What’s the story?
The International Cricket Council have announced the list of commentators for the 2017 Champions Trophy, set to be held in England in June. 15 men will take to the microphones during the 17-day competition, spread across three venues in the United Kingdom that will see the eight best teams fight it out for the coveted trophy.
The list includes as many as four debutants with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith and Kumar Sangakkara, who are set to feature for the first time as commentators in this competition. Both Ponting and Smith have prior commentary experience in bilateral series.
Others in the panel include the likes of Sanjay Manjrekar, Sourav Ganguly, Ian Bishop, Shaun Pollock, Shane Warne, Ramiz Raja, Athar Ali Khan, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and Simon Doull.
In case you didn’t know...
After a four-year gap, the Champions Trophy will return this June in England with India set to defend the crown they won in 2013 under the leadership of MS Dhoni. This time, the responsibility of regaining the crown will be on Virat Kohli, who will need to stand up both as a batsman as well as a leader and hopefully, help the Men In Blue regain the title.
The heart of the matter
The last edition of the competition had the likes of Ganguly on the microphone and he will make a return to the box in this event after a while since he has been involved in administration with the Cricket Association of Bengal back home.
This will be the first time that fans will be getting to hear both Kumar Sangakkara and Brendon McCullum at an international event post their retirements in August 2015 and February 2016. Ponting was part of the Sky Sports team for the 2015 Ashes while Smith has been heard speaking for South Africa’s broadcasters Supersport in the past.
Fans around the world would be keen to see how some of the debutants fare in the competition. If the likes of Ponting, Sangakkara and the rest can be good with the mic as they were with the bat, then one can expect them to feature in other series outside the international events as well.
While some of the new additions arouse excitement among the fans, the absence of the likes of Mark Nicholas, Harsha Bhogle, David Lloyd, Tom Moody etc serves as a dampener for the fans. For the Indians in particular, Bhogle not featuring will come as a big disappointment since if you remember, he was the one who called the winning moment in the 2013 edition of the competition.