Well, it has been a while when watching white-ball International Cricket on Free TV, but Australia’s 2022 T20 World Cup campaign defense kicks off tonight at the Sydney Cricket Ground v New Zealand aka Black Caps.
And the Nine Network is onboard once again alongside Fox Cricket as the ICC’s Australian Free TV partner to bring you all the action with Australian games, a couple of other Super 12 games, two semi finals and the final to round off such a great next few weeks ahead of T20 World Cup on show.
I’m glad that Roz Kelly is onboard as the host who knows cricket so well, thanks to her husband who was also really good back in the his day with his fast bowling for South Africa in Morne Morkel. She also hosted Network 10’s Big Bash League coverage in the past before the rights were taken away by the Seven Network in 2018. But again, great to see Roz get the opportunity to present cricket on Nine after she came back here at the start of last year to host Rugby Union, Tennis, reading the sports news for Nine News Sydney (Fridays & Saturdays) and Sports Sunday.
It’s also good to see former Opening Batsman Mark “Tubby” Taylor provide his insights on the game once again as Nine’s primary cricket expert, even though they no longer hold the home summer matches anymore. But he’s still well liked here for over two decades since his retirement from the game, especially when he pops up on Sports Sunday for most of the year with Roz.
Although there isn’t any ex-Nine cricket faces currently hired on Seven and Fox Cricket these days following the tragic death of Shane Warne (Fox Cricket) earlier this year – as well as Michael Slater (Seven) whose life gone has upside down not long after Seven dismissed him over the past year due to budget constraints – but Nine will have two new analysts for this tournament in former spinner Steve O’Keefe and former batsman Callum Ferguson.
And oh, Michael Clarke may not have been picked up by Seven or Fox at all since Nine no longer airs the summer of cricket four years ago, but he will be on the world feed commentary nonetheless alongside Fox Cricket regulars in Mark Howard, Mel Jones and Adam Gilchrist.
It will be interesting to see what the cricketing community here will say about this commentary team in the next few weeks. I’m sure they will enjoy having a female presenting the coverage in Roz including Tubby and two fresh faces, before Nine will be back on the crease next year with The Ashes in England (Mid June-August) & the next Men’s 50-Over World Cup in India (October-November).
Then we’ll wait and see if Nine will get some help from Network 10 once the current domestic deal expires in 2024, so Nine can hopefully get Test Cricket back & 10 picks up the rest with the Big Bash & white-ball International Cricket – while keeping the Australian Open Tennis which has been working for them so well since they shocked Seven and the Australian sporting community in 2018/2019.
For now, enjoy the next few weeks of T20 World Cup Cricket. Plus, shout out to Ian Chappell who recently announced his retirement from commentary at age 78, after a illustrious spell for over a few decades following the end of his playing career with Nine and other International TV/Radio outlets.