The New Zealand cricketer, now a TV commentator, has long been one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game. Everyone has an opinion these days, but few people carry the weight of Smith.

One of the great pleasures of this year’s Cricket World Cup was the way Smith was introduced to a wider audience. Cricket fans can get England Vs New Zealand Tickets online from our most trusted and reliable online ticketing marketing platform.

We always knew how good it was, but it was fascinating to see the praise he received from other broadcasters and viewers in the New Zealand Finals. It was during this match in which England was crowned champion that Smith made the relevant comment.

Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game
Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game

Speaking to English broadcasters Ian Ward and David Lloyd for their Sky Sports Cricket podcast, Smith was asked to think about the World Cup final and how he would comment on the final. Initially off for the usual half-hour, Smith finally called the last 90 minutes of a really exciting match.

That the mechanism by which England was declared victorious was an absurdity and after the scoring was equal both after the 50 outs and the Super Over that followed, the awarding of the trophy on most of the borders affected was unsatisfactory and probably unfair.

“I consider myself a New Zealand commentator, but not as a New Zealand commentator, if you understand,” Smith told.

“So I do not go around the world to encourage New Zealand and I’ve never done it, I just call what I see out the window.”

Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game
Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game

I rolled those words in my head for days. Even now, I sit and read them again and again. Smith, and colleagues such as Grant Nisbett, are no longer in tune with their times and, in the case of these, will soon be out of their main job.

“I do not know how it’s going to be, but I find it pretty sad Cricket is rooted in my life and for the past 20 years I’ve never missed a cricket test session at home. I’m very sad about it, “Smith told about the prospect of not commenting next summer.

There was a time when people who covered the sport on our behalf were impartial. It was not something that deserved to be highlighted because it was so obvious in all the words that were said and written about athletes and teams.

When the rights holders arrived, a few more trumpets followed. Commentators extolled the merits of the sport for which their employers had paid so much or praised the participants, but they were still not overtly biased.

Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game
Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game

Nowadays, there is no doubt that the majority of the media will, as Smith says, “encourage New Zealand”. The only difference is the volume they acclaim.

Smith has been a remarkable career, not least because he is a former player. Athletes do not tend to criticize theirs, but Smith has always been impartial. When something is going well, he will say it and when it will not be, he will emphasize it too.

He does not reprimand those who report the failures of a player, but he has not been inclined to “in my daily life” either. There is no insistence that the game was better when he played and we feel that Smith loves cricket as much as when he started broadcasting almost 30 years ago.

But although he is considered the voice of cricket in this country, Smith’s skills may be best illustrated by his work in rugby.

Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game
Ian Smith has one of the most influential and entertaining voices in the game

Most analysts and marginal journalists can do is to repeat the words of the main commentator: “You are right, it is rather physical out” or stammering the name of the last substitute.

Smith tells you things you do not know or can’t see. He identifies the tactical or position switches and then asks relevant questions after the match, instead of just telling the interviewee how great they are or how bad they feel about them.

When he leaves, and Nisbett also in time, we’ll all say goodbye to a time when the pictures told a great deal of history and the commentator was only improving them.

Maybe we’ve heard Ian Smith’s last comment on cricket and maybe not. Even if our new rights holders do not want it, you hope there will be room for “a commentator from New Zealand” in foreign networks.

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