Manish Bhasin and Rishi Persad

When the BBC made the announcement about its presenters for its new cricket highlights programme before the Ashes, we were understandably preoccupied by the return of Richie Benaud.

Now that the BBC are well into their World Cup coverage, we feel that we've had long enough to evaluate the two brash young bucks entrusted with covering the world's greatest sport on the world's greatest TV station (no adverts - top that).

So here's our evaluation:

Manish Bhasin - crap.
Rishi Persad - all right.

In order to be a little more transparent, we'll attempt to justify that. Manish Bhasin has spent the whole of winter sounding like he's reading stuff. He probably is, but we don't like being reminded of that. When he's on camera, he wafts at the air to punctuate his sentences. When he's off-camera (but still talking), all we can do is imagine him tracing the words with his finger.

His questioning's offered nothing either. Not to us anyway and not to Geoffrey Boycott who was clearly irritated at times during the Ashes. Perhaps it's meant to be 'inclusive' - ie, appealing to new cricket fans - but his questions seem designed with ONLY new fans in mind. The overall impression we get is of a presenter ticking all the right boxes on a BBC progress report.

Rishi Persad's a geek. We like geeks. We're a geek. He seems genuinely enthusiastic about cricket and while Bhasin's occasional stabs at humour have felt hackneyed and formulaic, Persad's have seemed more genuine and warm.

Perhaps it's their respective roles that are giving us this impression. Maybe Persad gets more free rein. Manish Bhasin used to present Football Focus and we see his segments as being cricketised versions of that show. It's a different sport with a different audience. That style just doesn't fit.

We're not actually feeling all that happy about bad-mouthing Manish Bhasin to be honest. We just get annoyed when cricket coverage isn't as good as it should be.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

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Blogger scott c said...

I've never forgiven Bhasin for that moment on the highlights from the first day at Brisbane when he abjectly failed to locate the city of Brisbane on a map of Australia. I mean, if you were being paid to fly half-way around the world, wouldn't you bother to find out where you were?

10:47 pm  

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