The Bug sent teams of reporters out randomly around Australia to ask viewers of the Test cricket from Adelaide for their impressions on how Channel 7, the new home of the nation’s No 1 summer sport, has been performing with its coverage. Some of the responses were rather critical, suggesting 7 needs to lift its game.
Ben Eau de Cologne: 84, tourist from France
I reckon Ricky Ponting has already said more words in just a few days of Test cricket on Channel 7 than that wonderful gentleman Richie Benaud delivered in a lifetime behind the microphone on 9’s Wide Wide World of Profits. Where are those glorious pauses… those golden silences… before a perfectly delivered bon mot or putdown that made even watching a whole day of Test match between Australia and New Zealand almost bearable. And the phraseology! The cadence. The clever journalism-trained structure of it all. He was so European in his sophistication in many ways. Perhaps the likes of the amazing, wonderful Richie Benaud come along once in a generation. Maybe only every tu. Tu. Tu. Tu.
Miss Enid Headover, 54, receptionist
I’m well and truly stumped as to why Channel 7 has secured the rights to Australian cricket when Channel 9 had been doing such a great job, especially in recent years when that nice Ian Healy had brought so much technical expertise to the commentary. At least he can now return to his dual practices as a specialist sports injury surgeon and aerodynamics engineer.
Nick Markless: 61, tourist
I’m sorry but it seems to me the Channel 7 coverage is already a bit stale. Channel 9 ran the cricket for 50 years and it took them weeks before it became tired and boring. I think the problem is the lack of a plausible “front man” to bring the whole shebang together as one. It doesn’t have to be a former legend of the game; just someone who, okay, could obviously play the game bloody well, but with charisma, charm, good looks and a polished “international” pronunciation and delivery that viewers are comfortable with and want to stay glued to the screen all day long once they’ve see him on it.
Mrs Lil Bawry: 81, housewife
The Channel 7 coverage lacks the presence of someone with a nose for the game. Someone who can scream “Got ‘im…Got ‘im” in a loud girlish voice. And preferably from Melbourne. But as the coverage stands right now, I’d rather watch grass dry, paint grow or pigeons homing.
Greg Anthony: 66, permanently retired
I’ve taken in a few days of 7’s coverage from the Adelaide Oval and, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t be seen dead among their on-air commentators. The whole panel is missing a famous ex-player of stature, international standing and natural leadership abilities; a much-loved and admired figurehead that the whole team can bond around and thus perform to the very best of their abilities.
Mike Roephone, 49, not a commentator
Channel 7 got onto the front foot early by hiring that Michael Slater, the only jewel left in the dross that was the Channel 9 cricket commentary team of recent years. But while I appreciate 7 had the task of trying to freshen up the televising of cricket, some of their ideas for the lunch break “entertainment” leave a lot to be desired. Take that segment, Stumped, where legends of the game have to answer questions. These are blokes who have spent their entire lives out in the school grounds or town ovals perfecting how to bowl a five-and-a-half ounce ball at speed or tonk it out of the ground. Fuck me, they’re not rocket surgeons. Donald Trump has probably read more books than the likes of Ponting, McGrath and Gillespie. Do you see the way they struggle to even answer questions about themselves. My best bet is that if you asked all of them a simple question such as: If one bowler bowls five overs and another bowler bowls six overs, how many overs have been bowled?” they’d be, well, stumped!
Mark “Tubby” Taylor, 54,, unemployed
Sure, I got a little hot under the collar watching Channel 7’s coverage but thankfully, I had a Fujitsu air-conditioning unit, the one Australians trust, to cool me down. Sorry for that shameless plug but I’ll be flogging these shitty units ’til the end of time now that the 9 gig has ended – the Cricket Australia directorship too; didn’t pay much but every little bit counts – so the arse is well and truly out of my daks. Shit, that 9 stint was a goldmine.
Ian Chappell, 76, raconteur and bon vivant.
Fuck off out of my way.. my local opens in seven minutes and I’m already running late.
Mrs B McGrath, 76, Narromine, NSW
My, my. Don’t Australians just love to knock down tall poppies. There was a time when my Glenn was running through an English batting line up like a dose of Epsom’s salt and you all couldn’t get enough of him. Now that he’s trying to establish a post-cricket career, it’s knock, knock, knock and quite frankly that’s not the Australian way. I accept my Glenn wasn’t the sharpest HB in the pencil case at state school and he was cruelly nicknamed Pigeon there because that’s the best English he could speak but I’m very proud of him and all ask is for you to give him a chance to shine.