Cow Corner

Rate or slate the World Cup commentators

Cow Corner

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The ICC sells its World Cup TV rights in bulk, which means the host broadcaster's coverage is beamed throughout the world with a supposed all-star roster of microphone magicians in place.

It's an eclectic mix of beefy former England all-rounders who rock up to the mic after a blistering 15-round nightly bout with a robust red plonk, imbecilic ex-players, and suave, sophisticated and heavily-mulleted analysts.

At times, the commentators have enthralled and entertained, while at others they have subjected their viewers to banal, sterile witterings at the ministry of the bleeding obvious.

The regurgitation of the score every eight nanoseconds, despite the graphic being permanently affixed to the screen like a Shane Warne commercial is one of the more infuriating aspects of the coverage.

The ICC's hired menagerie of chatterboxes are patently incapable of leaving anything unsaid, but some are eminently more palatable than others.

Here is Cow Corner's take; have your say in the comments' section below to let the world know who you rate, and who you slate...

 

Sanjay Manjrekar (India)

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Manjrekar's description of himself as a 'cricketing compere' says it all really: the former India batsman is gloriously self-deprecating, informed and astute.

Comms rating: 9/10

 

 Ravi Shastri (India)

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Shastri is the ultimate showman, and has found his calling with the glamour of the post-match presentations, but his chat at the mic is overly shouty and shallow.

 Comms rating: 6/10

 

Sunil Gavaskar (India)

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'Sunny' provides an understated authority and command at the mic which gives him relative carte blanche to show his immense understanding of the game.

 Comms rating: 8/10

 

 

Mike Atherton (England)

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'Athers' is the perfect affable analyst: knowledgeable, interesting, and with a dry wit which is largely underestimated by most of less informed peers: a sage.

Comms rating: 9/10

 

 

Ian Botham (England)

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Staggeringly pompous and pedantic, Sir Ian is like Bob Willis, only with even greater disdain for anyone without the initials I.T. and a knighthood.

 Comms rating: 4/10

 

 

David Lloyd (England)

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'Bumble' is one of the game's true characters, a modest and unassuming man with a fascination with the trivial and an addiction for a catchphrase.

Comms rating: 8/10

 

 

Nasser Hussain (England)

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'Nass' is as driven and forthright with a mic in his hand as when he dangled a bat for England. Provides sharp analysis, objective judgement and intrepid spirit.

 Comms rating: 8/10

 

Ian Chappell (Australia)

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'Chappelli' has the most sensationally blunt and unwaveringly brutal manner in keeping with his captaincy. Will never back down, will never concede a point.

Comms rating: 6/10

 

Tom Moody (Australia)

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Cowers is sure that Mr Moody had a run in with a comedian at one point in his life which has left the Australian unable to smile, laugh or stray from the scorecard.

 Comms rating: 5/10

 

Wasim Akram (Pakistan)

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The great Wasim would be an excellent microphone marshall if he found some semblance of motivation for the role. He'd rather be in the massage parlour.

Comms rating: 5/10

 

 Rameez Raja (Pakistan)

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A very amiable character, Raja's only problem is that his haircut extravagantly overshadows his commentary. A flashy, ladies' favourite who is class personified.

Comms rating: 8/10

 

 

Danny Morrison (New Zealand)

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The man still affectionately known as 'the walking duck' is blunt and forthright: like Geoffrey Boycott, only without the grandmother analogies and arrogance.

 Comms rating: 6/10

 

 

Simon Doull (New Zealand)

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Doull is anything but what his name suggests. While he is often partnered with some dour, dull company, the ever-sprightly Kiwi cracks a few lousy jokes, rounded off with crisp puns.

 Comms rating: 7/10

 

 

Pommie Mbangwa (SA/Zimbabwe)

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Despite having a name which attracts more Australian hate mail than fills the letterbox of Douglas Jardine's grand-daughter, Pommie's unflinchingly jovial and spirited displays are priceless.

Comms rating: 8/10

 

Robin Jackman (SA/England)

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Feisty and fiercely opinionated, the former England bowler has no qualms about slamming slow over-rates, poor etiquette or, put simply, Ricky Ponting.

Comms rating: 8/10

 

 Ian Bishop (West Indies)

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'Bish' is the consummate professional: he turns up early, leaves late, and is the complete antithesis of a certain plonk-plundering former England all-rounder.

Comms rating: 8/10

 

Tony Cozier (West Indies)

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The Henry Blofeld of West Indian cricket, only without the prolific penchant for strapping into a bottle of brandy while on air, Cozier is a steward of the game.

Comms rating: 7/10

 

 

Russell Arnold (Sri Lanka)

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Russell Arnold's commentary has the same manner of his batting: steady, unflappable, but ultimately uninspiring. The Sri Lankan is a work in progress.

 Comms rating: 5/10

 

Athar Ali Khan (Bangladesh)

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Insightful, considered and personable, double A Khan provides a circumspect analysis, but one as dry as Jesse Ryder's mini-bar. Still, he's gold alongside Doull.

  Comms rating: 6/10

 

Alistair Campbell (Zimbabwe)

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Zimbabwe's own spin-doctor is more honest and straight than his name would suggest, and his jaunty, happy-go-lucky manner uplifts after an emphatic defeat.

Comms rating: 6/10

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SHOT OF THE DAY: The absurdity of the running joke which has seen Ryan ten Doeschate, by far and away the Netherlands' best batsman, down at number five in their line up was exemplified as he crashed a half-century with wickets tumbling all around him. When he finally lost patience, he drilled an emphatic 96m six over long on with the most exquisite one-legged flamingo flick.

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STAT OF THE DAY: The only previous occasion that Bangladesh and the Netherlands have met in pyjama cricket saw the Dutch prevail by six wickets, in Glasgow of all places. The co-hosts got their revenge when it really mattered.

TWEET OF THE DAY: "MINOR INJURIES NEWS: England's JONATHAN TROTT suffering mild dehydration after being stuck in a treehouse at team hotel for 24 hours... Coach Andy Flower: 'Trotty built it himself, but he got scared when he got up there, and had to be coaxed down with fruit pastilles.'" (comedian Andy Zaltzman reveals a bizarre turn of events within the England camp.)

USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: "I'm from Kenya and the game needs to come a long way yet in the country. We are not even close to fulfilling our potential yet, but the answer is clear: we need to have a mini World Cup for the Associate nations every two years, and have the winners of the 'Associates Cup'' join the other teams in the main event. What say everyone else?" (Manze! from Kenya should be at the helm of the ICC.)

COMING UP: Just the one solitary match tomorrow but, when it's as big as this one, it should provide more than your required fix of cricketing drama: the bleach-blond upstarts of Ireland take on South Africa in their clash at Eden Gardens in Kolkata with Group B very finely poised.

CAPTION COMPETITION: The winner of yesterday's caption contest is Sammillard10 - sterling work from you, Sir! Today's image is of Graeme Swann during his altercation with umpire, the ever-indecisive Daryl Harper, for which he has been forced to apologise. Give it your best shot, and the winner will be announced in tomorrow's blog.

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