10 Greatest Cricket Commentators of All Time | 2023


Sports of all sorts are almost always accompanied by commentary and explanation. Every sport has its own legendary voices that are so intricately connected to the game. Cricket, like every other, has its own pantheon of persons who will forever be remembered as the voices behind the game. So here’s looking back at the greatest cricket commentators of all time.


1. Mark Nicholas

It’s rather rare that find a face to associate with the cricket of an entire nation. Mark Nicholas, and a majority of members on this list, in fact, hold such a unique position. The former English player captained Hampshire during his time with the county team. He began his time as a commentator in 1995 freelancing for Sky before signing a formal contract with Sky Sports. He’s worked with every major cricket coverage network in the country and abroad, making it impossible to separate his voice from some absolutely iconic moments in English cricket. Nicholas ‘contribution to cricket commentary continues to this day, as his last stint as a commentator was for the 2021-22 India v. South Africa games broadcast in South Africa. Fans and admirers hope he continues his fantastic work giving the sport such a distinct voice.

2. Richie Benaud

An Australian great both on and off the field, Richie Benaud was an excellent presence on the pitch and then the constant companion to millions of viewers as one of the most beloved commentators in cricket. Following the tour of English in 1956, Benaud took a presenter training course from the BBC, clearly intending commentary to be his steps forward once he retired from playing the game. Following his retirement in 1964 he divided his time between England and Australia, where he worked with the BBC followed by Channel 9 and Australia where he rendered his services to Nine Network. He was an unbiased and highly moral judge of the game, openly critiquing the Chappell brothers in 1981 after the underarm bowling incident. He was also in the commentary box when Shane Warne bowled his Ball of the Century and Denis Lilee overtake of his own record of wickets taken. The end of his broadcasting career in Britain came to an end after the 2005 Ashes series because the transfer of broadcasting rights from Channel 4 to British Sky Broadcasting went against his idea of cricket viewing. He believed that cricket should be available as a free-to-watch TV entity, unlike Sky Broadcasting’s subscription-based system. Benaud’s voice was, for years, the most recognisable to ardent fans and his memory lives on with them all.

3. Ian Smith

A recognisable, amicable voice in modern cricket, Smith started out as the wicketkeeper for New Zealand in 1980. His most iconic expression at the World Cup finals between England and New Zealand, “by the barest of margins, the barest of all margins”, has been etched in collective memory. Smith continues to broadcast for both cricket and rugby, as he has for over two decades. His appearances on Sky Network and Test Match Special in the UK for New Zealand’s tours to the Isles is much loved by fans there. His career has spanned from radio to television and so have his fans.

4. Ian Bishop

A real versatile talent he is. Ian Bishop’s unabashed, candid, and insightful commentary has been much loved by viewers worldwide. Notably, he commentated for Cricket on Five for the highlights of the 2007 England Tests and the One Day International series between the West Indies and India. His most memorable call of, “Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite! Remember the name!”, at the 2016 T20 World Cup finals has now made a place for itself as one of the most iconic final ball calls in a World Cup game. His cricket commentary, however, was not the only thing that occupied his time all these years. He also completed his MBA between his stints in broadcasting. He remains one of the most animated commentators in cricket currently.

5. Geoffrey Boycott

There’s no one who’s heard commentary by him who would say he doesn’t belong on a list of the greatest cricket commentators of all time. The sharp wit and sarcasm that came with the Englishman are rather expected and fairly surprising all at once. He was brutally honest in his calling of each delivery and seldom held back on his critique of players who missed simple opportunities on the field. To a bowling fail, he would often say that his mother or grandmother “could have caught that in her pinny”. To batsmen who would miss an easy shot, he’d condescend that a ball like that could have “hit the ball with a stick of rhubarb.” His career as a commentator was briefly halted due to his diagnosis of throat cancer. However, he resumed his beloved sport after successful treatment and joined both Channel 4 and Ten Sports as a regular commentator. His career in broadcasting is fraught with controversies, often of his own making, but he is adored by fans of the game as one of the most honest cricket commentators in international cricket.

6. Harsha Bhogle


There isn’t a single cricket fan, especially in India, who doesn’t associate broadcasting with this man’s calm yet exuberant voice. Harsha Bhogle, an A Div cricketer from Hyderabad, started his commentary career at the young age of 19 with All India Radio. He was the first commentator from India to be invited to render his services in Australia by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He thus began to work with ABC Radio as well as the BBC and did so throughout the ’90s. He’s been a regular voice for ESPN STAR since 1995 and has thus been recognisable globally since then. Bhogle has been associated with IPL commentary since its maiden season in 2008 and become a sort of constant fixture in the series every year. International cricket would truly be deficient if not for his uncanny calmness and skill to balance expert commentators and call each ball the way it is visible. He adds to the viewing experience of a game just as much if not more, than the players themselves do, and there’s no way he wouldn’t make it to the list of the greatest cricket commentators of all time.

7. Michael Holding

The legendary West Indian bowler feared by all transitioned into commentary quite coincidentally. Despite not being his first choice, he began to comment on cricket on the radio at the behest of a friend at Radio Jamaica. 1990 brought a move from radio to TV and he began working around the Caribbean once cricket was broadcast on TV there. Holding was taken on the team of commentators alongside Tony Cozier and became a regular on the Sky Network as well as the SuperSport commentary team of South Africa. He has been a vocal advocate against institutional racism and used his platform to make several poignant statements on the same. In a July 2020 England v. West Indies game that was delayed by the rain, Holding was asked about his thoughts on both teams taking a knee at the beginning in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and he was very candid about his own experience and that of other notable sportspersons of colour and institutional racism. He is always an insightful, honest and enjoyable presence in the commentary box.

8. Nasser Hussain

An illustrious career both on and off the field marks this brilliant English cricketer. Nasser Hussain was inducted into the commentary team for Sky Network mere hours after he announced his retirement. His commentary crew included former England captains Bob Willis, David Gower and Ian Botham and his former England coach David Lloyd – one of the most experienced teams in English commentary ever to have existed. Hussain was quick-witted and sharp in his insights into the game, which is why he was and still is so beloved by fans of his play as well as his broadcasting.

9. Tony Greig

This one’s more for older fans than younger ones. The South African born English cricketer was a constant fixture on the Nine Network due to his close relationship with Kerry Packer. His stint continued to expand to Channel 4, SABC, and Sky Sports over the decades due to his immense popularity at home and abroad. His love for the game and its elements can be summarised by something he himself said in his Cricinfo podcast – “Give your hand to cricket and it will take you on the most fantastic journey, a lifetime journey both on and off the field.” His pitch reports were widely regarded as some of the most informed pieces of commentary in cricket at the time. Greig’s uninhibited enthusiasm for the game was truly contagious and you could hear his joy of being part of the game even after he had stopped playing in all his broadcasting endeavours.

10. John Arlott

John Arlott was one of the most influential cricket commentators of all time. He began his broadcasting career in the 1940s and quickly gained a reputation for his insightful and poetic descriptions of the game. Arlott was known for his distinctive voice, which was both warm and authoritative, and his ability to capture the drama and tension of a match. Over the course of his career, Arlott covered some of the most memorable moments in cricket history, including the 1956 Ashes series, the 1966/67 England tour of Australia, and the famous 1975 World Cup final between Australia and the West Indies. He retired from broadcasting in 1980, but his influence on the world of cricket is still felt today.

From the legendary Richie Benaud and the eloquent John Arlott to the insightful Harsha Bhogle and the engaging Mark Nicholas, these commentators have played a significant role in shaping the way we watch and appreciate cricket. Their contributions to the game have been invaluable, and their legacy will continue to inspire future generations of cricket enthusiasts and broadcasters.

Their voices will forever be associated with some of the most memorable moments in cricket history, and their contribution to the game will never be forgotten. It is safe to say that the greatest cricket commentators of all time have played a significant role in making cricket the beloved sport it is today.

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