The voices and eyes of the cricket world are as different as the people who tune in to them. Former England fast bowler Frank Tyson brings the scholarly, cultured approach that grates on some but satisfies those who were brought up on the ABC approach.
Ex-Australian captain Bill Lawry appeals to the genuine lover of the game a man who sees little evil and much good. Keith Stackpole, former Test opener, now captain and coach of District club Carlton, brings the modern approach. The titan who played his best cricket under Ian Chappellunderstands the hesitant about describing it with modern words.
“He’s Given it the charge”.
And if you care to switch the dial from channel 9 to ABC radio there are the modulated tones of Graham Dawson, 33 the man whispered among the AIR corridors their apparent heir to Alan McGilvrary. Cricket commentating is an art, despite its acceptance as it is part of everyday life by the Australian cricket lover. Strangely, for lie new breed of TV men, it is a part-time art.
Frank Tyson for example does it mainly during his holidays. Keith Stackpole finds it fits in well with his job with cigarette firm Rothman’s and Lawry has no hassles with his daytime demands as State sales, manager for washing machine firm Simpsons. Dawson indulges himself as part of his career a desire in childhood to tell the world about the game he loves. For a living.
There is no doubting played that it is a labour of love for all of them. Frank Tyson, the fearsome typhoon of the 1954-55 series Lawry the Barnacle or Captain Stayput, and Keith Stackpole the adventurous opener were all highly successful players at the top. Since their demise, they have given back to the sport something of the glory they took out.
Bill Lawry now 42 went straight into the commentating business after he was unfeelingly ousted from the Australian captaincy and team in February 1971. I covered the seventh Test of that series for 3DB. I was involved with every ball as I had been through the series. I’m one of those unfortunates who is always involved with every game. Whether I am playing or commentating. Since his beginning on radio, Bill Lawry has gone through three TV channels, 0, 7 and 9.
It’s a cold cruel industry because you are thrown in at the deep end. But I found that my experience as a captain in making speeches helped me. I wasn’t worried too much about talking. Bill Lawry played 67 Tests for Australia between 1961 and 1971. He scored 5,234 runs in 123 innings at an average of 47.15 scoring 13 test centuries.
Moreover, Keith Stackpole played 43 Tests for Australia between 1965 and 1973, scoring 2,807 runs in 80 innings at an average of 37.42 with the help of seven Test centuries.