Sunday 11 January 2009

Mark Nicholas: Man Love

What has happened to Mark Nicholas? Louche, debonair, self-regarding: those are his strong points, or at least they were when he last departed these shores. 

Nicholas loved one man above all others, and that man was Mark Nicholas. It was the quality that gave him his edge throughout his county career, when he used it to captain, with some skill, many players who were better than he was. 

And it was a talent that transferred well to television, where his effortless charm on commentary and in post-play interviews combined the bedside manner of a particularly brilliant, somewhat haughty surgeon and a brief chat with Prince Charles. He pulled it all off with a nudge and a wink, too.

So who exactly is this bellowing, brazen groveller fighting for his life in the Channel 9 commentary box? Nicholas is now the most Australian man in there. And that takes some doing when you're sitting next to Shane Warne, Bill Lawrie and Mark Taylor. Even Tony Greig has responded by becoming South African again. 

During the Test series (which, lest we forget, involved two catastrophic defeats) Nicholas seemed to spend many hours in his green and gold reverie, watching a different game to everyone else. 'That is one of the most dramatic pull-shots you will ever see,' he yodelled as desperate, sweaty Matthew Hayden hoicked one to cow corner. 'OH NO!' he yelled, when Haydos was caught a couple of balls later.

Today, when Hussey took an (admittedly excellent) outfield catch in the Twenty20 game from his brother's bowling, he said, 'That one's Michael, the other one's David - the Husseys have just had a Melbourne moment...', a toe-curler that he followed later with: 'Gilchrist, Haddin, Ronchi.. Australia really are blessed'. 

Adam Gilchrist, if you didn't know, had been added to the C9 roster for the day. 

Well, they say the converts are always the most zealous. 


Jrod said...

That is nothing, this was when he was at his best.

The Old Batsman said...

Wish I'd seen that. Sort of.

I think he was even getting the beginnings of an accent today.

Anonymous said...

Some strange Stockholm Syndrome thing going on.

The Old Batsman said...

Nailed it, LB - should've had that for the headline.

Anonymous said...

Either that or the subtly different Hitler was an Austrian, Stalin was from Georgia Syndrome.

Whichever way, toe-curling sums it up the best.

Anonymous said...

Felt he reached his apotheosis on "Britain's Best Dish" - turned a nice shade of puce in the kitchens

The Old Batsman said...

Britain's Best Dish - had forgotten about that... Nicko seemed to think he was the tastiest thing on the menu, as I remember

Pay per head services said...

well in my opinion I think that Leg Break the person who commented on here two times is so wrong about that, I cannot agree with his or her point of view