Posted by: hellonhairylegs | October 12, 2008

Racism in the ABC Cricket Commentating?

Cricket is starting up again, which means I get to hear snatches of conversation consisting of sport jargon and excited almost-shouting from former cricket players who now commentate for the ABC. I’ve heard very little of the commentating but in that time I’ve heard the commentators call Indian cricket players “exotic” repeatedly. They also referred to Andrew Symonds (The only POC recently on the Aussie cricket team that I’m aware of) obliquely as an “it.”

Although I rejoiced when we beat England in the Ashes (5-0! HAH!) I get lost between references to “deep mid-wicket” and “gully point” Has anyone else noticed racism in the commentating?

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Responses

  1. I must admit I’ve missed the Indian series so far (and the scores from day 3 tell me I won’t be listening this test, damnit), but in the past I kind of see what you’re getting at. There are occasional ‘exotic’ references (but far less than on, say, Getaway), and the occasional clunky moment between commentators and cultures, but overall, I think there’s a lot of respect there.

    I think this was demonstrated last season by the commentary between Kerry O’Keefe (former leg spinner and security guard, very ocker, bizarre laugh) and the truly magnificent Harsha Bhogle. O’Keefe can be somewhat grating and guilty of the exotic thing at times, but his genuine enthusiasm and respect for Harsha was evident. O’Keefe frequently rubbished Harsha for some things (such as not knowing who Barry White was), but was always deferential to Harsha’s opinion on Indian cricket (by explicitly acknowledging his greater knowledge), and frequently sought out Harsha’s opinions to further his own. I think this shows a genuine personal and professional respect. Indeed Kerry presented Harsha with a Barry White box set on their final appearance to cap off a running joke.


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