Today’s celebration of the 200th birthday of the Lord’s ground will not be remembered for the hundreds by Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch. It will not be remembered for the bowling of Saeed Ajmal or Paul Collingwood. It will not be remembered for Brett Lee breaking Shane Warne’s hand with a beamer.
It will be remembered for Andrew Strauss calling Kevin Pietersen a “cunt” on air.
Yes, the public school educated, much lauded and celebrated former England captain, total embodiment of The Establishment and most recent arrival in the Sky cricket commentary box forgot two basic rules of broadcasting. The ones that say “Keep your bloody mouth shut when you’re around microphones” and “Leave your personal dislikes outside the commentary box”.
Strauss’ failures are basic and big. If Yates was on tv and dropped the C-bomb (or any other bomb for that matter) then you can bet your left leg that would be the last you ever saw of Yates anywhere near broadcasting**. Yates doesn’t know what Sky’s standards are but if they do not take any action against Strauss then they will look very poor indeed. Much as it pains Yates to be in agreement with Piers Morgan, Sky must answer the question “Is it ok for commentators to call cricketers “c**t” live on air?”
It does not matter that Strauss thought he was off-air. He was in the commentary box in the vicinity of microphones. Call centre workers on minimum wage know not to say anything even vaguely inappropriate in the work area. If they do yet Strauss doesn’t (and he’s surely on a metric s**tload more than minimum wage for his so-called “insights”) what does that say about him? Is it a comment on Strauss’ lack of professionalism? Is it a comment on Sky’s lack of broadcasting training for their summarisers?
Strauss and KP don’t like each other. Fine. A top broadcaster keeps his differences with people outside of the commentary box. Any chance Strauss might have had of being regarded as a top class broadcaster got well and truly shafted today.
Strauss’ apology was about as sincere as Yates proclaiming a love for rap music.
David Hopps’ excellent piece on this is well worth a look, providing perhaps a more balanced viewpoint than this one.
It’s not the opinion that is the problem here, it’s the fact that it was expressed live on television using profane language. Strauss needs to be sent away to learn the basics of broadcasting. There are courses out there – if memory serves a recent Wowcher offer had one going for £39.
Yates has a message for Strauss: I’d rather be a c**t than a toff any day.
Of course, some people will already think that Yates is indeed a c**t of the worst kind.
Time for a glass of Trooper.
** Unless of course Yates was appearing in some kind of porn flick where the use of the C-bomb may be more acceptable. Yates knows there are pedants out there 🙂