Channel 9 Commentary is the Worst in TV Sporting History

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Channel 9 CommentatorsEXCLUSIVE: Commentary guidelines for Channel 9 cheerleaders team revealed

Like many cricket fans who tune in from abroad to watch Australia’s home tests the enjoyment of watching the cricket is spoiled somewhat by the double-edged sword that is the pathetically jingoistic Channel 9 cheerleaders squad.

This Australian summer has seen the quality of the commentary plunge to new levels of awfulness, so the Reverse Sweep decided to investigate. And lo and behold I have managed to procure a secret Channel 9 document that provides guidance to its team and as such gives damning evidence as to why the ‘commentary’ team is the worst in TV sporting history.

It’s not a very long document with the reasoning seeming to be that the assorted members of the team aren’t going to trouble Mensa, so the guidelines need to be concise in order that they are strictly followed. And here exclusively are the guidelines.

TOP SECRET, EYES ONLY: Guidelines for Channel 9 cricket commentary team

Commentary style – Your role is not to provide impartial commentary on the cricket but to act as cheerleaders for the Australian cricket team. Therefore, please refer to the players by their affectionate nicknames such as Punter, Dougie and Pup, and on no account criticise any of the team, so Hauritz is a worthy successor to Warne and not a crap off-spinner who would struggle in grade cricket.

Don’t talk about the cricket – The cricket is actually incidental to your main role as cheerleaders (see above), advertisers (see Sponsors) and to spout nonsense (see Individual Styles).

Richie Benaud – Richie is the only commentator who is allowed to provide any sort of insight into what is happening on the field. Therefore, please avoid providing any insightful comments at all.

Sponsors – Please promote these at any opportunity especially KFC, Gatorade and the Cricket Travel Agency. The sponsors are far more important than the cricket – please remember that. So if there is a wicket, don’t talk about what happened, just focus on the player wearing the Gatorade heart monitor.

Bill Lawry – Bill is your barometer, if you plunge to the depths of his commentary ‘ability’ then you will be sacked. Please humour his constant references to the crowd “lovin’ it” and his generalisations about any opponent Australia is playing.

Replays – This is the only time you talk about the action. Your role is to talk through fifteen replays of each incident always promoting the power of television.

The Opposition – Don’t talk about Australia’s opponents unless you are criticising and/or making generalisations (preferably borderline racist) about them. If the opponents are on top you must always talk about how the Aussies are going to turn it around. On no account praise the opposition.

Individual Styles – Each of you should also follow these individual styles in addition to the above:

Ian Chappell – Please only talk about how much better things were in the 70s when you were captain i.e. be yourself.

Tony Grieg – In everything you say you must hark back to WSC and continually promote the use of technology. Ultimately, your arm is that television controls everything – the toss, bowling changes, field positions, shot selection, even the weather etc.

Mark Nicholas – As the token Pom you must live up to all the Australian generalisations of your motherland i.e. be pompous, spout utter crap and be ever so creepy.

Ian Healy – You are the joker of the pack except on no account are you allowed to be funny. Your special role with regards to the sponsors is to always talk about how much you love KFC you fat b***ard.

Tubby Taylor – You must laugh at Healy’s jokes no matter how bad they are and always link them back to your playing days. Apart from that please say nothing.

Michael Slater – Your role is to relay the inane conversations you have had with Ponting, Hussey and other members of the Aussie side before play during the action in a sickeningly gushing way. It is even better if you speak about these chats at completely inappropriate times during the day’s play.

Richie Benaud – Don’t forget to take your Sanatogen and please always use 50 words when only 10 would be necessary.

Bill Lawry – Your mission is to be the worst commentator in cricket history and to get worse every day and every match. Please keep talking about the crowd at all times. Even if the Aussies run a single you say ‘the crowd are lovin’ it”.

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  1. Ali Bakhtiar says

    Simply Wonderful! I have been following Pakistan vs Australia test matches and I must say the commentators are really incompetent at commentary! Thanks for such a wonderful article, you made my day!!

  2. Richard Murpeht says

    Yes it has been appalling for years and given the abysmal quality of the two supposed ‘competitive’series in Australia this summer, it is as if the nadir of commentary has finally brought the good game itself down its level

  3. Richard Murphet says

    Yes it has been appalling for years and given the abysmal quality of the two supposed ‘competitive’series in Australia this summer, it is as if the nadir of commentary has finally brought the good game itself down its level

  4. says

    It seems I am not the only one to have despaired of the ‘quality’ of the Channel 9 coverage. The coverage on Sky by the ex-England captains is as good as that on TMS or Test Match Sofa, but at least they retain some impartiality and both Nasser and Atherton are excellent.

  5. Neville Bartos says

    What a load of crap. Who writes this article and will not put their name to it? I loath Channel 9, but what they have done for cricket is irreproachable and if that means the comm team not taking it too seriously and having a laugh while commentating then cricket is the benefactor. It’s just a game and if you don’t like it don’t watch it

  6. Gayle says

    9 just needs to turnover these commentators. I’m 21 and I can remember hearing the same commentators 10years ago. It’s so hard to remain interested. No matter how interesting they used to be, they need to be replaced, new voices and opinions.

    I think there should be seperate commentators for the t20. It is not the same style, T20 is the new, young, popular cricket which has an afl type atmosphere about it. Cricket has a great opportunity here to grab the young people. Learn from the afl commentators, best of the country. Not all the games are interesting but the commentators get me excited with every goal. With cricket, no chance.

    Bring in the current ex-players permanently i.e. warne, gilly etc. Even Brawshaw and Fleming. The current comentators are relating to older audiences. For the growth and good of the game please remove Greig, Chappel, Healy, Tayle and Lawry. I’m sure there are dinosaurs in charge who believe i am a minority and that’s why the game will continue to suffer

    Listen to the younger audiences and maybe the game will grow

  7. cricketfan5673 says

    The english commentary is rubbish. During each ball there is dead silence with a zoom-out shot of the entire ground, and this is due to the fact that they have nothing to say. All commentarors are somwhat partial in *any* sport. You cannot charge the channel 9 commentators on this front.

  8. any1 says

    Need to add opposing side commentators to force partiality also may include Micheal Holding

  9. says

    absolute bullshit. Lawry, greig, slater and taylor show more entheusiasm than the likes of the tedious gavaskar,chappell, botham, manjrekar, sohail, cullinan, wessells, gower etc etc. wot do u want? i want to b entertained not sent to sleep!

  10. Wade says

    I agree, except about Bill he is the best one of the lot! At least he get excited and tells the rest that their is a game of cricket being played on the field in front of them!

  11. says

    Extreme shit article…Bill Lawry and Tony Greig r the best commentators ever,who can make a dead match alive by their brilliant commentary!!They do not make a match boring by remaining quite like many other poor commentators!!Channel 9 commentary team is simply the best in cricket mainly because of Bill Lawry and Tony Greig!!Bill Lawry is specially the best in thrilling stages,whose breathless fast commentary makes the match ten times more interesting!!

  12. Dean says

    if you want to hear a 63 year old weep, please put your ear ouside my door when Healy and Slater are “commentating”
    If they were on togetherI could probably handle it,but there is no respite- they alternate then come together for the “cricket show”.
    Please,please, “Slats” a drinks break is NOT fucking exciting!
    Healy, every time you open your mouth is a NOT the opportunity to deliver yet another fucking lecture!

    The young guys in the bowling comp DO NOT need you geeing them up Healy or,as it seems to me, just another opportunity to hear your own FUCKING voice.
    Channel 9 here’s a useful tip: sack these two clowns!
    Here’s what is truly traditional about cricket: if the game is in a low spot;we nap! Slater and Healy have made this impossible.
    Every ball,it appears, according to them, is masturbatable.They’re NOT.
    Ah well, over to silly Kerry O,keefe heeeeheeeeheeee.

  13. nique says

    Found this sight by accident and this is the most pathetic unfunny article I’ve ever read. I’m 35 and have grown up on these guys watching cricket my entire life and they have always done an awesome job of keeping the cricket entertaining while still maintaining professionalism. I can’t believe anyone would call them biased especially when you hear some of the commentators from overseas countries and people like Holding and Gavaskar … but oh yeah thats right only white people can be considered racist! And so what they call players by their nicknames are they just supposed to pretend they dont know these guys away from the field and treat them as complete strangers. It will be the saddest of days when legends such as Benaud, Lawry, Greigy and Chappelli hang up their microphones then maybe some of the people whinging hear might realise how good we have had it and how lucky we have been to hear such great commentators for the best part of the last 35 years.

  14. Greggy says

    1. Please stop caling players and commentators by nicknames: it is unprofessional, makes it seem like you are having a privtae conversation and confuses the viewers who may not be familiar with the nick-names
    2. How does a ball “shape” away? It can swing, spin, cut, seam or many things but “shape” is not a cricket term
    3. Two commentators are enough, why you need 3 I don’t know
    4. I thought the cricket was the entertainment, not the commentators’ banter
    5. Why is Richie Benaud the best commentator? Because he says the least but makes it relevant, and lets the game do its own talking.
    6. I am sure an option to remove the commentary and just have the game and crowd noises (as you can do on some Fox Sport coverage) would show people how wonderful the game is without a bunch of screeching hyenas as a distraction

  15. Tony says

    Rubbish! They are the best. Yes, I’m English and I love the Ozzie coms. Funny banter 🙂 Ours and the South Africans coms are ok. But its like comparing Fifth Gear to Top Gear!

  16. balakrishn prabhu says

    channel 9 commentators are the best in the world for cricket, the coverage, the analysis is simply overwelming ,mark tayler ,slater and ian healy have added extra charm to the channels commentory ,apart from tony greig ,ian chappel,bill lawry and ofcourse richie benaud ,their exression is simply the best and very entertaining ,their language is so good that it sounds like good background support to the action in the middle ,very sorry to say that we in india are missing these voices in the recent series we are spared with only ian chappel from channel line and we are really missing other great voices ,hope we will have a better bargain next series

  17. balakrishn prabhu says

    to add further ,apart from the present channel 9 voices ,bob willis and david gower and paul allot are some of the best voices from uk ,but nothing to match the class of channel 9 ,they always rock !

  18. Shepp says

    I have been watching the 1st test in the UK and have to yet again put up with, what has to be the worst bunch of so-called commentators on the planet, with the exception of Richie. Sky sports knock this useless bunch into a cocked-hat. It is so poor that I have to frequently turn the sound off to avoid throwing up! Still every cloud has a silver lining; we don’t have to put up with the creep that is Mark Nicholas!

  19. Kathy Sheeley says

    The picture you have of the commentators up the top are dreadful.
    It is time for a change, definately get rid of Tubby, Healy & Nicolas.
    I have also stopped watching the Allen Border night, which I loved as you have a pommy comparing the show which is all australian.
    It was bad enough when we had to put up with Tony Gregg But now we have to put up with Mark Nicolas. I have got to the stage were i turn the tv down & listen to the radio.
    Tubby is the worst he repeats all that other compare say all the time. The only one who doesnt copy all the others is Richie Benaud.

  20. E.G.Young says

    Dear Sir, Could you please desist in turning UP the crowd background noise at various times during an Over I am hard of hearing & have to wear a “head set.”. This effect nearly blows me out of the room. If it is in the belief that this creates atmosphere I believe it does nothing, while . I notice that it is turned down during commentary. Please don’t spoil good viewing. Regards.

  21. Sajitha Dharmasiri says

    Exactly….Its still the same…..I’m OK with these channel 9 commentators being cheerleaders for Aussies, only if they got pom-poms(the thing that cheerleaders shake) in their hands….That would be fun to watch….So channel 9 commentators, please where something nice and short next time…..

  22. Coconut Donkey says

    Only team worse than Channel 9 are the South Africans, even when a superior Australian team tours there, and that’s saying A LOT!

  23. Chris says

    I live in Australia and I love watching the cricket on Channel 9. I don’t give a rats if you don’t like it.

  24. says

    This was evident this summer with Sri Lankan team . Despite CA deciding play a lower grade team , Chanel 9 commentators worked hard to get some good ratings for the coverage. What an epic fail – one sided commentary all throughout the series. Far from being Professional Commentators except for Bill Lawry and Richard Benaud .

    Very thin line between channel 9 commentators and Cheers Leaders. To name a few cheer leader s – Ian Healey, Michael Slater, Tubby , Mark Nicholas ! All they know is to lough and weep. Quit disappointing. I’m sure Australia is capable of producing far better commenters than that, who can commentate at the international level.

    Same thing will happen with West Indies coming in next week … There should be some awesome cricket with the five ODI’s and T20 but I’m sure the cheer leaders in the commentary box will ruin it all for us !

  25. Dilan says

    Having watched the whole cricket series this summer, i couldn’t agree more to this article. Well said! First time i ever see this issue being highlighted in an article. The commentators are completely racist and so nothing but thrash the opponent teams. Hope channel 9 brings back good sportsmanship and integrity into its commentary.

  26. Jithrai says

    The most pathetic commentary I ever came across.Such a partial,Biased,cheeky,low level presentation. Healy , Taylor ,Slater especially Nicolas what shame on you..
    Channel 9 do you think viewers are dumb as these commentators are…

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