I have to admit I had the odd tear in my eyes when Mitchell Johnson accidentally hit the winning run in Australia’s 5-wicket victory over weaksauce Sri Lankans at the SCG today, and Australia’s best and most complete cricketer of the last 10 years, Michael Hussey, ran down the pitch unselfishly to secure his team the win.
Since 2004, Hussey played 79 tests at an average of 51, and I can’t remember how many times that man has saved our bacon in the last 8 years after the top and middle order had folded and slumped to 5 for 37. Hussey once managed a 100-run partnership with, of all people, Glenn McGrath!
Never one to not ruin a fine moment, Channel 9′s sad excuses for cricket commentators, Michael Slater and Ian Healy, completely fucked up the occasion by insensibly talking over the final moments, and by cheering Hussey on to throw away his wicket by hitting a six to end the game.
And since it’s Channel 9 we’re dealing with here, of course there had to be advertising polluting the coverage of Hussey walking out after the ridiculously scheduled 20-minute tea break with 5 runs to get, by naming him “VB hard earned player of the day” or something, presumably for walking out onto the field.
There is good news, however. After 33 years of monopoly in broadcasting Test cricket, 9′s latest 7-year contract with Cricket Australia for Tests, international one-dayers and 20/20 matches is running out this March, and channels 7 and 10 have signaled their interest to buy the broadcasting rights.
With Tony Greig dead, Bill Lawry retiring and Richie Benaud most of the time quiet in the commentary box, and with the younger commentators being completely insufferable fools, especially Slater the advertising sellout and Ian Healy, I think it would be good for Cricket if the rights go to another channel later this year.
Between the godawful betting advertising, Slater selling junk food and milk for manly men, and Healy praising alcohol on air, the Channel 9 coverage of Test cricket is pretty much unwatchable.
Maybe with a new broadcaster there can be a new start here. Without the insufferable Slater, and even if we lose those awesome innovations spidercam and N360, we may finally get the cricket shown in HD, which is long overdue. I’m looking forward to March!