If it’s hard for a bowling side to watch batsmen pile on the runs, as the Australians are doing in Sydney right now, it’s even harder for the audience to listen to the commentary. Moments like these are a real challenge for the microphone-wielders: what do you talk about when it’s clear just where the Test match is headed and there are few strategies or tactics to dissect? Here’s what Ian Chappell and Co. tried out:
1) Female streakers. A truly bizarre moment: Chappell sees Michael Clarke hug Ricky Ponting after reaching a double ton. “I’ve never seen the need to hug anyone on a cricket field,” Chappell said, betraying yet another sign that his hyper-masculinity may all be an elaborate attempt to compensate for a secret penchant for cross-dressing. He then qualified his statement, noting he did in fact hug two streakers once. “What gender?” Shastri asked, mischievously. “Female,” came the fast reply (God forbid the other option!). I think Chappell then went on to suggest the women in question were strippers. I’m really not sure.
2) Ian Chappell discusses the other boring Test match. What’s better than discussing the current one-sided Test match unfolding languidly before your eyes? The other boring Test match across the world, namely Sri Lanka receiving a pummeling from Kallis and Co. I can just see Chappell’s producers pleading with him through his ear-piece to talk about the weather, or Sydney tourist attractions instead.
3) Tip Foster. Apparently, there was once a dude who captained England in both football and cricket and did reasonably well in both. He scored 287 on debut in Australia. He also died early from diabetes (at age 36). I know this because one commentator — Dean Jones? — decided he needed to talk about it, and Wasim Akram repeated the exact same thing a moment later.
4) Diabetes is really terrible. Just to follow up on Tip Foster — Wasim Akram issued a public service announcement on how to avoid diabetes. (Hint: it involves not eating biryani every day.)