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Channel Nein coverage has been stale for some time. Too many ex-cricketers too fond of their own voices for a start. Not broadcasting in HD is an insult too.

The best thing that could happen is for international cricket to be removed from the anti-siphoning list. Sky's cricket broadcasting in the UK is a marked improvement from the old BBC coverage and much better the Nein coverage too. Foxtel's AFL coverage is much better than the slop served up by the FTA networks too. If you have to compete, you raise the bar. Why would Channel Nein bother trying to innovate?

Cricket fans are going to have to come to grips that watching Test cricket on TV for free isn't a right. If you want quality coverage, you have to be prepared to pay.

Tony Tea

Can't see summer cricket being removed from the siphon. Just as I can't see Nine improving its coverage, no matter how much it boasts how good it is.


Ex-players in the commentary box are a standard across sports in Australia anyway - and in the UK. Fascinating that T.Greig just tweeted to complain about the ABC commentary. Apparently he can't stand the Nine commentators either.

Big Ramifications

What year did Keith Stackpole get the arse from the 9 commentary team? Typhoon Tyson was another early one I remember.

Tawny and his Scaw Cawd

Don't you mean "get the awse"?

Tony Tea

Australian commentary is way behind US commentary especially, and obviously UK commentary. The US just about always has a trained announcer steering proceedings, and the best UK commentary has the likes of Martin Tyler to keep things tidy.

Keith Stackpole

I was one of the few people, in fact probably the only person, that had a foot in each camp. Because at that stage I was still playing Grade cricket, which was under the auspices of the Victorian Cricket Association which consequently is under the Australian Cricket Board. And then sort of doing the commentary for Nine, I had a foot in both camps.

And it was mentioned I think at some of the VCA meetings that, you know, 'he should be barred from playing, because he's also with the other', but I think that they could see that probably they didn't have a leg to stand on.

Tony Tea

Stackpole, Tyson, Lillee, Marsh, Walters and Walker all had a lash at television commentary, but none of them were much chop. Tyson was okay on ABC tv before Nine took over.

The Don has Risen

The best commentatrs were ordinary players or non-players.

McGillers, Arlott, Brian johnston, Aggers, Rowers,The crazy bloke from India etc

Tony Tea

That crazy bloke from India?

Big Ramifications

Rollerboy commentates?


99%? How did that 1% sneak in?


Nine's commentary has been on the slide for a long time, and I think I mentioned in a previous discussion on the subject that I think it's as much to do with editorial decisions as anything. Healy used to be very analytical when he started up, and now he's just a cheerleader - I get the feeling someone told him they'd sell more tickets if he dumbed it down.

Not sure I'm on the same page as Matt with the "quality" of the Sky coverage. It might trump Nine's at the moment but only because Nine's is diabolical. I cannot stand Botham, and Bumble is like some sort of embarassing uncle who always seems to have had one too many. The best tv commentary (and coverage) I can remember was from Channel 4 in the UK, and obviously Ashes '05 stands out in that. I cannot get enough of the TMS coverage on BBC Radio though - it's intelligent and well-informed, but genuinely funny as well.

Is there any news on whether Nine will even cover the cricket after next season?


"I cannot stand Botham, and Bumble is like some sort of embarassing uncle who always seems to have had one too many."

Isn't Botham awful? Every bloody summer he rocks up pleased as punch with himself for having paid no attention to domestic or international cricket since the last time he drew a fee from Sky.

I'd like the Ians Healy and Botham locked up in an out-of-use water tower in the middle of WA so that no one can hear them scream.

Thumbs up for TMS from me too. I can even tolerate Boycott on TMS as the other commentators handle him so well.


One excellent thing about the nein coverage this year is the camerawork. It has been hilariously poor. The 'sitting uncomfortably behind the newsdesk' analysis has been good for a laugh as well.


What I love about the TMS coverage is that it reminds me of waiting to bat when I was playing cricket in England. Everyone knows the rules - you have to talk as much shit as you can, argue about whose turn it is to score/umpire/take the drinks out, complain about the weather/latest English rugby/football result, try to come up with the driest piece of observational comedy that you can (extra marks for it being at one of your team-mates' expense), and sometimes you pay attention to what's going on in the middle. Brilliant. It's great to know that that rhythm of language and sense of humour pervades right up to the highest level of the game, and it makes me feel more a part of it, somehow.

All I want to do when I hear Botham commentate is punch him!

Tony Tea

That's a pretty fair call. I also like the conversational commentary, and get the shits with the faux expertise offered by Nine. It would be nice to think one commentary team could combine conversational with analytical.


Nine lack for basic play by play callers. Even though we don't need the play called, without it there is so much airtime to fill, and so few useful things to be said, that they struggle to come up with anything competent and just ramble.

Richie of course says nothing unless he has something to add, but if everyone did that we'd go whole overs without any commentary - not that I am opposed to this.

In a perfect world cricket commentary would be like ABC election coverage, with a host, two experts to ask questions of and a stat-head poring over data.

Tony Tea

Now there's an idea. Do Kerry O'Brien, Antony Green, Michael Kroger and Richo know anything about cricket?

Professor Rosseforp

I liked Keith Miller's commentary style. And I may be having an "Ian Healy running on the ground when Stackpole scored a double ton" moment, but I think Norman May was good too.

Tony Tea

Norman May and Keith Miller (and Henry Blowfeld) commentated the 1978/79 Ashes on ABC television. Norman was the first commentator to acquaint me with the "it is going for six, no four, no there is a man down there, he is out" trope. While Keith seemed perpetually pissed.

Big Ramifications

Did Tony Cozier do channel 9 before his ABC radio days? I seem to remember his voice. Freddie Trueman was another early one. Can't believe I forgot him. His commentary to Derek Randall's classic catch is seared into my brane.

Roll up, ladies and gentlemen! I will now procede to make a dick of myself and get it wrong. *ahem* In my best 1940s-raised Yorkshire accent. "What a magificent catch. This man Derek Randall. You just can't keep him out of the game, can you?"

Big Ramifications

What did Norman May's mum say when Norman May asked "may I leave the table?"

[pennies dropping]

boom TISH!

I'll be here all week.

Tony Tea

I first heard Tony Cozier on WSC.

Colonel Claus von Ramifications-Stauffenberg

Why did Tony swap beds?

Because it was cosier.

Tony Tea

Was Stauffenberg and expert on cosy beds?

Colonel Claus von Ramifications-Stauffenberg

Claus was the last dude I was reading about on the Wikipediatubes. Thought his name was cool enough to get a guernsey the AGB de Villiers blog.

Colonel Claus von Ramifications-Stauffenberg

There was this prosthetic ear factory, y'see. What did the boss say when the storeman called in sick?

I will box your ears.

Professor Rosseforp

I worked at a factory, sharpening pencils, but left because I couldn't see the point.

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