Top 10 greatest cricket commentators of all time

Commentary enhances the watching experience of the viewers.

Harsha Bhogle
Harsha Bhogle. (Image Credits: Instagram)

Commenting on almost any sport is a craft. It takes a considerable degree of experience, knowledge and skill to be able to spout off like a pro. The very best cricket commentators of all time have normally played to a high level and followed the game closely for years to gain expertise over time.

Their inputs enhance sports, particularly for us, as viewers. The words said by them on-air alongside the live-action etch in our memories for a lifetime. In this post, we will remember the people who make cricket viewing better for us. On that note, let’s take a look at the top 10 cricket commentators of all time.

10. Ian Bishop

A commentator with an ardent love for the sport and great enthusiasm, Ian Bishop is famous for his work worldwide. His commentary stints all over the globe, including in the ICC events and Caribbean Premier League have led to him developing a widespread fan base. Ian Bishop is also well known for his voice in the Indian Premier League, having worked with the mega league for close to a decade now.

Famous Quotes: “Carlos Brathwaite. Remember the name.” On West Indies’ dramatic victory over England in the final of the T20 World Cup 2016.

9. Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell is one of the most experienced pundits on our list as he has been commentating and working in cricket media for over three decades now. The former cricketer has a vast amount of experience and knowledge.

Chappell has always been straightforward in his judgments when it comes to applying his judgment as a way. For example, he does not use the win-loss ratio to judge a captain but instead focuses on judging captains on how they can make their players perform beyond their skills.


8. Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar’s proficiency in technique, a facet he was famed for during his playing days, is nonetheless evident in the way he currently handles a microphone. Listening to the in-depth information that he can deliver in his reports is inspiring to followers of cricket who tune in.

But he’s more than just a cricket commentator when he’s in the box. His one-liners and his humour are as elegant as his straight drives; they’re no less splendid. Unlike some commentators, he does not mind calling a spade a spade, even if it stirs controversy.

Famous Quotes:

“When I die, the last thing I want to see is the six that Dhoni hit in the 2011 World Cup Final.”

“Srikkanth is a vegetarian. If he swallows a fly, he will be in trouble.”

“Pakistan without Ajmal is like a car without its engine.”

7. Tony Cozier

Nicknamed the voice of West Indies cricket, Tony Cozier, starting in 1965, commentated in a cricket box for almost five decades. Born in Bridgetown, Barbados, he was an English club cricketer, but he had a keen eye for the game with knowledge less than none.

Tony Cozier was pretty vocal about the fall of cricket in the West Indies. He was featured on BBC’s Test Match Special (TMS), World Series Cricket, and many other popular cricket shows.

Famous Quotes:

“The left index finger was raised slowly, but more hesitantly than usual, in answer to the familiar war dance the Australians describe as an appeal..” On the controversial dismissal of Brian Lara in the second Test at Hobart, 2005.

“The Queen’s Park Oval, exactly as its name suggests—absolutely round.”

6. Harsha Bhogle

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator like no other. He didn’t have a cricket background. In fact, he is a Chemical Engineer and a PGDM degree holder from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. However, his love for the game made him follow his heart.

Harsha Bhogle is one of only a few non-cricketers to make it big in the commentary box and have a massive fan following. Harsha Bhogle is sharp with his words and explains the game as nobody else does. Harsha Bhogle’s fame as a commentator can be gauged from the fact that years ago, a reality show was created called Harsha ki Khoj (The Hunt for Harsha) to find the next Harsha Bhogle.

Famous Quotes:

“This innings by Tendulkar has been a beautiful garden, the last shot being the most beautiful flower.” – On Sachin Tendulkar’s straight drive off Brett Lee.

“If decibel level was a factor in winning a match, India won’t lose a single one ever.”

“Eruption of joy at the fall of an Indian wicket can mean only one thing” – When Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat.

“Ask him to walk on water, and he’ll ask, How many kilometres?” – on Rahul Dravid’s team spirit.

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5. Geoffrey Boycott

Geoffrey Boycott, the former English skipper, became well-known for his clever vocabulary and vocal style. He carved a niche for himself in the commentary box with his typical Yorkshire accent and wit.

He’s been one commentator who has never shied away from giving a stick to the players. Much like in his playing days, the veteran has also been the centre of controversies with his commentary. Nevertheless, with the knowledge he possesses, he presents insightful comments and also adds a bit of spice to the commentary for the viewers.

Famous Quotes:

“I reckon my mum could have caught that in her pinny.” – On a dropped catch.

“Get a single down the other end .and watch someone else play him” – On how to handle Glenn McGrath.

“He is the Prince of Calcoota.” – The name he gave to Sourav Ganguly.

4. Bill Lawry

Bill Lawry, along with Richie Benaud and Tony Grieg, formed a must-watch commentary group on Channel Nine. Same as Benaud, after a successful career as a cricketer, Lawry received an invitation for the World Series Cricket in 1977-78 from Kerry Packer.

The former Australian captain commentated for over four decades and lent his voice to many unforgettable moments of Aussie cricket.

Famous Quotes:

“Very Good Morning to all our viewers wherever you are.”

“It’s all happening here at the MCG.”

3. Tony Grieg

The South African-born former English skipper, Tony Greig was one of the most enthusiastic commentators who captured his audience’s interest, due to his vocal modulations. Who could forget his unique pitch reports, where he used to analyse the pitch using a pen or the car keys?

His commentary for Channel during the Australian summer used to be legendary but he surpassed himself during Sachin Tendulkar’s batting in Sharjah. Many would remember the term “Desert Storm” and Tony Grieg’s commentary alongside Sachin’s batting.

Famous Quotes:

“They are dancing in the aisles in Sharjah.” – On Indian fans celebrating in Sharjah during Sachin Tendulkar’s explosive century against Australia in 1998.

“The little man has hit the big fella for six! He’s half his size.” – On Sachin Tendulkar’s straight six to Tom Moody in Sharjah in 1998.

“India have won in dramatic style! The whole of Bengal are on their feet!” – On India’s historic win over Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001.

2. Richie Benaud

Known as the voice of cricket, Richie Benaud was synonymous with Channel Nine’s cricket coverage of the Australian cricket summer. The Australian Tourism Commission once used his signature comment, ‘Marvellous’ in a series of television advertisements.

While commentating, Richie Benaud used to take long pauses. He once told Sunil Gavaskar, “Let the viewers sink at that moment. Let them applaud the batsman in their way,” after the batter completed his century.

Famous Quotes:

“Two for Two hundred and twenty two” – He had a signature style of telling the score at a score of 222/2.

“Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to it. He still doesn’t know.” – On Shane Warne’s unforgettable ball of the century to Mike Gatting.

1. John Arlott

Born in Hampshire, John Arlott began his cricket commentary career in 1946. He retired in 1980 but before that he was a regular face in the commentary box for England’s home season. John Arlott made a name for himself for the Test Match Special (TMS) on BBC. Meanwhile, Wisden described him as a commentator who is a poet at heart.

Famous Quotes:

“He played a cut so late as to be positively posthumous.”

“The umpire signals a bye with the air of a weary stalk.”

“Like an old lady poking her umbrella at a wasp’s nest.”

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