Top 10 Commentary Bloopers Ever in Cricket

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Live commentary is perhaps one of the most important aspects of watching a game on television and over the years cricket lovers have been blessed with plenty of brilliant commentators who have educated the audience about the game with their knowledge, nous and a keen reading of the proceedings.  However, from time to time there have been moments when well meant statements by commentators gave rise to side splitting laughter or downright ridicule either because of the play of words or because of the unintended double entendre. This article looks at 10 of the most hilarious commentary bloopers ever that you will ever come across.

10. He did not quite manage to get his leg over’

The suave English commentator Jonathon Agnew’s quip about Ian Botham’s dismissal in a Test match in the 1980s is the final member of this list of extraordinary goof ups. The expression ‘get his leg over’ is a British slang for sex and when Botham overbalanced himself and was dismissed ‘hit wicket’ due to his failure to prevent his legs from striking the stumps; the commentator at the time Jonathon Agnew described the events in that rather coarse manner. It goes without saying that what he said was unintentional but the giggles it sparked in those who were privileged enough to listen to it would surely make it one of the biggest commentary bloopers of all time.

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9. You rejoin us at a very appropriate time — Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at mid wicket

You might now be googling the name of Brian Johnston considering the number of times he has appeared in this list but as far as commentary bloopers go the ex BBC commentator is simply peerless considering the number of forgettable statements he had made throughout his illustrious career. This one at number 9 relates to a passage of play when the England captain Ray Illingworth took himself off the bowling attack and stationed himself at mid wicket. However, Johnston wanted to put such a spin to it so that it would look as if Illingworth had realised that his bowling was no good and so he relieved himself off his duties as a bowler but as you can see the statement he used seems to imply that the player in question had turned the mid wicket area into a toilet. A funnier and grosser piece of commentary has never been heard since.

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8. The team that doesn’t win will find itself on the losing side

A spot of commentary here and there is not for everyone as former Zimbabwean all rounder Neil Johnson found to his cost with this piece of realism, which makes it the 8th member of these elite rankings.  After all the job of a commentator is to give real insights into the game, wouldn’t you agree? However, this was not much of an insight but an example of inexperienced commentary which ended up being a butt of jokes among cricket enthusiasts across the world because of the unbelievably naive way of putting one’s point across.

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7. His feet were a long way away from the body

In at number 7 is this gem from former Indian cricketer and noted commentator Ravi Shastri which would bring a smile on the face of any blooper hunter. During a one day game Shastri described the reasons for a batsman’s dismissal in this positively bizarre way as if he was suggesting that the batsman had kept his limbs in the dressing room before walking out to bat. Obviously Shastri perhaps wanted to make some sort of profound analysis of the departing batsman’s foot work but what he actually must not have made any sense to the casual viewer.

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6. It is a full house at the Eden Gardens. Today, Calcutta is celebrating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi!

You might be shaking your head and laughing at the same time as you read those pearls of wisdom from legendary English commentator Henry Blofield. Those days these sorts of words did not create controversy but were rather laughed off as an honest mistake. What really transpired was that Blofield was a bit carried away after witnessing the 100000 plus crowd in Calcutta’s Eden Gardens, which happens to almost everyone who visits it for the first time. However, his qualifying comments on the Mahatma’s death anniversary comes across as absolutely hilarious considering the fact that he was commentating in India. Those were the days when people were not so sensitive.

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5. The bowler’s Holding… the batsman’s Willey’

Well, you cannot really keep the legendary blooper expert Brian Johnston away for too long from such a list and so he makes a reappearance with these immortal words at number 5. Now, for the initiated, the word ‘Willey’ means the male genital organ in British slang and so if you read the sentence again you will understand the blooper value of this statement. You might say that it was just a case of a sentence in which the name of the bowler (Michael Holding) and the name of the batsman (Peter Willey) conspired against Johnston but way he described the proceedings still makes people giggle all these years later.

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4. He is a very dangerous bowler… innocuous, if you like’

At number 4 is this contradictory statement by the one and only David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd. Whenever Lloyd is doing his duties with the microphone then you can expect the unexpected, which makes him one of the most loved commentators in the world. In this particular instance, ‘Bumble’ was describing the bowling prowess of former New Zealand bowler Chris Harris when he absolutely lost it. May be he meant that although Harris’ action did not look as intimidating, still he could be dangerous as a bowler. Well, whatever spin one may put on it, it remains a blooper and deservedly grabs the 4th spot.

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3. The Queen’s Park Oval… as the name suggests, absolutely round

Yes sure, as if the viewers needed a lesson in junior school geometry and that too erroneous one. Make no mistake; the man who made this profound observation on the dimensions of the Queen’s Park Oval is one of the most revered commentators in world cricket – Tony Cozier. However, this blooper will go down in the history of commentary bloopers as one of those which does not seem to be a misunderstood statement but a statement which was embarrassingly humorous. It’s true that Mr. Cozier corrected himself later on but you might say the damage had already been done; otherwise it would not have been at number 3 in these dubious rankings.

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2. That slow motion replay does not show how fast the ball was travelling

You might be a bit shocked to know that this insightful observation was made by none other than the doyen of cricket commentary- Richie Benaud. The reason why it is so funny is because Richie Benaud is known for his analytical commentary and when he stated such an obvious fact on air it sounded even funnier, which is why it pops in at the second spot. Although this blooper is as funny as they come but it pales in comparison to the one at number 1 which is bursting with sly wit. However, a few commentary bloopers can be forgiven if you consider the fact that Benaud has been a commentator for close to half a century.

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1. There’s Neil Harvey, standing at leg slip… legs wide apart, waiting for a tickle

Now that you have stopped laughing, you are surely not left in any doubt why this piece of commentary by the legendary BBC commentator Brian Johnston takes the cake in these rankings. You might be aware that the word ‘tickle’ in cricket actually means an edge and if you have a look at the commentary in a different light you might understand where Johnston was coming from. However, when these words were uttered during live telecast, hardly anyone of those who were watching the game could have stopped themselves from laughing at this commentary blooper, which has given Johnston a sort of cult status among cricket followers.

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CONCLUSION

So those were some of the most famous and funny bloopers that one could ever come across on live commentary and hopefully you have enjoyed it. Do you have a blooper or two to share? Please let everyone know in the comments section below.

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