Voice is a meaningful noise that shortens the time to comprehend the message in one’s mind. Without voice, the world would have been a different place. People could have been able to communicate using sign languages, but then the dictionary of sound language would have been infinite due to obvious limitations.
A good voice, used at the right time, has always attracted people and made a mark in their hearts.
So, on the occasion of World Voice Day, we take a look at (and have a listen to) some of the most iconic bits of Cricket commentary that has been done over the years. While preparing this list, we have taken into account of only Television Commentators due to the fact that they have added the special touch required to the action unfolding right in front of us.
1) Tony Greig, India v Australia 2001, 2nd Test, at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata
“Oh he’s padded up, OH HE’S GIVEN HIM, HE’S GIVEN HIM, UMPIRE BANSAL’S GIVEN HIM, THAT’S THE END OF THE TEST MATCH! INDIA HAVE WON, INDIA HAVE WON IN DRAMATIC STYLE! The whole of Bengal are on their feet, the series has been levelled….”
As soon as the 3rd ball of Harbhajan Singh’s 31st over rapped Glenn McGrath on the pads, did the crowd erupt, and along with them, Tony Greig produced this piece of magic. It was almost like he was the vocalist, singing along to the music of the crowd. A fitting way to conclude one of the greatest Cricket matches of all time, as it was only the 3rd time a Cricket team had won a Test Match after following on. India, 1-0 down in the series to Australia, were 232/4 when Rahul Dravid joined VVS Laxman in the middle. The two batted for the entirety of the 4th Day, turning the match completely in their favour. Australia could not keep out the danger Harbhajan Singh possessed on the 5th Day track, as he took 6 in the 2nd Innings and Australia were bundled out for 212.
Video link: https://youtu.be/mQGTXhqVmCQ skip to 51:04 for the moment
2) Ian Botham, Ashes 2005, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, Birmingham
“It’s in the air, AND IT’S CAUGHT! WHAT A VICTORY! ENGLAND HAVE PULLED IT OFF! THE CROWD GOES BALLISTIC! MICHAEL KASPROWICZ CANNOT BELIEVE IT! England have won…by 2 runs! What a Test Match we’ve had!”
From one of the Greatest Test Matches to another, the 2005 Ashes Series was just sheer entertainment, not just for the English or Australian supporters, but fans of Cricket all across the World. It had a star-studded Australian side, who did not lose a single Ashes series since 1987, and a rampant England side, who were coming off 5 consecutive Test Series wins, whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 and West Indies 4-0 at home in the previous summer and Bangladesh 2-0 in the process.
After being comprehensively beaten by Australia, England roared back in the 2nd Test, scoring 407 in a single day. They were also aided by the injury of Glenn McGrath, who sprained his ankle stepping on to a Cricket ball right before the match. Conceding a lead of 99 in the 1st Innings, Australia fought back, reducing England to 75/6 in the 2nd Innings. Flintoff counter attacked batting with the tail, scoring 73 quick runs, which ensured that Australia were set 282 to win. Flintoff was charged up after his whirlwind knock, as he took 4 wickets including one of the best spells by an Englishman which included the wickets of Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting. The tailenders, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz tried their best, but Australia agonizingly fell short of the target in the end.
Video link: https://youtu.be/QiNvL3FfrT8
3) Ian Bishop, England v West Indies ICC T20 World Cup Final, at the Eden Gardens, 2016
“CARLOS BRATHWAITE!!!! REMEMBER THE NAME!!!!”
An iconic line which will remain etched in people’s minds for many years to come, due to the magnitude of the event and the way the match ended.
England set a target of 156 for the West Indies, and then skittled out Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles and Lendl Simmons to leave the West Indies at 11/3. Marlon Samuels took control of the situation along with Dwayne Bravo, and after losing him, and then Andre Russell and skipper Daren Sammy, West Indies still needed 49 off 33 balls. Carlos Brathwaite walked out and won the game for the West Indies. With 19 runs required off the last over, he smashed Ben Stokes for consecutive sixes, which caused Ian Bishop to interrupt his co-commentator, David Lloyd, and scream out this now famous line.
Video Link: https://youtu.be/MQSb1J9sodk
4) Tony Greig, India v Australia, Coca Cola Cup Final at Sharjah, 1998
“Oh he’s hit this one miles, great shot OHHH IT’S A BIGGIE, straight over the top, the little man has hit the big fella for six. He’s half his size! And he’s smashed him down the ground, what a player…. WHAT A WONDERFUL PLAYER!!!
It was almost like Tony Greig was meant to be on commentary for India’s most iconic Cricket moments during the late 90s or early 2000s. Sachin Tendulkar was in the form of his life, and this bit of Tony Greig’s commentary pretty much summed up everything good about the Little Master at that point of time. As he smashed Tom Moody, who is 6’7”, right over his head into the sightscreen, the South Africa born Englishman emphatically reminded the viewers that an individual’s structure is not of much importance if he or she is talented enough to take on the mightiest.
India were set a target of 273 after 70 each for Australian skipper Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann. Tendulkar picked up from where he left off from the previous game, anchoring the innings and scoring a memorable 134 off 121 deliveries, hitting the likes of Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne to all part of the ground.
Video link: https://youtu.be/SUCbLLDCmV0 4:38
5) Tony Cozier, West Indies v England, 3rd Test, Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, 1994
“That’s it! Wicket number 5, Curtly Ambrose strikes once more! The Queen’s Park Oval is absolutely jumping, England are 26 for 5!”
If you’re a West Indies supporter and you turned on the Television at the exact moment when Alec Stewart’s off stump was sent for a walk by Curtly Ambrose, and you heard this bit by Tony Cozier, goosebumps were to be felt by you for sure. After the retirement of all the legendary West Fast bowlers of the 80s, West Indies Crick met was not quite the same. Despite that, the likes of Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Patrick Patterson did their best to keep the legacy going forward. This was one of the highest points in the 90s for the West Indies, who set 194 for England to chase down in the 2nd innings. Ambrose went on an absolute rampage, destroying the woodwork of every top order batsman on the way to pick 6 for 24. Mark Ramprakash’s foolish run out at the start did not help England’s cause either, as they were wiped out for 46, their second lowest total in Test history. West Indies went on to win the series 3-1.
Video link: https://youtu.be/gIFGOCGfGY8 you can either skip to 2:03 for this moment, or enjoy the compilation!
6) Mark Taylor, Ashes 2010-11, 1st Test, The GABBA, Brisbane
“Oh well bowled, that’s close HE’S GIVEN HIM, HE GIVEN HIM! PETER SIDDLE’S GOT A HAT TRICK ON HIS BIRTHDAY!!!”
This one makes the list just for the sheer hype that was created by former Australian captain and channel 9 commentator Mark Taylor. England were cruising along at 197/4 with a well set Alastair Cook and Ian Bell at the crease. In the 66th Over, Peter Siddle first got Cook caught at first slip, then cleaned up Matt Prior first ball with a yorker, and with the crowd at the GABBA right by him and Taylor hyping up the situation from the commentary box for the viewers, he fired in an inswinging yorker which hit Stuart
Broad on the toe, and the umpire raised his finger. The crowd went wild, and Mark Taylor went on to say the above lines that is loved and adored by Australians so much, it is still talked about on social media to this day.
Video link: https://youtu.be/Yw8ISJxI9k0
7) Ian Smith, England v New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Final at Lord’s
“Goes again, can he give the strike away, this is a big moment they’ve got to run, they’re going to the other end and ohh, he gets in the way, this is gonna go all the way to the boundary off the bat! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS, IT HAS!! I DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I’VE JUST SEEN!!!”
Ian Smith was at his absolute best during last year’s Men’s 50 Over World Cup, with some of his finest work being presented in the Final. Here, he pretty much sums up the thought of every single individual witnessing one of the tightest climaxes in the game’s history, with 3 balls remaining and 9 runs to get for England, Ben Stokes smashed a full toss from Trent Boult and put his head down to run two right from the outset. The throw came in from deep mid wicket, but instead of reaching wicketkeeper Tom Latham, the ball hit the back of Stokes’ bat and rolled away to the fence, much to the dismay of the New Zealand fielders. England went on to win the Final in the most dramatic fashion, with the scores being tied, a super over was played to determine the winner, which was also tied, which meant that England would be declared winners due to the fact that they hit more boundaries than New Zealand.
Video link: https://youtu.be/n6WupnbUhNw
8) Bill Lawry, Australia v South Africa, ICC Cricket World Cup 1999, 2nd Semi Final, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
“There it is, they’ll go…this’ll be out, surely!! OHH HE’S OUT, HE’S GOING TO BE RUN OUT, OH THAT’S IT, SOUTH AFRICA ARE OUT, DONALD DIDN’T RUN, I CANNOT BELIEVE IT, AUSTRALIA GO INTO THE WORLD CUP FINAL, RIDDICULOUS RUNNING WITH TWO BALLS TO GO, DONALD DIDN’T GO, KLUSENER COME, What a disappointing end for South Africa and what a match for our viewers!”
Probably chaos and madness brings out the best among the commentators, and it was no different in this case. The voice of Bill Lawry left us hooked up more into the action, describing both Australia’s triumph and South Africa’s heartbreak in a single bit. Lance Klusener almost took the South Africans past the line after 4 wickets early on from Shane Warne turned the match in Australia’s favour, but a moment of madness ensured that all of the subsequent player of the tournament’s efforts went down the drain.
Video link: https://youtu.be/fxVNtuDKsds
9) Ravi Shastri, India v England, ICC T20 World Cup 2007, Kingsmead, Durban
“Last ball of the innings….AND HE’S PUT THAT AWAY, OR HAS HE? YES, INTO THE CROWD!!!
SIX SIXES IN AN OVER!!!”
Like Tony Greig, Ravi Shastri has been in the commentary box for most of India’s memorable moments during the latter half of the 2000s. The commentary throughout the over was absolutely gripping and stunning, and it added to the atmosphere and the feat that Yuvraj Singh was getting to, and achieved at the end.
Video link: https://youtu.be/coZLa1oQzJQ
10) Ravi Shastri, India v Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Final, at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
“DHONIIII….FINISHES OFF IN STYLE!!! A magnificent strike into the crowd, INDIA LIFT THE WORLD CUP…AFTER 28 YEARS, The party’s started in the dressing room, and it’s an Indian captain, who’s been absolutely magnificent, in the night of the final!!!”
Do we really need to talk about the one moment that has been injected to every Indian’s veins on the night of the 2nd of April, 2011?