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Scott Oliver
909   //    20 Jul 2011, 17:37 IST

Whoever it is that enters the comm-box, they should bear in mind Haigh’s sage analysis, with which I now leave you:
The television commentator has always been sensitively placed. His network has paid good money to broadcast, and thus has an interest in the game being perceived as representing high-quality excitement – even when it is not. Richie Benaud didn’t become His Richieness by saying: “This is a boring game between two mediocre teams and represents an ideal opportunity for you to go mow the lawn.”

With Twenty20, however, there is the added imperative of promoting a format in which exorbitant sums and giddying hopes have been invested. The consumer has not just to be sold the game he is watching, but the Twenty20 concept in general; persuaded that he is witness not just to a contest of teams, but a contest of genres, with Modi responsible for the most exciting breakthrough since penicillin. It forces the commentator even further from the ideal perspective of disinterested critic, bringing to bear a weight of experience and a talent for observation; it reduces him to sideshow huckster, flogging the game like a patent medicine from the back of his covered wagon. Nor am I sure it ultimately does the sponsors much good either.

There are two sides to brand recognition: one where the sponsor’s name conjures up warm and positive associations; another where it stirs irritation and objection, as a result, perhaps, of incessant, cloying, annoying repetition. So, yes, we now know which sponsors to find, and also, if so moved, those to avoid.

And that, Dear Reader, is today’s Pearl & Dean Pearl of Wisdom.
Scott Oliver
Occasionally inspired leg-side favouring batsman with mediocre concentration; hyper-theorizing captain; reluctant fielder; under-used, low-trajectory, one-trick dobber.
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