Truly the modern commentator. Anthony Thompson
I first heard him on ABC radio and he was that good I started to listen to the ABC commentary and turn down the TV. Since his move onto the box he has really grown as a commentator. Richie still has the great knowledge of the game but I think Slats appeals to me because of the way he talks and has fun. He is only young himself - 12 days younger than McGrath, in fact - so his commentary style is ideal for younger listeners like me. Rowland Kelly

Mark Taylor has "a fine combination of flair for the dramatic and real-life knowledge" © Getty Images
Jim Maxwell
There is Jim Maxwell and there is the rest. He is the benchmark against which every other Australian cricket commentator is judged, and found wanting. Michael Knight
Commentating for radio, he is able to offer a visual reference with his words. He doesn't get overly excited, always involves the listener, is relaxed and his voice takes me back to endless summers listening from anywhere a radio was. Chris Bisogni
He is probably the most human of all commentators and puts everything in layman's terms. Paul Davis
He is objective, honest, humorous, insightful and very knowledgeable about all aspects of the game. Jim is not a monotonous drone who panders to his own ego, or a bore who delves the depths of one-upmanship. Cameron Richardson
Kerry O'Keeffe
Kerry O'Keeffe is the best by a mile. His match and technical analyses are brilliant, he has a great sense of humour, but best of all is that bloody laugh of his. Rick Hohnberg
Without a doubt it has to Kerry O'Keeffe. On a long hot summer's day, there is nothing better to sit down with a beer in hand and listen to the descriptions of play, the jokes and that laugh that he provides us with. An absolute legend! Tony Sinclair
When you listen on the radio and Kerry O'Keeffe is commentating it is so much more enjoyable. That laugh is the craziest I have ever heard in my life. He isn't afraid to say what he wants. A & D Willis
It's got to be Kerry. Why? Pure entertainment value - listeners and co-commentators alike just don't know what's coming next. There's no better man to fill in during the drinks break, rain delays or sightscreen malfunctions. Knowledge of the game - not even the great Richie Benaud claims to know more about the intrigue of the game. Supporting the underdog - he's not fancy or well-to-do, his playing career is mediocre at best, but supporting the underdog is what Australia is all about. Dave Goddard
The ABC's pin-up boy, Kerry O'Keeffe, must surely win this in a landslide verdict. He who has that infectious Muttley giggle; the lover of all fine epicurean feasts, lovingly prepared by ladies throughout the land who worship and lust at his feet; who shares his sadness at only receiving socks wrapped individually for Christmas; who has us in stitches laughing with him as he gets so carried away telling us what he and Aggers have been up to the previous night. Last but not least, we love him because he is genuinely funny and knowledgeable - a rare combination. Sue Vallance
Growing up I used to wake up at 6.30am to get in front of the TV for the full five days' coverage, hanging on every word and stat. However, work came around and I found myself in the middle of a paddock somewhere listening to ABC radio. Being in my early 20s means the ABC isn't really my channel of choice, but Kerry O'Keeffe is just infatuating! Even when the coverage finishes you can still hear him and laugh. A commentator is an entertainer and Skull is worth every second. Simon Berger
Cricket is difficult enough to keep interesting over the radio and I take my hat off to all commentators for doing a great job, but Skull does it beautifully. He keeps you enthralled with his stories that he embellishes, seemingly at will, and sometimes the action seems secondary. Bill Knighton
I love listening to his commentary. He is the only commentator to whom I give my full attention. I worry that if I don't listen carefully to him then I might miss one of his witty comments. His "precious-pup" style laugh is extremely infectious and it makes the cricket coverage worth listening to, even when there is not much happening on the field. Kerryn McCormack
Kerry is the best commentator going around in that he entertains and informs all at the same time. He does not take himself too seriously, yet he is always respectful of cricket's traditions. He is more insightful of the games he covers than he will have you believe and his technical comments are always sound. His unique laugh gets listeners going when he sets off and you have to 'rewind' what he said to get the gist of what he is on about. Paul Girolami