Give us that microphone

On Sunday I was interviewed by Colin Peacock for Radio New Zealand’s Mediawatch show (again) about the Alternative Commentary Collective, the travelling band of commentators who covered the glorious ANZ ODI series v India, won 4-0 by the BLACKCAPS. Paul Ford‘s Cricinfo blog sets out what it’s all about.

You can listen to the Mediawatch show here – relevant bit comes on about twenty minutes in.

From here, it seems the ACC was a great success. It was hilarious. It got people talking. To me, it was pretty much a dream team of chaps who talked cricket at every chance they got in their other roles (comedy, TV, radio, what have you) finally being able to just talk cricket . There was a whole lot of knowledge and enthusiasm as well as some really, really funny stuff. The fact we happened to beat the world champs 4-0 in this series gave the whole affair a slightly surreal feel.

It all got a bit emotional toward the end of the final broadcast from Wellington when everyone was realising that that was it for this year. I hope it continues and I also hope that some poor bugger will sit down and go through the five matches’ commentary and put together some kind of Best Bits podcast or download, it was too good to be heard only once.

Fair play to everyone involved. Commentary is one of those things everyone reckons they can do better, but is actually bloody hard when you have a real live microphone to talk into. These chaps made it sound easy.


For those comfortable with turning their TV volume down and venturing into the world of alt-commentary, there’s (a few) options.

Jed Thian is the best known alt-commentator in New Zealand with the full-noise Alternative Rugby Commentary empire, which he’s taken around the world.

Graeme Hill, Paul Casserley and (ACC chap) Jeremy Wells among others did rugby commentary for BFM in the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, which have a legendary reputation, but very little of which exists online, there’s a brief run-down here.

Test Match Sofa are a well-established alt-commentary troupe covering all England Test matches with a range of guests but have locked legal horns with ECB over commentary rights.

Roy and HG have been doing this kind of thing for years over the ditch.

And this is what I meant on the radio about unashamedly biased fan commentary – it’s got a certain charm I guess, but seems to be a case of who can shout the loudest in this instance.

Author: Richard Irvine

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