Hyderabad: The decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to sign a two-year radio rights arrangement with All India Radio (AIR) comes as a whiff of fresh air. The new agreement will enhance the coverage of Indian cricket and take it to the nook and corner of the country.
The audio commentary will commence from the first game of India’s upcoming three-match T20I series against South Africa in Dharamsala on Sunday.
The BCCI has asked AIR to provide coverage for the matches of Ranji, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Women’s Challenger Series, Syed Mushtaq Trophy Super League, Irani Cup (men) tournament.
Ever since the television made massive inroads with the in-depth and exhaustive coverage of the various discipline, radio commentary took a backward step. Much before the advent of the television, radio commentary was a joy to all the listeners. Radio commentators like Vijay Merchant, Bobby” Talyarkhan, Anant Setalvad, Melville de Mellow, Chakrapani, Suresh Saraiya, Narotham Puri, Jasdev Singh, Sushil Doshi were synonymous with the game in the country. Even Harsha Bhogle started his debut with audio commentary in Radio Australia.
The on-going Ashes Test series has seen BBC giving live commentary. The likes of Jonathan Agnew, Glenn McGrath or Geoff Boycott have made the series exciting with their commentary that was enjoyable. Perhaps the success of BBC prompted BCCI to revive radio commentary through AIR.
Former Hyderabad Ranji opener Vijay Mohan Raj radio commentary was always a fun. “In our childhood days, we always got stuck to the radio from the first delivery. We enjoyed the commentary of Talyarkhan, Anant Setalvad, Melville de Mellow, Chakrapani, Suresh Saraiya and others. They were legends in their field. It is a good feeling that BCCI is reviving the radio commentary in big way. It is a far reach than the television. That is for sure.’’