Friday, November 26, 2010


Watching the start of play on Day 3 in the Brisbane Test just now, the camera picked up and lingered on a round-faced, grey-haired man with glasses who was carefully explaining the rules of cricket to three Chinese friends.

Obviously, anyone who watches the news will have recognised Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister until pretty recently, even if fewer will have known that he is the constituency MP for the area that contains the Gabba, but it was disappointing that none of the commentators were able to, well, comment.

The footage came during a break in play and the cameras, which presumably were held by Australians, lingered for longer than they normally would if it was Joe Public but neither Nasser Hussain nor his commentary sidekick (I think it was Ian Botham) were able to identify him. Nor, one assumes, was a producer able to whisper in their ear.

I shouldn't be shocked, but I am saddened and rather ashamed of the lack of worldliness by Sky's commentary team. No doubt if it was Lily Allen or Kevin Spacey they would have spoken for five minutes about their entire CV.


Brian Carpenter said...

I tend to agree with you, Patrick, but I would actually have been surprised if they had known who he was.

Politics tends to go over the heads of most people, and I think it's especially true of people who've spent their entire lives in sport and who have lifestyles and incomes which most people can only dream about.

Also, Australian politics hardly ever makes news in the UK and only the really interested would notice anyway.

I would expect the average Sky commentator to be able to identify David Cameron and Barack Obama, but any other world leader? Unlikely.

Paddy said...

Hi Brian,
Welcome over to the Vole from my now-paywalled other blog. Yes, you are right, it would have been a shock if Nass or Beefy knew who he was, but the cameras stayed for so long on Rudd that I would have expected the producer to wonder why the Aussie cameramen picked him out and find our who he was. Maybe I just expect more from producers than commentators.

I suspect that if the cameras picked up Barack Obama watching a cricket match, Ian Botham would ask what Tiger Woods was doing at the game

Rich Abbott said...

I imagine it was Botham! Similar moment at this year's Wimbledon - camera pans from celeb to celeb with the commentator offering a witticism or two about each actor/singer until we get to Brian Lara. Silence for 5 seconds. Again, no one whispers in his ear so they move on pretending it never happened.

Update from your personal tipster: Been up all night so I may be delirious, but the BBC's Oliver Brett has just informed his Twitter followers that you can now get Aus to win the Test at 15-1. Getting less likely by the minute, but still enticing, no?

Paddy said...

I don't understand bookmakers, Rich, which is probably why they are richer than me. I got a fiver down on England at 13-2 early in the Hussey/Haddin stand. Should I now slip a five on Aus or do we just assume it will be a draw

Rich Abbott said...

I think an Aus win is the least likely of the three, though nothing would surprise me greatly. Draw does seem v likely, but you never know, if we can get out of sight nice and quickly and forge a couple of early breakthroughs, that fiver may prove pretty shrewd. Stranger things have happened in cricket.