We have lost many cricket commentators in recent years, either to retirement or due to those who have sadly passed away. So, who are the best of the current era?
10 Best Cricket Commentators
This is my round up of the best male commentators of the present day. It’s my opinion ultimately and there will be a separate list of the best female commentators.
Harsha Bhogle offers great insight, particularly for one who didn’t play cricket at the highest level. He says what he thinks but is also very fair and impartial when it comes to discussing contentious subjects.
He may have never played international cricket, but Mark Nicholas was a respected county captain for many years and his knowledge of the game comes through in his commentary.
Nicholas is another fair commentator and I think he’s particularly good at getting colleagues to voice their opinions.
England’s captain from the second half of the 1990s, Michael Atherton works for Sky Sports and is now one of their senior commentators.
It could be argued that Athers is the most knowledgeable of the commentary team and you can always learn something new about cricket when you listen to him.
A fearsome fast bowler during his playing days, Ian Bishop’s calm and considered commentary comes as a bit of a contrast. Bishop is seriously knowledgeable and he’ll let you know what it’s like to get into the mindset of a fast bowler.
He has great all round insight and is one of my favourites.
Another former England captain, Nasser Hussain’s commentary approach is similar to that of Michael Atherton although his views tend to be more forthright than those of his former teammate.
Hussain was technically very sound as a captain and it’s interesting to hear his views on tactics and field placings during a match.
An elegant left handed batter during his playing days, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is also a measured and insightful commentator. I could honestly listen to him all day when he’s on the microphone.
Coaching and administrative positions take up a lot of his time and he has much to give to the game but he’s a great analyzer and perfect for a commentary position.
Dinesh Karthik is a very recent addition to the list of cricket commentators and his new career may have to be put on the back burner after his reintroduction to the India T20 squad.
Many will think it’s too soon for DK to be included here but I think he’s a brilliant summariser and it’s good to have a current player involved in commentary.
One of England’s finest cricketers, David Gower may have been moved on by Sky Sports but you can still hear him elsewhere. He recently worked for BT Sport during the 2021/22 Ashes series and he also commentates on the Pakistan Super League.
Gower was known for being a ‘laid back’ player and his dry observations are highlighted by a thorough knowledge of cricket.
I love Pommie’s enthusiasm for the game and that really shines through in his commentary. It helps to build the drama and the tension and his excitement is obvious.
He’s very vocal but doesn’t go over the top like some commentators I could mention so he’s earned a place on my list.
The late, great Shane Warne would have been included here. If I’m being strict and only including current commentators, I’d pass his mantle onto fellow Australian Ricky Ponting.
A scourge of England during his playing career, Ponting is honest and measured as he talks about cricket these days.
Best Cricket Commentators by Channels
Remember that I access all of my cricket in the English language and I rely on a handful of channels for broadcasting. I therefore apologise if your favourite isn’t here but the list is just my opinion.
Sky Sports cover the majority of cricket in the UK and they generally have a high density of great observers of the game. Two of the names on this list, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain are regular members of the team while Sky also take some of the summarisers that I’ve mentioned, including Dinesh Karthik, Kumar Sangakkara and Ricky Ponting.
While they haven’t made it onto this list, the BBC’s Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell are great characters and worth listening to. Vaughan likes to be controversial while Tuffers is genuinely funny.
The BBC don’t cover too many matches these days but they are now getting certain game rights and that’s good news.
Talksport is a radio station but the commentary team is worth checking out. They have a good set of former players including Ronnie Irani and their squad was boosted in 2022 by the arrival of David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd.
Channel 4 lost rights to England international cricket in 2005 but they continue to pick up highlights and they also have some live broadcasts from outside the UK.
Mark Nicholas can be heard on Sky and there is some valuable input from ‘The Analyst’ Simon Hughes.
Cricket Commentators FAQs
How much do Cricket Commentators Earn?
The answer to this question will vary depending on who the commentator is working for and how big the competition is. For example, the IPL will pay more than the T20 Blast in England.
It’s said that the best commentators can earn $2,500 USD per match. In the case of someone like Harsha Bhogle, that can equate to $1 million per year.
Are the Cricket Commentators at the Ground?
In the majority of cases the answer is yes – cricket commentators are at the ground where they can provide the best possible view of the game.
On rare occasions when travel restrictions have been an issue, you may hear commentary provided via a TV feed when the commentators sit in a studio.
Where do Cricket Commentators Sit?
Cricket commentators will usually sit at one end of the ground, directly behind the stumps. Press boxes are in an elevated position so that they don’t affect the batters when they are focusing on the bowler’s arm.
Being in line with the stumps gives commentators the best chance of telling us what is happening during the game – particularly in terms of whether the ball is swinging.
What Microphones do Cricket Commentators Use?
There are specific microphones used for sports commentary and you’ll see them in cricket. They cost several hundred dollars and must be good at cancelling out external noise.
At the BBC, a 4104 Commentator’s Noise Cancelling Ribbon Microphone is used. Other known brands include the Lip Ribbon microphone.