Sony announces commentary panel for England vs India
The build-up for the much anticipated Indian tour of England continues to grow as Sony Ten announced the members of the broadcasting panel, an impressive list that includes a host of former international stars and other people with extensive expertise in covering cricket.
The broadcast will mark the return of the show Extraaa Innings featuring expert insights from an impressive line-up of cricketing personalities like Sourav Ganguly, Ashish Nehra, Sanjay Manjrekar, Graeme Swann, Sunil Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle, Gaurav Kapur, Deep Dasgupta, Vivek Razdan and Alan Wilkins.
It is a diverse bunch of observers if looked at, and all the personnel have their own unique style of diction and outlook on the sport. For the old-school dexterity of Gavaskar marked by stoic references to textbook cricket, to the more light-hearted quips of Gaurav Kapur and Ashish Nehra, the former being the only member of the team alongside Harsha Bhogle to not have been a professional cricketer.
Thus the coverage promises to be quite an interesting prospect. Star Sports, who covered cricket in England for a long time, had established their brand of analysis over the viewers with interesting takes as "hot-zones" and "session-victories".
Sony's approach to things remains a matter of curiosity, so far their broadcast of overseas cricket has been a relay of Channel 9 in Australia and Sky Sports in England, this will be their first attempt at an organic presentation of the cricket, and we will get to see whether they play along to the templates initially formulated by Star or go back to their rather quirky takes on the sport as was highlighted in their coverage of the ICC World Cup 2007.
Last year, Sony acquired the rights by usurping Star Network's bid to telecast and cover matches in Australia and England. Their cause was helped by Star's massive bid to take possession of the rights to air all the Indian Premier League matches, ending the BCCI's association with the IPL for ten long seasons.