Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Meet The Basher

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I am not normally in the business of disseminating advertisements for a Rupert Murdoch enterprise, but I have been entertained over the last week by this little trail for the Ashes summer on SkySports.

It’s not the ludicrous parade of Australian cliches that is so appealing, although playing on the Aussie stereotypes seems to be de rigeur this week. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch the hilarious Michel Gondry-directed episode of Flight of the Conchords that was aired on BBC4 this week, then I am sorry.

The only reason I would commend this advert to you is the performance of Sir Ian Botham. His portrayal of a man exasperated by the prospect of a summer in the same small space as Shane Warne is both funny and effecting. Botham has previously put in a sturdy stint on the Shredded Wheat campaign, but this performance is on a higher plane. 

It is conceivable that Botham raised his game in the presence of Warne, a man who himself has consistently attained thespian excellence throughout his lengthy association with the Advanced Hair Studio. The adverts for AHS normally culminated in some clumsy reference to Warne’s previous text-messaging misadventures which would be the cue for some seemingly genuine irritation on the tubby spinner’s part.

Botham is integral to Sky’s coverage. Not because he provides any mind-shattering insight. But his bashing of Australians is second to none. We could do away with the Third Man analysis section, and permanently install Beefy into some recess of the commentary box as the Aussie-Basher. It seems like that the entire Sky team resent their regular secondment to the Third Man position (apart from Nick Knight, who I’m guessing was a prefect at school). Nasser Hussain in particular bears a particular grudge. Nobody puts Nasser in the corner.

So that’s settled then. Sir Ian the Aussie-Basher. He can get the ball rolling with Rupert Murdoch.


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