How not to be a predictable commentator
Cricket is a difficult sport to play but commentating on it must be even more difficult. Can you imagine coming into work and having to talk about the same collection of shots, the same types of dismissals day in and day out? In that situation, finding new things to say must be a chore, but there are still a few steps commentators could take to make their words a bit more palatable and a little less repetitive.
TAKE OFF THE JERSEY, PLEASE
It is to be expected that commentators, being former players, will have a soft spot for their own country. No one will fault them for praising their own team when they do well. The problems start when they reveal themselves to be completely incapable of objectivity. Many commentators are blind to the successes and performances of players on the opposing team, while overplaying every tiny achievement of their own players. This comes to the fore when they blame wickets fallen on the batsmen’s mistakes instead of crediting the bowler’s skills.
Some commentators have taken it so far that they misconstrue events such as Virat Kohli being fined for his excessive appealing as an exhibit of Kohli being a passionate cricketer. Not of him behaving in a disrespectful and unprofessional manner. Maybe if these ultra-patriotic ex-players took off their jerseys every now and then, they could provide some nuanced analysis.
STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
Sometimes past performances come up in the context of a game. Other times, however, someone could be talking about how there is no chance of rain when a commentator butts in with “Mahmudullah Riyad scored back-to-back hundreds in the 2015 World Cup”. As nice as that memory is, you can’t keep bringing it up fourteen times in one game. It’s the equivalent of playing “Wonderwall” every time you see a guitar. Yes, it’s nice that you know how to play the song, but maybe your cousin’s wedding isn’t the best time to bust it out.
Learn new songs, and start talking about different things. Maybe you could talk about the time Mustafizur got five wickets against India, or the time Sabbir scored a century against New Zealand. With so many other past glories to bring up, my question is why would you want to bring up something like that?
CATCH YOUR BREATH
This is a qualm I have with a few commentators who seem to have severe lung problems. Or at least, I’m assuming they have severe lung problems. That is the impression I get when they stop to catch their breath after speeding through every sentence.
They start speaking all out of the blue in a deafening tone, rush through their words as if someone is about to snatch their mic away, and end by loudly inhaling right in front of the microphone. When every other sentence is punctuated by loud wheezing, not only does it start to get repetitive, but it also starts getting on your nerves a little bit. Everyone would benefit from these commentators taking a few extra seconds to pace their words and not blow out the eardrums of everyone listening. If even one commentator can take some of these suggestions to heart, the World Cup commentary would become much more entertaining for everyone involved.
Wasique Hasan came back to Bangladesh to eat mangoes and get heat-stroke, and he hasn’t found any mangoes yet. Send him information that will lead to the acquisition of mangoes at fb.com/hasique.wasan