On Sunday, we sat down in front of the telly with a plate of hash browns and a large cup of coffee, in the expectation of Pune finally winning a match.
(Confession time: this was the first ever IPL match that I watched in its entirety, due to various other commitments over the previous five years – actual proper work, cleaning the bathroom, watching Flog It!, listening to county cricket, vague principles and burning my fingernails off.)
The quality of the cricket, the ongoing struggles of the Pune Warriors and the other vagaries of the IPL were all noted, but there was one overriding conclusion above all others – and this probably is not revelatory news to many readers – that Danny Morrison is the worst fucking commentator in the history of everything.
It is stating the obvious to say that the IPL is full of hyperbole. But Danny Morrison makes Ravi Shastri sound like Whispering Bob Harris. He signals every run with his voice rising in pitch and in volume. God help the audience when the ball goes anywhere near the boundary (not something that happened very often in Pune’s innings) – the merest hint of four runs is to Danny what a Premier League winning goal is to Martin Tyler.
He utilises the same unusual rhythm when speaking as Nick Knight, placing emphasis on words that ought not to be stressed. Though in Morrison’s case, nearly every word is exaggerated or twisted with a gutteral howl. High rising terminals are commonplace in the Antipodes, but Morrison finds a way to scream the end of every sentence as if his kidneys have been attached to a car battery. His relentless stream of puke means that he never offers any insight into what is happening, never makes any effort to explain tactics or to analyse technique and always manages to make the actual magnificent seem somewhat banal. When a simple catch or a fairly standard boundary is greeted with hollering and adulation, praise for truly brilliant fielding just sounds trivial and flippant. It is entirely unbecoming and serves the game horribly.
In our irregular articles discussing the commentators, we usually look back at their playing careers (if they had one). But whilst we could talk about his fairly successful international career as a bowler, his number of ducks and his match-saving innings in his final Test, we can’t bring ourselves to. The man grabs the very worst characteristics of the IPL, mixes them up with horse shit, injects them into a host body, waits for them to breed, takes the mutant offspring and adds some more bull crap before swallowing this poisonous mixture and shitting it out as commentary.
It is a struggle to enjoy the IPL at the best of times; when this extravagant bollockbrain starts commentating, there is only one option and that involves sharpened knitting needles and both eardrums.