If you asked us what we think makes cricket a truly special sport, we wouldn’t necessarily point to any of the athletes, or even the moment- to- moment play. No; without commentary, cricket- and arguably every sport- wouldn’t be anywhere near as exciting or involving. Sometimes, we wish real life had sports commentary – it would certainly make our day-to-day existence more exciting! In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with cricket commentary, which can thankfully be just as thrilling as analysis for any other sport. Here are our favourite moments in cricket commentary history.
Ian Bishop’s “Remember the name!” chant
Back at the 2016 T20 World Final, West Indies faced off against England, looking for merely 19 runs to cement their victory over the European side. What happened next would go down in cricketing history, as Barbados-born cricketer Carlos Braithwaite stepped up and smashed six after six for a total of four consecutive sixes. Commentator Ian Bishop witnessed this, and as he relates to cricket odds platform Betway, shouted “Carlos Braithwaite! Remember the name!” in response. The rest, as they say, is history
Tony Greig’s “It’s a biggie!”
The late 90s and early 2000s were a pretty iconic time for cricket. Many of the sport’s most memorable moments happened during this time period, including the inimitable Tony Greig’s comment regarding the incredible batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who was hitting his peak around that time. As Tendulkar sailed the ball over bowler Tom Moody’s head, Greig screamed “ohhh, it’s a biggie!”, cementing this moment as one of the most iconic in cricketing history.
Ravi Shastri’s “Dhoni finishes off in style!”
It was a bright day in April when Indian batsman M.S. Dhoni smashed a six against opponents Sri Lanka in order to take home the Cricket World Cup. This moment is still reverberating in Indians’ minds, allowing the aforementioned Sachin Tendulkar to lift the World Cup for the first time in his 22-year career. This moment was particularly memorable because Sri Lanka were the favourites; they gave India a target of 275 to beat, but India stepped up and broke that with aplomb, leading to Shastri’s unforgettable outburst.
Mark Taylor’s “He’s given him!”
There’s nobody who can create a festival atmosphere for cricket quite like former Australia captain Mark Taylor. As England looked sure to sail to victory unopposed, Australian bowler Peter Siddle stepped up and proceeded to bowl out Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, and Stuart Broad, leading to an incredible hat trick for the bowler. The most special
thing about this incident? It was Siddle’s birthday, leading to Taylor screaming “Peter Siddle’s got a hat trick on his birthday!” after enthusiastically declaring that Siddle had “given him!”.
Nasser Hussain’s “donkeys” comment
Not all cricket commentary moments are quite as light-hearted or celebratory as those listed above. Nasser Hussain famously made headlines when he referred to certain members of the Indian cricket team as “donkeys”; he perceived the Indian fielders to have slowed down, saying that England’s fielders were all top-class, while India had
“three or four very good fielders”. The comment immediately drew the BCCI’s ire; VP Rajiv Shukla described it as “totally uncalled for”, and it’s hard to disagree with him in hindsight.
Harsha Bhogle’s “number 11”
When speaking to co-commentator Ian Chappell, Harsha Bhogle referred to Indian batsman Narendra Hirwani as a number 11 who would “still come at number 11” even if you made a lineup of every other number 11 in the other teams. This is a damning indictment of Hirwani’s batting ability, and it’s also perhaps a touch unfair given Hirwani’s excellent debut performance in Test cricket. Unfortunately, Bhogle turned out to be correct; Hirwani was consigned to the history books as an also-ran batsman, while others have overshadowed him since.
Steve Waugh’s “first 15 minutes” recommendation
Indian batsman Rahul Dravid is commonly referred to as “The Wall” because of bowlers’ complete inability to get a ball past him. As a famous cricket fan’s poster read, “even the Gods stood behind the Wall” (referring to fan favourite players like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly). Famously, ex-Australia captain Steve Waugh once recommended that players “try to take [Rahul Dravid’s] wicket in the first 15 minutes”, and if they couldn’t, to simply “try to get the remaining wickets”. Dravid’s prowess at bat couldn’t be overestimated then, and it can’t now.
Ian Botham’s “What a victory!” moment
The 2005 Ashes series has gone down in history for English cricket fans, largely because England emerged victorious in a year during which English sport fans desperately needed a win for their teams. Despite the best efforts of Australian titans like Brett Lee and Shane Warne, English dervish Freddie Flintoff took the England team had “pulled it off”. “What a victory!”, thundered Botham, as England celebrated a victory almost nobody expected them to achieve.
Ian Smith’s “Can you believe this!?”
It was in 2019 that Ian Smith delivered one of his most iconic commentary moments during the Men’s 50 Over World Cup. The Cup was one of the most exciting and tense events in the cricket calendar that year, and a super over was declared in order to decide who won the game between England and New Zealand. After a particularly excellent performance from England batsman Ben Stokes, commentator Ian Smith predicted the ball would “go all the way to the boundary”, and when it did, Smith shouted “can you believe this, it has! I do not believe what I’ve just seen!”. Truly iconic.