I hadn't thought of television Commentators as a profession, but offlate, the TV commentary has degenerated drastically! So, I got thinking... they are really not required, quite a redundant, dispensable breed they are.. Cricket commentary in the 70s were a thrill, one heard them on the radio and we all were full of gratitude to them, for giving us the updates... The 80s saw the beginnings of live telecast and we looked forward to our telecast with some good commentary. Who can forget our 1983 Prudential or World Cup finals and the historic win over the mighty West Indies! Lovely sweet memories!! We still live off it.
But today, we have every retired cricketer hanging his boots and taking on the mike, so to speak! Some are cartoons, they get to do analysis - paralysis and keep the discussions light. Some serious English speaking ones get into the commentary box. Some of them were good, no doubt, but these days, even these good ones come up with such banal comments, some downright ludicrous. Just made me realise that this is one job that has zero accountability. You can praise a batsman / bowler / fielder in one over and in the next over, skin him alive. They do that with no qualms at all!
And yesterday, during the India - Australia match, I heard one of them say the most stupid thing. It was a crucial time in the second innings, when a bowling change was effected, and Michael Clarke was introduced. He said Michael will either stop the runs for India and take a wicket, or the Indians may have a field day, blasting him to different parts of the ground. Wow! what an analysis.. Do we need to pay him to say that?? Aren't these the only two possibilities? Its like an astrologer telling a couple that they will have a girl or boy!! What a prophecy indeed! You do hear of some top notch Dalal Street / Wall Street market analysts telling us very profoundly on TV, "Markets will either go up or down, with this news"... What else happens to the markets, for Pete's sake??
I suggest we do away with this highly decorative profession, if we must have them, they can probably be spared the rod and asked to speak one sentence over 2/3 overs and restrict to some analysis, rather than state the obvious which the viewer can see, anyway:-).