Monday, 3 August 2009

Shane Warne is starting to annoy me

As I've detailed before, I'm far from impressed with the quality of Sky's commentary, despite the odd chink of light.

I'd expected the introduction of Shane Warne to liven things up a bit, and take the focus off whining about cricket and cricketers all the time. After all, Warne has been fulsome in his praise of England players since 2005, especially those he's played with and he can be quite amusing.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Warned is like a parody of himself, all "Aw look"s as he prepares to offer more excuses or criticism. It's as if he's sledging from the commentary box.

Warne spends a lot of his time saying that England's players aren't good enough to be Test cricketers, but only offers vague criticism of Aussie players, presumably because most of them are his mates.

England's Ravi Bopara, batting at number three, has borne the brunt of Warnie's ire. Bopara certainly doesn't look like a number three in Tests, but Warne has written off his entire career.

The reintroduction of Ian Bell to the team has given Warne an excuse to trot out his tiresome 'Sherminator' gag ad infinitum, a joke than was quite funny four year ago.

Elsewhere Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior, both of whom comfortably average over 40 with the bat at the highest level, are found wanting by Warne.

Meanwhile, you'd think everything is rosy on the Aussie side, despite the fact that the Aussies have spent pretty much all of the last two Tests on the rack.

Any questions on the abilities or form of the Australian XI meets only with an "Aw, look. Phil Hughes/Mitchell Johnson/Nathan Hauritz/Marcus North is a great player..." followed by an explanation that the under-pressure player is ever-so-slightly out-of-form, though Warne is backing the player in question to hit back.

The most instructive moments have come from Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton, easily the best commentators on Sky, ribbing Warne over his fall-out with Ricky Ponting or his whingeing about England's sledging or luck with umpiring decisions.

Warne's ire was as obvious as his wig-like hair, porky belly or whitened teeth as Atherton probed him about his well-known bust-up with Punter in 2005, when Australia slipped to defeat.

Back on TMS Matthew Hayden and Jason Gillespie are proving to be able and amusing summarisers, who fit in very well with the Test Match Special ethos.

It's another example of Sky going for the big name and the Beeb exercising more consideration.

TMS 1 - Sky 0


  1. He had a problem with Bopara coming in to the series; in the Ashes preview with FourFourTwo, he said he took against Bopara because when Bopara was asked would he rather play the ODIs and the IPL or play in the Ashes he said one days and IPL, thanks very much. Warney then said that showed Bopara didn't have the commitment/mentality to play as a no 3 for England in an Ashes series; I have some sympathy for that point of view (it does seem an odd, if shockingly honest, thing for Bopara to have said).

    But I haven't been listening to TMS so I don't know - did Hayden have a fight with Boycott on air? Aggers twittered something about it...

    And as re Sky in general, that 'Russell Crowe moment' will go down as one of the most bizarre sporting commentaries for a very long time indeed, so I know what you mean.

  2. Too much Sky lowering your standards if you haven't noticed the intolerable management consultant flaws of Hayden on TMS; product this, customers and sponsors that. His point during the rain on Saturday morning that we need to have a serious debate about where international cricket is heading, and then refusing to make any suggestions in the debate being a case in point. He may be far from alone in the 2 syllable pronunciation of "Straya" but it still grates.

    Fair play to him for having a go back at the Yorkie git, though.


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