The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Sound bites

The second edition of the Indian Premier League takes off today, and millions will be glued to their television sets.


The game has been transformed, as has broadcasting. What one sees on the TV screen, apart from the players, is an assortment of commentators from different parts of the world, giving their perspective on the game.


Some of them are very good and knowledgeable, and are a pleasure to watch/hear.


Many others, though, are pedestrian and extremely boring to say the least. Some of today’s commentators are far too verbose, end up mouthing tediously long grammar, and sometimes, completely miss the point. You are tempted to hit the mute button on the remote and watch only the action on the screen.


And, there are some anchors that are really terrible and only end up trivializing the game.


Viewers of sport today have the benefit of watching the action accompanied by comments from the panel in the commentary box. Most have never heard commentary as it used to happen on radio. And, that was quite something.


There have been some wonderful radio commentators in the past such as John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Alan McGilvray, who, with their enormous knowledge of the game, and incisive comments, brought the game “live” to their listeners. It used to be a pleasure following their description of the game.


India has had its share of stalwarts, too, such as Pearson Surita, Anand Rao, Balu Alaganan, and one particular genius – AFS (Bobby) Talyarkhan.


AFS Talyarkhan

AFS Talyarkhan


AFST was a legend in his time. One of the earliest cricket commentators in India, he played a significant role in popularizing the game. With his polished style, a fabulous command of the language, and ability to bring the game alive, he was a treat to listen to. One unique aspect of his commentating is that he disliked sharing the mike with anyone else. Critics called him self-opinionated and ambitious, but he was a class act.


I was not born when AFST was in his prime, but have watched him on television, and also when he gave his close-of-the-day summary in a series in 1972-73. His newspaper column “Take it from me” in which he wrote about cricket, racing, football, hockey, etc was always interesting, and the sign-off line of “Do you get me Steve?” was unique.


Martin Tyler

Martin Tyler


Another commentator who I enjoy listening to is Martin Tyler, who has been commentating about European football for over thirty years, with a very long spell with Sky Sports in the U.K. Despite having been around and seen it all, Tyler has always remained unbiased. With Andy Grey, he has represented a wonderful double act, and it was no surprise that he was handed the “Best Commentator of the Decade” award in April 2003 by the English FA Premier League.


I will follow the IPL keenly on television. And shall, needless to say, try to shut my ears to some of the drivel that some of the anchors and commentators are sure to dish out.


April 18, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that, Cricket, Football | , , , , ,


  1. Heh I am actually the first comment to your incredible article?!?


    Comment by Calvin Mccullough | May 28, 2010 | Reply

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