By Lachlan Waterman
With the sad news of Tony Greig’s passing, the looming retirement of his old sparring partner Bill Lawry and Richie performing only ‘light duties’, it is a changing of the guard in the channel 9 commentary team. Let’s take a look at the current line-up:
A “nervous starter”, Bill was an automatic choice to open the innings. Still hasn’t lost any of his natural exuberance for the game. My favourite Bill line was:
…” What a Christmas present!” after Michael Bevan hit a four to win Australia a one day game.
The doyen. No longer goes through ‘the card’ at the end of the day, preferring cameo roles instead. Appeal to all generations. Favourite lines from Richie include:
1. “Greg Chappell’s got it. That is the Record!” After D.K Lillee’s 307th Test Wicket.
2. ..”Just like plucking sparrows out of the air…”
3. “Jones!!! (Almost in disbelief that the English keeper caught the most important ball of The Ashes)
Formed part of the big 4 with Benaud, Greig and Lawry. Occasionally suffers from SSS – same story syndrome but thrives during healthy debates about field placings, slips fielding, horizontal bat shots, counter attacks and aggressive captaincy. Like his batting, Chappelli is at his best when the whips are cracking.
An established performer now forming a strong partnership with Michael Slater and Ian Healey. Looks set for a long innings.
There was a vibrancy to Slater’s batting that has been transferred to his commentary. Loves the lunchtime segment and darting around the coffee table. A ball of energy and vitality.
The former school teacher is quite insightful and likes to stir the pot in a similar vein to Tony Greig. Look for ‘the salmon’ to be part of Australian cricket vernacular in years to come.
Has slotted in quite nicely as the new anchor man over the last few summers. Knows when to allow one of the specialists to take centre stage.
And on pay TV…
Front man for Fox and polished and well-presented.
Insightful. Adds something interesting to the telecast.
The big improver, appears to have found his feet and goes about his work with infectious enthusiasm.
AB gains instant respect and credibility for his deeds on the field, but lacks the flair and panache of the current generation.
New to the team and it would be fair to say there is room for improvement.
Cheeky and irreverent character who adds some humour to all things. The “Bowlologist” segment is must watch viewing.
Overshadowed by SK Warne on the field but offers some insightful comments and stories. A broad knowledge of other things in life – big wine connoisseur and offers interesting comments on tactics in the modern game.