As we embark on another summer of Test cricket, today we look at the moments of commentary that we could watch over, and over… and over.
The ones we’ve seen or heard hundreds of times, but never grow dull. The ones that aren’t necessarily the most clever or insightful pieces of broadcasting, but send a tingle through the torso.
Most would agree it was time for Channel Nine to hand over the broadcast baton this year, as their coverage became slightly stale in recent times. But that doesn’t take away from the pioneering, incredible work they did in the 40 years preceding it, providing Australians with the sounds of summer and many great moments.
The following features several iconic moments from their coverage. Thanks for the memories.
5. “It’s miles in the air…”
“…It’s a wonderful catch! What a catch! The greatest catch! Unbelievable Steven Waugh”
One of Tony Greig’s best lines as a commentator, going slightly mental to be perfectly in-sync with a raucous MCG crowd.
4. “That’s four!”
“…That’s victory for Australia! What an effort, what a stroke – it’s Michael Bevan’s evening at the Sydney Cricket Ground” Arguably Australia’s greatest ever one-day player, Michael Bevan, gave us many stirring finishes throughout his storied white-ball career.
Few were better than this chase at the SCG, with a boundary off the last ball.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) May 16, 2018
3. “Bowled him!”
“…The last ball, can you believe that!” If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Channel Nine featured this piece of commentary in their promo for years.
The call, like almost all of the best Australian cricket moments, is from Bill Lawry, of Merv Hughes bowling Mike Gatting on the final ball of day four, first Ashes test of 1993.
Gatting had also been bowled by Shane Warne in the first innings of this test – yes, by that ball. This piece of commentary, however, is remembered as the enduring sound of summer (0:53 below, for reference).
2. “Well bowled it’s close! He’s given him!”
“…He’s given him! Peter Siddle’s got a hat-trick on his birthday! You little beauty!” Sometimes, commentary doesn’t need to be profound, succinct, or even insightful. It can just be someone going off their tree at what they’re seeing.
This was the case when Mark Taylor lost it as crowd-favourite Peter Siddle took at hat-trick at the Gabba during the 2010-11 Ashes series. If you watch it back, Mark Nicholas does his utmost best to ruin the moment, but Tubs was unperturbed.
It's 9.11am and I've already watched Peter Siddle's birthday hat trick 3 times today. That's only 1 more than normal for this time of the day however.
— Dong (@chris_belll) November 19, 2018
1. “He’s gone for it. There it is!”
To be honest, Bill Lawry could have been talking about the flight-path of his pigeons during this moment, and it would still get the goosebumps going. As it turns out, however, he completely nailed it.
Waugh, under huge pressure following a poor Ashes series with the bat, waltzed into the 90s late on day two. With one over to go, he was on 95* and facing off-spinner Richard Dawson.
Three runs on the fourth ball took him to 98, but at the wrong end.
Perennial good-guy Adam Gilchrist make sure he got a single off the penultimate ball, leaving Waugh needing two off the last ball. He punched it through the covers, and the rest is history.
After Bill said his line, the commentary box stayed silent, and let the crowd do the talking. Bravo.