Australia’s new home of cricket, Channel 7, has unveiled an outline of its coverage plans and revealed more commentators for the summer ahead.
For the first time ever, a sole free-to-air broadcaster will broadcast both Test and BBL cricket in Australia. For the next six years, Seven will broadcast:
- 43 Big Bash League matches, including all marquee matches and finals
- All home international tests, including the 2021-22 home Ashes series, and every year the iconic Boxing Day and New Year’s Test matches
- Key Women’s Big Bash League and International matches
- The most prestigious individual prizes in Australian cricket; the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award.
Seven’s Head of Cricket, Dave Barham commented:
“We are looking forward to the summer of cricket enormously. Throughout the coverage, we will be showcasing the players, bringing out their character and personality with more than 30 player features and vignettes. Heartland cricket will also be championed as Seven highlights stories at community level and local cricket.
“And we’ll do all of this while respecting the history of cricket, now that we are custodians of the sport.”
Seven’s Mel McLaughlin and James Brayshaw will form a dual-hosted team for the first time ever in Australian cricket broadcasting in Test cricket.
Three key ball-by-ball callers will call the Test action for Seven including international sports broadcaster and commentator Alison Mitchell, veteran broadcaster Tim Lane and James Brayshaw.
This follows the announcement recently that Australia’s highest ever run-scorer, Ricky Ponting, will call Test matches and BBL on Seven, along with Damien Fleming and Michael Slater, while Glenn McGrath will provide expert commentary for Test matches.
Excitingly, Bruce McAvaney will also be part of Seven’s cricket coverage this summer. Australia’s best sports interviewer and most revered broadcaster, will interview the sport’s most iconic figures during the lunch break at the Melbourne and Sydney Test Matches.
Seven’s commentary team members announced to date; (More commentary team members to be announced closer to summer.)
Ricky Ponting – expert commentator
Australia’s highest ever run-scorer and former captain, Ricky Ponting, is set to join the new home of cricket, Channel 7. Ponting, one of the most decorated cricketers to ever wear the baggy green, is currently regarded as the best cricket commentator in the world. His intimate knowledge of the game is matched by his ability to communicate to all cricket fans of varying interest and understanding.
Damien Fleming – expert commentator
Fleming compiled an impressive career for Australia across Tests and ODIs as a fast-medium swing bowler including a Test hat-trick on debut and a key role in the 1999 World Cup winning team. He’s been equally successful throughout his time in the commentary box on television and radio where fans have enjoyed his entertaining and insightful ‘bowlology’ theories.
Michael Slater– expert commentator
Michael Slater was Australia’s aggressive stroke-playing star at the top of the order for a decade, including during the team’s golden run of success where they won a record 16 consecutive Tests in a row. He has brought an upbeat, vibrant and fun style to his commentary that fans have enjoyed.
Glenn McGrath– expert commentator
McGrath, the world’s highest Test wicket taker among fast bowlers with 564, was renowned for his impeccable line, length and bounce that regularly knocked over some of the best batsman of all time. He joins the Seven commentary box after various stints in radio and television and is set to give fans insight into the toils of fast bowling.
Alison Mitchell – Test match caller
International sports broadcaster and commentator, Alison Mitchell, is an award-winning journalist and has won plaudits around the world for her polished and professional cricket commentary.
Having started her career at the BBC where she has worked extensively across television and radio in broadcasting and journalism, Alison has over 10 years’ experience in ball-by-ball commentary around the world including England, Australia, Sri Lanka and India.
A meticulous researcher and lover of the game, Alison also has an excellent ability to draw out the best from the experts alongside her in the commentary box.
Mel McLaughlin and James Brayshaw – Hosts
McLaughlin has hosted many major sporting events on the national and world stage including Big Bash League cricket, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups, Olympic Winter Games and Commonwealth Games. Brayshaw, a first-class cricketer for 10 years including two winning Sheffield Shields, will bring his upbeat style to Seven’s cricket and will also call BBL matches throughout the summer. Together the pair will bring a fresh approach to Test cricket broadcasting.
Lisa Sthalekar – expert commentator
The former Australian women’s captain carved out an impressive career as an all-rounder including the honour of being the Australian Women’s cricketer of the year in 2007 and 2008. And has since made a successful transition to the commentary box with inside knowledge of the women’s game at the highest level.
Tim Lane – Test match caller
The veteran sport broadcaster and award-winning journalist, has earned enormous respect from cricket-loving fans with decades of experience calling the game. He will call Test matches on Seven this summer as Australia faces India and Sri Lanka.
Abbey Gelmi – host
Abbey has worked in sports journalism and presenting for the past four years on national breakfast television, covering breaking sports news. As the granddaughter of Australian middle distance great Herb Elliot sport is in Abbey’s blood.
Greg Blewett – expert commentator
A stylish right hander who played both Test and ODI cricket for Australia delighting fans with his penchant for shots square of the wicket and a powerful cover drive. Blewett has impressed listeners in recent years with his radio commentary.
Simon Katich– expert commentator
A left handed batsmen who played 56 Tests for Australia amassing 10 Test centuries to his name, Katich joins Seven’s cricket for expert Test commentary in Melbourne and Sydney. More recently he has provided expert comments for ABC radio.
Jason Gillespie– expert commentator
A wildly popular figure among fans as a fast bowler for Australia through the late 90s and early
2000s, he formed Australia’s statistically most successful opening bowling pair ever with Glenn McGrath. He has carved out a successful coaching career at Sussex and joins Seven for an expert role at the Adelaide Test match.
Brad Hodge– expert commentator
With a Test double century to his name and a reputation as one of the most consistent BBL players in the world, viewers have also come to know Hodge via his insightful and playful on-field interviews during play at the BBL. He’ll provide expert commentary throughout the Big Bash.