With seven weeks of tedious crash-bang-wallop on the field of play abetted by bare-faced commercialism and overt tawdriness off it, the IPL is tiresome enough at the best of times. But it is made a whole lot worse by a small army of television commentators who make watching it an experience that sometimes borders on the excruciating.
As so often, there are exceptions, with Ian Bishop and Simon Doull both providing bons mots that are generally informative and measured, as opposed to the sometimes hysterical, asinine exclamations of so many of their colleagues. IPL debutants David Lloyd and Nasser Hussain, too, have been characteristically assured while the Australian duo of Mel Jones and Lisa Sthalekar have performed with a calm, instructive hand on the tiller while simultaneously resisting the temptation to resort to the hyperbole button.
So, what do I find irritating about some of the commentary? Well, the completely over-the-top Danny Morrison for starters. Herewith Exhibit A, when a straight drive went for six: “This has got wings on it… hoaaaaaaly schmoaaaaaaly.” Or how about: “Mister Christopher Henry Geeeeeeeeeee” when talking about Chris Gayle? Or the utterly ridiculous: “Time for the boys downstairs, with the eyyyyyyye that’s a hawwwwwk” when there was a DRS referral? Why not just use the word Hawkeye, for heaven’s sake?
It’s jarring enough that some of the commentators call each other by nicknames (“Hey Pup/Slats/Haydos!”) And it’s even more grating when those out in the middle are referred to by nicknames. I mean, does Andre Russell really have to be referred to as “Dre Russ”? But it truly takes the biscuit when the likes of Michael Clarke and Michael Slater (or should I say Pup and Slats?) say things like “well played, mate” and “tough luck, buddy” to some of the players in post-match interviews. Mate? Buddy? It’s meant to be professional sport, not a session down the boozer with your chums.
And please don’t get me started on those commentators who repeatedly misuse the word “boundary”. I offer, as merely one example, the following: “It’s a ground where you get to see more sixes than boundaries”. No, it’s not! It’s a ground where you get to see more sixes than fours. A boundary is a six OR a four, as per Law 19 of the Laws of Cricket. A boundary is not just a four.
Other things that annoy me about IPL commentators?
- The use of the word “clicks” for “kilometres/miles per hour”, as in: “He’s bowling at almost 90 clicks”. Grrrr!!!
- Commentators who think it’s amusing to talk about, say, how tight-fisted a fellow announcer may be when it comes to buying drinks… or their colleague on the neighbouring microphone having just eaten a hot curry or suchlike. Hilarious, I’m sure! Or not, as the case may be.
- References to the VIVO Perfect Catch of the Match – and especially so when the reference involves a completely regulation catch.
- Any reference whatsoever to the Tasty Treat Chak Chak Express.
Thanks for reading, buddy. Hoaaaaaaly schmoaaaaaaly!