Painting ‘word pictures.’ How radio brought cricket to life


Radio has long been referred to as ‘theatre of the mind.’

When former Australian Test captain Greg Chappell was a child, the only cricket broadcast available came via the radio.

When I spoke to Greg just recently on the Food Bytes podcast, he recounted a truly lovely story of how radio brought the cricket grounds of the world to life for him when he was a child.

When he later played at these grounds himself, they were exactly as he imagined.

“I got to travel the world and visit places that I’d heard about when I was a kid listening to cricket on the radio, which was the only option in the day,” he says.

“And I think the amazing thing was, when listening to the cricket on the radio, each ground – each country – seemed to have an air of their own, and it came across the radio airwaves – each ground’s personality.”

“The really good thing was that when I got to visit those grounds and play on them later on, that’s exactly the way they were, which is a great credit to the commentators who painted ‘word pictures’ of these places.”

“The sounds that came over the radio – for instance, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. As a kid (listening to the radio), one of the strongest memories I have is the sound of the trains in the background.”

“And when you played at the MCG, you could hear those trains going past the outside of the stadium.”

“Whatever ground it was – whatever part of the world – there was something unique to that particular ground.”

“And that came across the radio airwaves. So there was no ground that disappointed me when I visited them.”

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Jason, Andrew Toppin from Mubarek Victoria
5 Feb 2024 - 12:01 pm

Radio still brings cricket arrive today. Great article here.


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