How to make the Channel 9 cricket coverage diverse & insightful if they did return as the Free to Air partner of Cricket Australia?

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If Channel 9 took advantage of the Channel 7 spat with Cricket Australia, then it has to come back differently this time.

Yes, they may not come back as an exclusive partner as it once was for several decades.

But at least they can balance both cricket and tennis all in one summer.

Nine can have the Test Matches, all of the women’s cricket, and some of the KFC T20 Big Bash League, including Finals both in traditional TV & 9Now streaming with Fox Cricket airing everything else.

Quality won over quantity when Nine looked disinterested airing the One Day & T20 International games over the last few years. 

Red ball cricket is still No.1 to Nine’s sporting DNA, so it would be an excellent complement alongside the Australian Open Tennis that usually happens in January.

So would women’s cricket, which is critical to females who love the sport as well as the Big Bash League with a mix of explosive slogs downtown and strikes through the strings that are family-friendly.

It’s something Cricket Australia had come up with a balanced TV package when originally agreed with Channel 7 two years ago.

Image Reference: RubyGoes via Flickr, 14/1/10

If they want to assemble the best commentary team, then please don’t repeat the same feedback that most people here dislike since the death of Tony Greig at the end of 2012.

Instead, do it differently with a mix of ex-player panels, both male and female, plus keep the traditional two-person commentary onboard too.

I would try to prise Adam Gilchrist away from Fox and be the frontman.

He has presenting shades of the legendary Richie Benaud and can call ball-by-ball in the commentary box.

Mark Taylor, Trent Copeland, Damien Fleming & Ricky Ponting would join Gilchrist.

Then add Lisa Sthalekar & Mel Jones (can also call) as the female experts before rounding off with an International opposition guest like, for example, Ian Smith from New Zealand.

That way, the quality of the content I suggest to them to assemble would echo the banter & relevant excitement of their early glory days as well as the former Network 10 Big Bash coverage.

All of the above is doable for Nine returns to the domestic game with a balanced & main event line-up of games to cover from November to early January.

After that, they will turn their attention to the successful exclusive acquisition of the Australian Open Tennis, where it’s likely they will hang on these rights tough anytime soon.

For now, I’ll keep that idea as it is and come back here whenever Nine gets back the cricket rights.

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