For those who are at home, either in front of the television or with wireless tuned in, wiling away an afternoon taking in the finest the game has to offer, commentators have become as much a part of the atmosphere and fanfare. The cricket commentators play a vital role in a live cricket match be it One Day International, Test or T20 game.
Their voice excellence, mode, speed, cricket insights, sense of humour in their presentation has a great impact on the audience. It definitely generates enthusiasm and pleasure. Thus, it is important that television networks have the right fit.
There have been quite a number of high-quality cricket commentators our country has seen. But amongst those are some names that stand out for their quality commentary.
Harsha Bhogle (57) is one of the finest callers of cricket in the modern era. He began his career as a commentator at the age of 19 with All India Radio, while living in Hyderabad. In 1991-92, he became the first Indian commentator to be invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India’s cricket series before the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
He is one of the few commentators who has, had a long career calling the game for television viewers. What makes Bhogle stand out is his fluency in dialogue and a voice that catches the attention of cricket lovers across all ages. He currently is working as an analyst for one of the leading cricket websites.
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The legendary Sunil Gavaskar (69) played for India as an opening batsman during the 1970s and 1980s. He is now a popular commentator both in Hindi and English. His knowledge about cricket and the way he delivers makes him more special. He was a member of the commentating team that was responsible for the India and Sri Lanka series.
Gavaskar sometimes does commentary in domestic matches in India. The world’s greatest batsman is still not out off-field as he can be seen as a commentator in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
This list is incomplete without the name of the current coach of Indian cricket team; Ravi Shastri. For a player who started as a specialist bowler, Ravi Shastri (56) went on to open the innings for India and achieved great success. In the 80 test matches that he played, Shastri scored 3830 runs and took 151 wickets.
He retired from cricket in 1994 due to his knee problem and since then has been a constant feature in commentary box (till joining as a coach).
“Dhoniiii…Finishes off in style. Into the crowd and India lifts the World Cup.” Not many in India would forget these words while watching the finals of the World Cup 2011. Also, the epic one in first T20 World Cup final between India and Pakistan in South Africa, “In the air, Sreesanth takes it, India win…” , incredible isn’t it?
Regarded by many as the greatest Indian captain of all time, Sourav Ganguly’s (46) cricketing acumen came into full public view when he took up the mike. Former Indian captain transitioned into commentating after retiring from cricket in 2008. Ganguly’s extensive knowledge and command over English gives him a polished style of commentating.
The tactical nous, in-depth knowledge of strategies and psycho-analytical ability which Ganguly possesses makes him a great analyst. Dada also has the ability to read the minds of the players and understand their personality.
To add to that, the Prince of Kolkata is completely devoid of bias and never fails to appreciate the good cricket of other teams. He is currently the mentor for IPL club Delhi Capitals.
Yes, Anjum Chopra! During her playing days, Anjum was deemed to be a stalwart in the Indian batting line-up and had been rated amongst the very best in world cricket. After hanging up her boots in 2012, the left-handed batsman pursued commentary to take forward her passion for cricket.
In 2015, the Padma Shree award winner made her debut in the commentary box when she was named in the commentary panel for the eighth edition of the IPL. She was also in the commentary panel of the ICC Women’s World Cup, England in 2017. She feels that women’s commentary is exposure and will be healthy for women’s cricket in the future.
We bet you may have not ever heard about this name but he is one of the finest cricket commentators in India! The 81- year-old is an Indian sports commentator and author of twenty-three books on cricket, including World Cup Cricket: A Compendium, known to be first Indian sports commentator in Hindi.
For his valuable performance in the respective field, the government honoured him the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri in 2012. Ravi Chaturvedi is a living legend when it comes to depth of knowledge and understanding of cricket.
Chaturvedi became India’s first Hindi cricket commentator after joining All India Radio in 1961. He has covered a whopping 116 Test matches and 220 ODIs. It’s been a while since the retired zoology professor did his last radio commentary stint for All India Radio. He signed off a good eight years ago, during the 2011 World Cup in India.
Love him or hate him, this man comes under the list when you ask top commentators in India. Once a decent batsman who never quite made it big at the international level, Manjrekar more than made up for it with his stint with a microphone in hand and a camera. He is a successful anchor as well. With his crisp tone and perfect analysis, Manjrekar has been in the commentary box from many years. Currently, he is working for leading television network Star Sports.
Commentary enhances the sport and takes it to a whole new level and the past few years have seen the influx of amusing and researched minds that have something positive to offer the cricket fan every time.
Many cricket die-hard fans will differ with regards to who is better than whom but there is no denying the fact that all the new age commentators have made cricket so much more pleasurable to watch.
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