Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Bumble Fever

I promise to stop going on about cricket but I couldn’t finish without a special mention for my man of the series. He wasn’t playing or part of the backroom staff, or even one of the decision-impaired umpires. He was David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, former England coach and now (forgive me Richie Benaud) the best cricket commentator in the business.

Given Channel 9’s cricket broadcasting hegemony in Australia, those of us without pay TV have been denied the joys of a Bumble commentary. Cheers then to SBS for picking up Fox Sports’ broadcast from the UK, Bumble and all.

It’s not just Bumble’s droll Lancashire delivery that makes him so lovable. As a former England player and coach his knowledge of the game is superb. That’s to be expected from most commentators, but it’s the way Bumble shares his knowledge and love of the game through his commentary that sets him apart. He’s a bit like your favourite teacher or slightly deranged uncle – never patronising, always inspiring and generally fucking hilarious.

His spell gently mocking Freddie Flintoff’s lazy running on Saturday was quite brilliant. Super Fred, hero of all England in his final test match, about to have knee surgery and there’s Bumble laughing at him ambling about between the stumps. There has been much of the same throughout the summer with Bumble backing up his on-air antics with his first ever Tw*tter account – something akin to giving your grandad his first mobile phone with $50 worth of prepaid.

To add icing to the Bumble love-in cake he’s quite into his music, and is a big fan of The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit. Compare that to Channel 9’s ready-for-pasture Tony Grieg and painfully parochial Bill Lawry and its clear that we’re going to miss Bumble when summer comes around down here.

For those already having withdrawals, here’s a compilation of some of his antics on Sky Sports, including his straight faced ‘pitch reports’ from a dry-ski slope and a wooded hillside. Not quite the same as hearing him in all his commentating glory but it will do for now.

Bumble, thanks for the memories and if you need showing round the local indie record shops next year I'll be glad to help out.

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