Network Ten has announced the signing of West Indies cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards to its KFC T20 Big Bash League commentary team. This follows the announcement earlier in the week that current Fox Sports commentators Damien Fleming and Mark Waugh have signed with Ten for the Big Bash.
Sir Viv Richards was one of the world’s most revered cricketers. He dominated the best bowling attacks in the world and finished his career with a test batting average of 50.23 from 121 test matches. He was recently in Australia for last season’s Big Bash as a mentor with the Melbourne Stars franchise.
Ten’s commentary team will now feature Sir Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Fleming and Mark Waugh. It would not be surprising if Ten announce more names and also include some of its existing network talent in its coverage, such as Mark Howard or Greg Rust.
Away from the Big Bash, there is still no word from Cricket Australia on the TV rights for the Ryobi Cup and Sheffield Shield (previously held by Fox). If Fox doesn’t pick up the rights, it looks like the premier domestic one-day and first class cricket tournaments will be without TV coverage.
Ten (if it buys the rights) could look at covering some Ryobi Cup matches and the Sheffield Shield final on its digital-only channel ONE, to complement its premier Big Bash coverage on its main channel. Alternatively, Cricket Australia, with its cash bonanza from the recent sale of its Australian media rights could look to build on its CATV brand and provide live coverage of matches either using an advertiser funded or subscription model, similar to V8 Supercars, which provides fans live coverage of race weekends via their in-house V8 SuperView subscription service.
Who else would you like to see join Ten’s cricket commentary team?