Some of the most (in)famous cricket commentary gems in today’s age. John Arlott, eat your heart out on these:
If you have any additions, please add them in the comments.
Courtesy of Cricinfo’s Page 2
“What a brilliant stroke, clever stroke, stroke of genius”
Mark Nicholas lays it on with a trowel after Vinay Kumar plays a scoop in IPL 2009.
“There’s a bit on that from Graeme Smith, there’s a lot on that from Graeme Smith, there’s four on that.”
Mark Nicholas waxes lyrical.
” I don’t think… I don’t think… I do think… I do think”
Mark Nicholas makes half a damaging confession as he watches Yusuf Pathan send one to the fence.
“You talk of Citi Moments of Success, but when you get five wickets in four overs like that, that’s very special indeed.”
Robin Jackman describes how unique Anil Kumble’s feat in an IPL 2009 game, failing to account for the inconvenient fact that normal human beings do not, in fact, actually talk of Citi Moments of Success.
“He DLF-ed it with ease.”
Robin Jackman coins new verbs in his eagerness to push some product.
“That’s a Citi moment of disaster.”
Robin Jackman misplaces his script while attempting to describe a dropped catch.
“You see the Karbonn Kamaal behind him… well, that would have been it.”
Watching Cheteshwar Pujara nearly pull off a fine catch on the boundary, Robin Jackman is compelled to seize the opportunity to shove a brandname down the throats of viewers.
“Well, he’s got shares in DLF, hasn’t he?”
Robin Jackman doesn’t ever get so excited that he forgets his duty to the sponsors, and proves as much after a Kieron Pollard six.
“They’re on top of the Fly Kingfisher league – Royal Challengers Bangladesh.”
Robin Jackman creates a new IPL team, for those not content with 10.
“That was a serious shot.”
Pommie Mbangwa can tell the difference between a lofted drive which means business and other strokes that are just looking for a good time.
“That’s a Citi moment of success, I reckon. A rather long one – six balls long.”
Yes, there is a commentary-review committee, who rank on a sponsor-friendliness index, and Pommie Mbangwa is going to score very high indeed.
“It’s Dwayne. Dwayne has caught it in the deep… Bravo, Dwayne”
The ever-enthusiastic Pommie Mbangwa mistakes the first name of one of the Mumbai Indians allrounders for a brandname and repeats it needlessly.
“Want to see him operate. He’s a good operator.”
Pommie Mbangwa is in awe of Mohammad Asif’s skills behind a telephone switchboard.
“Irfan Pathan… knocked the Citi moment of success over. The building… the building went down.”
Jeremy Coney produces that rare creature that all commentators strive for – the moment of inspired, total incomprehensibility.
“Mohammad Yousuf strikes me as the sort of man who’d never run for a train. [He'd] rather miss it”
The astute Jeremy Coney deduces rather a lot from watching a Pakistani batsman on the field.
“They have turned their cars, their camels, back and are coming back to watch”
Jeremy Coney accounts for societal differences while describing the effects of the epic last-wicket partnership in a Pakistan-New Zealand ODI.
“He has managed to clear the deep long-off”
Further proof of how revolutionary the IPL is: Ranjit Fernando invents a new fielding position.
“Farveez Maharoof is busy doing nothing.”
Ever the diplomat, Ramiz Raja, while interviewing Maharoof, doesn’t put too fine a point on the fact that he hasn’t played a game in the IPL 2009 till that point.
“This over has been full of action. All this action is sponsored by [pause] our sponsors.”
Ramiz Raja knows just who is at the bottom of what you see on your screens.
“If we have a Super Over then super things can happen.”
With some cunning wordplay Ramiz Raja effortlessly captivates the five-year-olds who form an important part of his audience.
“I’m not an Incredible Hulk, like Danny Morrison. I’m a thin guy from the subcontinent.”
Ramiz Raja tells the world just what he is.
“Amit Mishra can spin the ball.”
Ramiz Raja makes a shocking revelation.
“It’s the other one, just like the other one.”
This time, even Ramiz Raja doesn’t know what he is talking about.
“The IPL has been extremely well received in the IPL.”
Ramiz Raja ascends the summit of commentary, where no Benaud has ever gone before.
“I’m a studious guy.”
Ramiz Raja reveals something we long suspected about him, after speculating on air that bowlers are currently allowed to straighten their arms by 17 degrees.
“Everything on the on side, nothing on the leg side… and all the runs have been on the on side”
Ramiz Raja stars as the Riddler.
“The ball took off and never really took off.”
More mystical musings from the masterful Ramiz Raja.
“Yes, I am very friendly with Shoaib, just like this Micromax trophy.”
Ramiz Raja mystifies us all.
“Afridi is like a vacuum cleaner. He sweeps everything in his way”
Only Ramiz Raja knows of a vaccum cleaner that doesn’t suck.
“It is my moustache, whether I keep it or not”
And that’s Ramiz Raja‘s final word on the matter.
“Misbah-ul-Haq is like a dead wall”
Ramiz Raja‘s remarks are beyond explanation.
“The ball got away from him, but not entirely”
If it sounds like a cryptic crossword clue, it’s got to come from Ramiz Raja.
“This is in support of children and AIDS”
The two captains in the first IPL semi-final of 2009 were probably not thrilled to hear from Ravi Shastri that the awareness bands they wore to the toss were, in fact, in support of a deadly disease.
“The MRF blimp, it’s enjoying the atmosphere.”
Concerned that the paying public may be tiring of the IPL, Ravi Shastri finds an inanimate object that has no such complaints.
“Could be the last time we see the MRF blimp tonight, as Pietersen is in a real hurry”
The sadness is palpable in Ravi Shastri‘s voice as Bangalore hunt down the target in the third-place playoff with unseemly haste.
“In the final if you put runs on the board, you can put the opposition under pressure”
An earth-shattering insight dawns on Ravi Shastri.
“They know which team they are backing, so they come appropriately dressed.”
Ravi Shastri has a novel explanation for why fans wear their team colours.
“A pressure game. Good to put runs on the board?”
Ravi Shastri stumps Sachin Tendulkar with a brain twister.
“He went without tickling the scorers”
Isn’t that a relief? Thank you, Ravi Shastri for letting us know a batsman did nothing inappropriate like that.
“It’s not funny when you’re hit on the hot spot.”
The charming and erudite Ravi Shastri finds a way of explaining to the entire family that getting a ball in the crotch is – contrary to what we all thought – not amusing
“We have the Hindu new year coming next week, the Diwali, when gifts are exchanged… this certainly was one.”
Sunil Gavaskar uses a cultural reference to explain a full-toss, because he’s cool like that.
“That’s out! Oh, sorry Vijay and Vijay’s family”
Sunil Gavaskar thinks an uppish flick is going to be caught even though there’s no fielder positioned to take it. He is contrite enough to apologise to the batsman and kin for the error.
“If looks could kill, the players would be observing two minutes’ silence for the umpire.”
It’s murder out there after an appeal is turned down during an third India-South Africa ODI and Sunil Gavaskar calls it like he sees it.
“That’s a BIG one… that’s a BIG one… that’s out… not so big.”
Sunil Gavaskar makes like Tony Greig, only a self-conscious one.
“He’s calm as a cucumber”
Sachin Tendulkar can make the best of us mix up our metaphors. Sunil Gavaskar is one such mixer-upper.
“Malinga has dismissed the Mumbai Indians captain.”
Sunil Gavaskar, ever mindful of providing context to his viewers, describes Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal in the World Cup final.
“The same delivery over and over again – the full-toss, wide outside off stump. Makes me sound like a parrot.”
L Sivaramakrishnan fears Shane Watson’s death overs bowling is having a poor influence on his commentary.
“He has got some serious jewellery, Dwayne Bravo… and a serious wicket indeed, for the visitors”
Danny Morrison discovers the joy of drawing forced connections as he watches Dwayne Bravo take a wicket.
“Shiv, this is thicker than both your thighs put together”
That hearty, well-proportioned fellow Danny Morrison demonstrates an intimate knowledge of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan’s physique as he describes a particularly chunky bat.
He’s [Badrinath] looking like a caged tiger. But he’s a lion… a Super King
Renowned zoologist Danny Morrison presents another thrilling show on Animal Planet.
“The lamb and the lion may lie together, but the lamb will never sleep easy, my friend.”
There’s a nutter in the studio and his name is Navjot Sidhu, my friend.
“It’s very easy to pick out that man over there. He’s wearing an orange cap. Makes no mistake.”
Russel Arnold has a perfectly reasonable explanation for why a catch went straight to Jacques Kallis.
“If I get 250 or more, I am laughing”
Now you know how to get Russel Arnold to chuckle.
“The two batsmen are complementing each other well – one being very easy and the other being happy.”
Sometimes nothing you say can explain what Russel Arnold means.
“Get it between the legs, is what Afridi is saying.”
Russel Arnold gets rather risque in his interpretation of the Pakistan captain’s bowling strategy.
“Something tells me something’s going to give”
Arun Lal knows how to prevent viewers from reaching for the remote.
“It’s been riveting stuff… and I actually mean it.”
Arun Lal makes a candid confession.
“This is the national flag we’re talking about. It’s not some flag that’s turned up recently.”
Tony Greig asks Roshan Abeysinghe to explain the colours and images on the Sri Lankan flag, and is less than impressed when his question isn’t answered promptly.
“It’s got this Ranil Abenayake look about it. It’s muscular.”
A sponsor’s motorbike reminds Tony Greig of his fellow commentator.
“If you don’t take catches, you’ll struggle against any cricket team in the world.”
Sourav Ganguly lays down a law he wasn’t too familiar with during his playing days.
“I think Paul Valthaty is colour blind. He doesn’t see any yellow.”
Harsha Bhogle has a scientifically sound explanation for the Kings XI opener’s century against Chennai Super Kings.
“As maximum as a DLF can get.”
Harsha Bhogle calibrates a six to a nicety.
“There are two young men at the crease, one younger than the other.”
Let no one say Ian Bishop is stingy with details
“You can only be out caught if you hit the ball in the air.”
Don’t have the cricket laws at hand? Jeff Dujon will help you out