Most of us understand our own language of a cricket match.. some will mute the TV n just watch the live pictures (many times me), whereas some will walk all round the living room - only to jump for Tv replay when shout of wicket fall or a six goes load..
But those who need to learn cricket, or intend to enjoy it to max ~ must to listen to what the commentators are discussing. the cricket commentary we listen on television is done (mostly) by those who played the game in green days, now explain the game to viewers through various sports channels.
I've tried one n all top cricket commentators, allowing them an ear to lure me into their talkative abilities, sense of cricket, humor & smartness. I must add here that, many of them, are pathetically bad at what they do. I'll not give them a single centimeter in this article, but name only those who deserve a mention. Then, I'll plot top 4 cricket commentators I rarely miss to listen, to help readers imagine who they like listening to.. when live cricket is on.
Start with Sanjay Manjraker, who knows the indepth of Sachin Tendulkar. When Sachin is batting, n Manjrekar talking ~ give a try. Other times, Manjrekar does a good job, but not among my top 4.
Mark Taylor is channel 9's trick finder. Deep knowledge of cricket made this man a brilliant captain, & now a commentator. Mark is equally amazing at picking flaws in batsman or what stategy bowler/captain is missing during a game.
One man who loves writing critically acclaimed articles, talking about the Australian team of 60s n 80s - is Ian Chappell. His performance scale at Channel 9 might be very high, but I truly believe this cricket commentator has gone below the required passion these days. Cricket is huge, with plenty of genuine cricket talkers reaching the listeners.. Ian Chappell deserved a longer paragraph, but not among my top 4 any more.
Michael Slater is someone who I look forward for future. His attacking test match opening batting was entertaining, & so is his love for cricket. His voice comes clear, points are good to know. I see a hope in hear more of this TV cricket explainer.
Mark Nicholas is too feminine. His vacublary n sense of moment is incredible, but I demote him for same reason I demoteTony Greig. England is where their heart should have been, but both explain Aussie cricket with enthusiasm.. somehow, that doesn't feel right to me.
The man, called as bible of West Indies cricket - is Tony Cozier. He started when Windies cricket grew from new to normal to dominating. Tony was there when world teams feared West Indies cricket in seventies, n he still is around when Caribbean team rarely win anything. Radio is mostly where tony speaks, & he's always worth an ear.. but not among my special ones!
Michael Atherton is Mark Taylor of skysports. he'll catch the pin-points nicely, but explanation isn't as perfect. I also wonder how many people understand his strong English accent, but few like me must value what Michael is talking about.
Nasser Hussain : still loves England team. You want England dressing room information - Nasser is your man. But rest of time, talking about other country cricketers - Nasser tends to learn rather than tell.
Sunil Gawaskar should've been in the last paragraph, but I couldn't do it. Man is simply too big is stature, probably also the reason why he don't know how to explain modern day cricket.
Ravi Shastri has fight in his talks. He loves women, n thats only where he's good. He betrayed India coaching to do cricket commentary, but I guess someday soon ESPN will start looking for newer options, unless Ravi speaks something else that - 'end of the over,its 24 for 2'.
Mpemelo Mbangwa played for Zimbabwe, does commentary for Super sports in South Africa. n believe me, this man speaks cricket very well.
Demien Fleming is newbie in International cricket commentary arena, n he's learning his art. I didn't start the paragraph with another Aussie newbie commentator - Greg Blewett, cause Demien is a bit better than him. Same is the case with South African dyrll Cullian, who onces used to be my favorite batsman.
My Top 4 cricket commentators : Ian Healy (kid kind enthusiasm), Rameez Raja (pure English), Pat Symcox (deep/frank talks) & Dean Jones (The man I miss). in no particular order. These 4 can make cricket truly watchable when its at boring most.
I Shouldn't have mentioned'em : Laxman Shivramakrishnan (no enthusiasm), Michael Holding (Too towards WI), Arun Lal (not so ok), Wasim Akram (must increase vocabulary), Geoffery Boycott (mum's old now), Vivian Richards (BBC radio limited), David Gower (too sleepy), Ranjit Fernando (constructing srilankan english), Bruce Yardly (loves youngsters), Barry Richards (only Proteas), Robin Jackman (send me emails), Athar Ali Khan (Bangla's lone voice), Ian Bishop (nothing but WI), Ian Smith (Kiwi klone), Ian Botham (sir please quit) Billy Lawry (you not-so beauty), Richie Benaud (must retire), so should David Llyod. Harsha Bhogle never played cricket, he's always been learning it with the the viewers!!
-Shane Warne was close to joining Channel 9, but he changed his mind from being cricket commentator to a family man.
-Adam Gilchrist of Australia & Shaun Pollock of South Africa have revealed their desire to take up cricket commentory when they hang their cricket shoes.