FOX SPORTS ADD A FEMALE TOUCH
TV commentary revolution takes shape
FOX Sports has signed noted straight-shooter Mark Waugh to partner Adam Gilchrist behind the microphones and recreate their Big Bash magic.
After Channel 7 nabbed Ricky Ponting to front its freeto-air coverage, Fox has hit back hard and confirmed Waugh, Mike Hussey, Melanie Jones, Michael Vaughan and Isa Guha have all joined up to lead its cricket revolution.
That’s over 550 Tests, 1200 ODIs and 75 T20s between the team so far. And there’s more.
It’s understood Fox is targeting fellow ex-Channel Ten BBL commentary stars Damien Fleming and Andrew Symonds to add to the engaging on-air chemistry and camaraderie already shared between Big Bash favourites Gilchrist, Waugh and Jones.
The pair opened the batting in one-day cricket for Australia and their insightful and hardhitting combination will form the backbone of Fox Cricket.
While Channel 9’s former commentary team remains virtually untouched by hungry new broadcasters, Fox and Seven are feasting on the talent from Ten’s award-winning BBL coverage.
Amid a raft of new signings, there could be another interesting commentary twist, with cult hero Kerry O’Keeffe in Fox’s sights.
O’Keeffe is considered one of the most popular commentators in Australia through his rare brand of humour and insightful research, and he could be targeted to host his own show on Fox’s dedicated Fox Cricket channel.
Waugh has been at the coalface of Australian cricket in his role as a national selector and will head to Zimbabwe in July to join Justin Langer’s team for a Twenty20 tri-series.
The pull-no-punches commentator is excited about ramping up his combination with Gilchrist.
“I’m looking forward to working with Gilly, we get on well. He’s a knowledgeable guy and he’s easy to work with,” said Waugh.
“Fox have got a great crew together. AB (Allan Border) and BJ (Brendon Julian) are guys I’ve worked with a lot and it’s going to be exciting to see how it all pans out.
“They’ve got a dedicated channel obviously which is a first in Australia for cricket.”
Hussey’s signing marks a return by “Mr Cricket” to television commentary after being dumped by Channel 9.
Jones was also a star of Ten’s Big Bash coverage and has a natural on-screen flair. The former Australian women’s cricketer, along with former England women’s international Guha, will bring expertise to Fox Cricket’s coverage of the women’s BBL.
And former England captain Michael Vaughan will be the centrepiece.
“My affiliation with Australian cricket goes back many years and I can’t wait to get started later this year,” he said.
Mark Waugh at the Scone races yesterday.