"I told you! I told you!" screeched Mr Gavaskar, sounding like he was having a heart-attack. Mushfiqur Rahim had just hit a scoop shot in the last over of the India-Bangladesh ICC World Twenty20 match in Bangalore. It was a key moment; MS Dhoni's famed Indian side was going to be thrown out of a World Cup on home soil. And yet, the commentator manages to make this about himself?
Yes, so you know how a player rolls: dude, you've only been watching cricket all your life and you make a living out of watching cricket, so calm your shiz, girlfriend.
Right before this, Gavaskar went on and on about how Mushfiqur is a cheeky player - "cheeky, he is cheeky, cheeky, cheeky". OMG, STOP IT ALREADY - where's the mafia when you need them? Wasn't being verbally offensive still a crime in India?
But though Gavaskar and the whiny Rameez Raja stand out as the worst commentators of the WT20, it's not just them: the whole cricket-viewing experience has been marred by a series of inane comments several of these pros make, repeatedly.
This has been going on for a while now, to the increasing dismay of the Social Media Sport Watchers Club, and yet our outrage hasn't made a dent. Cometh the World Cup, cometh the frustrating commentary. Maybe it's time we consolidated our collective outrage.
Gavaskar went on about how Mushfiqur is a cheeky player - "cheeky, he is cheeky, cheeky, cheeky"
Field Guide for Cricket Commentary: What Not To Say
- That's a huge total. [Trust us to do that much math. Ditto for that's not a big enough total.]
They need to take full advantage of the Power Play. [No way.]
The fielding side doesn't want the batting side to make runs. [Harsha Bhogle actually said this in the India-Pakistan match.]
- They need to put the ball in the gaps. [So genius, much tip. Who would've thought?]
- They need to take wickets. [Harsha Bhogle actually said this in the India-Pakistan match.]
They need to take early wickets. [Slight adjustments don't make a bad thing better.]
They can't afford to lose too many wickets. [Who can?]
- They've lost too many wickets. [Remember our mathematical ability?]
On a chase
- They need to go out there and get the runs. [You don't say.]
They need to keep chipping away at the total. [WE KNOW THIS, BE QUIET.]
They need to pace their innings. [Read above.]
They need to keep their cool. [But we are losing it.]
Singles are key; you can't hit every ball for a four or a six. [What are you saying?]
- The fielding side needs to field well. [Silence]
- He is playing well/badly. [We are watching the same game.]
He is on fire. [Please!]
Dhoni is cool headed. Gayle is a powerful hitter. Irfan is tall. [You get the drift.]
You can't bowl short and wide to him. [And whom can you bowl short and wide to?]
He is an experienced player. [And you are an experienced commentator so stop saying these things.]
On tight situations
- This is a tight situation. [Silence]
They cannot afford to lose wickets. [You said.]
They cannot afford dot balls. [We know this too.]
They cannot afford to drop catches. [Sigh.]
They cannot afford silly mistakes. [Mr Gavaskar, am looking at ya.]
On the pitch
Please state the nature of the pitch only once every hour unless it changes before that. To keep repeating "this is a turning wicket" every over is not going to change anything except the temperature of our blood. The pitch cannot change now, get over it.
- The fielding side must not forget that they have to bat too. [What are the chances?]
These are only some pointers, but as a general (or, as Gavaskar says, junral) rule, feel free to avoid
- repeating yourself
- stating the obvious and
- sounding woefully partisan
And while we're at it can we please stop calling Afridi Boom bloody Boom?
Social Media Sport Watchers Club
Edited by Shreyas Sharma
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