Top 10 Cricket Commentary Cliches

Alex Telfer@@troyspeerFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2013

Top 10 Cricket Commentary Cliches

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    When people ask me how I managed to compile this list, I will simply tell them that I just try to take each slide as it comes, that I couldn't have done it without my editor and that I always give 110 percent in every single article.

    But seriously, as you've probably guessed, today we're going to take a leisurely stroll along cliche avenue.

    As per most sports, cricket has its own language and lingo, which includes the neverending stream of familiar phrases gushing forth from the mouths of its television and radio commentators.

    While cliches are not particular harmful, it is impossible not to roll your eyes every now and then as a highly-paid pundit reduces a moment of sporting magic to a bland adage.

    Here, loosely in an order of most annoying, are 10 of the best.


"Straight Down the Fielder's Throat"

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    An odd expression used when any fielder gets under a catch.

"That's a Great Lesson for Any Youngsters Watching"

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    Often true. But perhaps a better one would be to get back to school or even, get off the sofa and go and do something outside instead of watching cricket all day.

"He's a Better Player Than His Statistics Suggest"

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    Normally trotted out to explain a stuttering start to a career or a run of poor form.

    A polite way of saying he's not quite good enough for this level.

    Often used by a commentator who was, until recently, still playing and remains close to the players...or more accurately, could run into one of them in the bar afterwards.

"He's Bowling a Good Line and Length"

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    Congratulations on achieving the absolute basic premise for any bowler.

"That's a Proper Cricket Shot"

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    Used to describe a well-executed drive or a pull shot or square cut or one of the many other cricket strokes.

    Often used in Twenty20 matches by a more traditionally-minded commentator who is sick of seeing slogs to cow corner.

"Right Up in the Blockhole"

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    What does this even mean? To my memory, the term "blockhole" isn't used on any other occasion in cricket.

"Wristy Subcontinent Batsman"

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    This old chestnut is wheeled out whenever India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are batting against one of the non-Asian teams and a player happens to flick one off his legs.

    From the description, you expect the batsman in question to have super-power wrists like Inspector Gadget rather than simply being an adept on-side player.


"When He Hits It, It Stays Hit"

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    A basic law of physics dumbed down to a bite-sized nugget used for describing a powerful player.

"Cricket Is the Winner"

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    A grandiose, all-conquering concept basically used to soften the blow of an agonising loss for one of the sides.

    How does an entire sport win?

"The Key Will Be Early Wickets"

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    And finally, to bring us home in familiar comfortable surroundings, this surgeon-like incisive piece of commentary gets unleashed at the start of almost every innings in almost every game.

    When are early wickets not important?

    The football equivalent is, of course, the crazy deduction that an early goal could be the key to deciding this game.