Channel 5 aired a cricket match that was only seen by a small fraction of viewers worldwide, but it was a positive sign that the game was being shown on terrestrial TV. The good news for cricket fans without satellite was that Sky Sports Cricket coverage was shared with Channel 5. However, this change meant that the usual Sunday shows on Channel 5 were replaced, disappointing fans of the network’s standard programming. Unfortunately, in every war, there are casualties and in this case, the fans of Channel 5 suffered.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) broadcast lacked in analysis, boldness, and humor, which made England fans appreciate the quality of Sky Sports Cricket. The differences in coverage were highlighted, including the refusal to mention off-message events such as a protester getting on the pitch and grabbing Virat Kohli. The post-match presentations and the way the trophy was handed to the captain were also not commented on by the ICC. The discrepancy in the quality of coverage was noted by Ian Ward, who remarked on how odd the conclusion was.
The gig was given to nearly every working cricket commentator and pundit, leaving little room for anyone else in the industry. The day was filled with partisan commentary from Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar, as well as Ravi Shastri’s enthusiastic hyping of the event. Shastri’s enthusiastic performance at the toss was likened to that of a Michael Buffer-style heavyweight contest introduction.