Channel 9 Cricket Music

Saturday, September 28, 2019 3:34:02 AM

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Very large text size Baa-buh-baaaaa, buh-buh-buh-baaaaaaa. Bowled him! Those few notes and Bill Lawry's immortal cry were the theme song to summer for millions of Australians.

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But from next year they won't be heard again. After 40 years of broadcasting the cricket, Channel Nine has lost the rights to Seven and Foxtel.

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It's a shake-up that will have major ramifications for the media landscape , but for fans who grew up watching cricket on Nine, the feelings are a mixture of relief and nostalgia. There are plenty of good memories: Richie Benaud proclaiming "Shot!

Not to mention the infectious exuberance of Lawry as he jousted with Tony Greig, who would then say something that would make your unreconstructed uncle blush at Christmas dinner.

Lawry was in the chair for one of my favourite TV cricket moments: Michael Bevan scoring a four off the last ball in a one-day international in against the West Indies.

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That's victory for Australia; what an effort! It seems bizarre to think this now, but the 12th Man, Billy Birmingham, made a string of No.

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Like many, I spent my childhood reciting them. One of the commentary greats: Richie Benaud. Even the dodgy memorabilia had its hokey charm. Call now to get your hands on one of 10, signed copies of Steven Smith's groin protector.

A real limited edition to hang in the pool room.

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Now it's time for classic catches. But like a loveless marriage or a cheap landlord who won't fix a broken hot water service, we should acknowledge that the spark was lost some time ago.

Viewers like me have long fumed that the action on the field had become secondary to everything else on the Nine broadcast. The commentators had sunk into self-indulgence, yukking it up about past achievements rather than analysing the game.

When something worth discussing happened in the middle, Slats, Tubs and co reached for cliche rather than thoughtful examination.

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Presumably because of anxiety about filling dead air, topics of conversation would veer into wildly uninteresting places. The nadir, so deep it can be found somewhere near the earth's molten core, was Shane Warne spending five minutes discussing pizza toppings.

They jettisoned the guest commentator, a long-time convention that introduced viewers to the likes of West Indies great Michael Holding and dampened the temptation for home-town bias.

Channel Nine's commentary team.

Female callers weren't hired, despite most other broadcasters having brought in at least one. Meanwhile, the much-loved Benaud and Greig had passed away, and Lawry had gone part-time.

A promo shot of the team released before the Ashes only fuelled the criticism that the team were "pale, male and stale".

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