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Sky shows international cricket belongs to Rupert Murdoch

Cricket Writers on TV poster

Written by : published Friday 27th May 2011

Sky shows international cricket belongs to Rupert Murdoch main image

At least one Australian is embracing cricket the way it should be; Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Sports has shown why terrestrial television isn’t in the same league as his satellite supremacy.

At 10 am yesterday morning, Sky Sports HD1 set about airing the start of the English international cricketing summer.

Greeting anticipatory eyes was a typically ‘Sky’ montage of the England team’s two-year unbeaten record and their ambitions to become the number one test playing nation.

Cut to reassuringly familiar faces, like the first day back at school, we get our opening interlude with presenter David Gower and company.

A nearly clean-shaven Ian Botham sits alongside a fidgety David Lloyd as the company for this summer’s opening act, both clearly glad to be back from their sub-continental torment and both eager to add to the conversation, some a little more so than others, Bumble.

The Lancastrian was sat one hand in the air, primed and ready for visual explanation, the other grasping the arm of his chair, tethering body to seat in case his urge to get up and prance around the set got the better of him.

But, alas, thanks to the gantry position overlooking the pitch, no illusion could be made to cover up what the viewer has already seen behind the voices of English cricket.

Covers as far as the eye can see had engulfed the field of play, so it looked more ice rink than lush green field, as ground staff swarmed the sodden arena with super-soppers and giant mops.

This is where Sky comes into its own.

If archive footage, highlights and extended interviews could become a legitimate energy source, Sky could power the whole of Sri Lanka through the voice of Bob Willis.

But even then, Sky don’t simply throw on replays to kill time like Australia’s Channel Nine, whose viewers must be sick to death of watching Shane Warne bowl out opposition in what can only be adding to the angst of their recent decline.

Sky, who have already made successful debating shows such as Cricket Writers on TV and Sunday Supplement, simply chose a topic and let Bumble do the rest.

It only took him ten minutes for him to describe England as “wonderful” and a “fabulous test team”, each time looking the camera straight in the eye.  

When the England fielders finally took the pitch at 15.26 to echoes of Jerusalem, we, the TV audience, had already had the pleasure of watching Monty Panesar defy the Australians at Cardiff in 2009, had an extended interview with Alistair Cook and relived the Ashes triumph in Australia last winter.

Sky knows how to make something out of nothing. Who says rain breaks are boring?


About the author Joe Smith

Joe Smith

My name is Joe Smith and I currently attend the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England. I am in the first year of a Sports Journalism BA Hons degree with a view to becoming a professional sports journalist at a national newspaper. I help with the running of Caistor Town Cricket Club's website and also contribute to WriteAngleMedia, a company associated with various midalnds-based newspapers, reporting on semi-professional (non-league) football matches. My top three sports are cricket, football and tennis, closely followed by rugby league. I follow many sports teams, but  my favoured clubs are: Grimsby Town (football/soccer), Lancashire County Cricket Club and Huddersfield Giants (rugby league).

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