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Sport Thought: Beyond the 'grass ceiling'

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22.06.2019

For a long time, I was an estranged cricket lover. The drift began early in the century, as the excitement of an Australian dominance that began with Mark Taylor turned to excessive on-field boorishness and “mental disintegration”. It got worse when some of its chief proponents began to take up positions in Channel Nine’s commentary box.

After the retirement and later passing of Richie Benaud, for so long the smooth, slow-talking anchor, the reliable summer-to-summer sameness of the network’s coverage curdled quicker than milk poured onto a sticky Gabba wicket. But last summer, after Seven won the rights, my interest was rekindled. There were two simple reasons why.

The first was Jasprit Bumrah, because I’d grown up in a golden age of West Indian and Pakistani fast bowling, and Bumrah’s short run-up and whippy action reminded me of the arrival of the great Wasim Akram on these shores. But the second reason was the change in commentary team, and tone, led by Alison Mitchell.

English broadcaster Alison Mitchell brings a fresh voice to the commentary box.Credit:PA

Mitchell was a pleasure to listen to. She was smart, erudite, enthusiastic but measured, and never got in the way of the action. She also wasn’t one of the boys, and thank the cricketing........

© Brisbane Times