Criticising television commentators is an enjoyable and honourable pastime. And Test Match cricket provides lots of time to indulge in it, and that is what a lot of people have been doing in the last couple of days.
But we should look around the world and realise that the commentary team in New Zealand is by international standards pretty good, and second only to what comes out of the UK.
For a start, there are no commentators that drive you to the mute button in the way that Healy, Brayshaw, Shastri, Morrison and many others do. Some of the team have slightly
annoying idiosyncrasies, but they do not even come close to those of the list above.
Part of the problem with New Zealand viewers is the fact that a few of the commentators are overexposed here. The obvious example here, Mark Richardson, does have some pretty annoying alter-egos in other areas of the media. However, if you can ignore those he can analyse a cricket game. This is probably why those watching from overseas are surprised at the criticism the SKYNZ team receives.
The new boys are good too. Craig Cumming adds a sound head to proceedings, and Scott Styris often seems to bring up a different angle. Contrast that with the recent additions over the Tasman. And let’s not even think about the IPL coverage.
The other thing we can be grateful for it that in almost every series there is a representative from the touring country. Earlier in the year it was Gavaskar, now it is Arnold. They provide insight into the background of the touring players, and remind us there are two teams playing; an angle Channel 9 would do well to remember.
So, while picking apart the inane bits is all good fun, we should remember it could be worse. Or as Simon Doull would say “It could be worse; it could be much worse.”