Commentary is a very vital part of cricket. Who have been your favorite commentators over the years? How good were they during their playing days? Today, we will answer all these questions as we discuss some great commentators who were brilliant as players too.
1) Sunil Gavaskar
The man who scored the fastest 10,000 Test runs, Sunil Gavaskar is in a class of his own. People haven't and never will forget what Gavaskar has done for Indian cricket and his contribution to cricket has been immense.
Gavaskar's record of 34 Test centuries was present up to almost two decades but in 2005, Sachin Tendulkar broke it. Gavaskar has 10122 runs in 125 Tests and 3092 runs in 108 ODIs. He was and will be one of India's most important players in India's history.
Coming to his commentary, Gavaskar is one of those commentators who is always cheerful and his experience-filled insights have always proven to add value.
He doesn't criticize anyone without any reason and whenever he does, his points are barely questionable. A delight for every cricket fan as a player and a commentator!
2) Ravi Shastri
Gavaskar's compatriot in India's first-ever World Cup win in 1983, Ravi Shastri was a left-arm spinner who then converted into a batting all-rounder.
One of Shastri's very underrated achievements has been the fact that he was the first Indian to hit six sixes in an over. It may have been a first-class match but at that time no one would've thought that he could do so. Shastri's physique helped him to hit brilliant attacking shots against spinners.
Shastri scored 3830 runs in 80 Tests and 3108 runs in 150 ODIs. However, as a commentator, Shastri was certainly one of the best. 2 out of India's three ICC trophy wins witnessed his commentary and it is safe to say that each time you see those winning moments, his voice is the first thing that rings your mind.
3) Dean Jones
The late Australian was another star player. He was one of the best during his time in the 80s and 90s. Jones was not just brilliant technically, but his running between the wickets was phenomenal too.
Dean Jones had a knack for taking on bowlers and didn't have problems against any specific kind of bowlers. He used to plan and attack them, and his risk-taking was always very well calculated too.
Jones scored 3631 runs in 52 Tests and 6068 runs in 164 ODIs. This shows that ODI was his format and after retirement, Jones was given the nickname "Professor Deano" when he began commentating.
He was a great commentator and during his time as a player, he was inducted into the 2019 Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
4) Rameez Raja
The former Pakistan Cricket and the current Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ramiz Raja was a right-handed batsman and a part-time leg-break bowler.
He played over 250 games in International cricket, scoring over 8600 runs but today's generation mainly remembers him as a great commentator.
Since he was appointed the PCB chairman, his attitude and approach has changed but he remains one of the few ex-cricketers who were good commentators, listening to their thoughts about a particular game.
5) Navjot Singh Sidhu
Another player from the 83 squad, Sidhu was a great batsman and used his strength efficiently. Sidhu was a part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad but personally, he was exceptional in the 1987 World Cup where he scored four 50s.
Sidhu played 51 Tests and 136 ODIs, scoring 3202 and 4413 runs respectively. However, his commentary was regarded as one of the best, be it in Hindi or English.
Sidhu then left commentary for politics and also became a judge on several comedy shows. As things stand, he is an active politician but people still miss the joyous commentator that was always on the top of his speech game.
What are your thoughts about these commentators? Any more suggestions? Let us know and stay tuned with Cricwizz for the best cricket content.