Mad Bob

One of the most priceless aspects of Sky Sports' coverage of Test cricket is the increasingly eccentric and amusing contributions of Bob Willis.

He has always seemed to me to be the most boring (and bored) commentator in history, and his appearances behind the microphone have become rarer in recent years as Sky have correctly judged that his mad genius flowers best in a studio environment.

Now, though, with the likes of Hussain and Gower opting out of the Bangladesh trip, he's back in the box, this morning's signature contribution being a classic rant about England players failing to tuck their shirts in. Even though the mikes were down it was easily possible to discern Mike Atherton collapsing into the fit of uncontrollable laughter which was the only credible response.

Later on I came back into the room to find him moaning about the fact that batsmen weren't required to 'save the game with the ball' when the likes of Graham Onions had to do so with the bat.

Twas ever thus, Bob.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I thought Sky had him locked away in a cupboard these days and just wheeled him out when something controversial needed to be said.

Did catch the end of a highlights package with Steve Harmison as the studio guest, Bob was slagging the team off for something or another, had to laugh when Harmy was asked for his opinion and he said he dosen't normally agree with Bob, thought it was just a slight understatment.

It appears Strauss isn't the only one sitting out this tour with no Gower and Hussain on Sky. I don't recall hearing Botham's voice (although I've not seen too much of it) either, and David Lloyd only made a flying visit.

On TMS, there is no Jonathon Agnew, Vic Marks, CMJ or Boycs.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Dean, I was hoping that one would strike a chord with somebody.

As may have been evident I used to really dislike him as a commentator but he's great in the studio as he's prepared to be very forthright in a slightly eccentric way. Knows his cricket, too.

You're right, most of the regular TV and radio commentators seem to have decided that Bangladesh wasn't worth the trip. David Lloyd did actually go but went down with Dengue Fever and spent most of the trip in bed before coming home early.

How nice to have someone offering to pay you to go abroad and watch (or play) some Test cricket and to be able to say 'no thanks' in the knowledge that they'll invite you again. I reckon Agnew, Gower, Hussain, Botham, Strauss etc. will be in Australia come November, don't you?

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Yes, I have to admit a few years back I had grown sick of his views form the commentary box, have had to turn him and Paul Allott off many times in the past.

His outspoken views have upset the players in the past, but, similar to Boycott, it is refreshing to hear people tell it like it is, think he has found his niche in the studio.

I also don't think there will be too many unclaimed expenses from players or commentators come the next English winter, either!

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