Bill Lawry has confirmed his commentary days are over after four decades with the nine network, which began under Kerry Packer in the 1970s.
Despite being 81 years of age, the legendary figure still fielded interest from channel Seven and Foxtel who have obtained the cricket television rights for the upcoming season and beyond.
Lawry has only worked sparingly in recent years. But he has still remained one of the most popular and respected voices in cricket.
We all knew the journey would eventually come to an end for the former Australian test captain. But he has officially confirmed this week he is putting down the microphone for good. And will not work for one of the new broadcasters.
“I’ve had 40 great years at Channel Nine and I’ve been very, very lucky. I don’t want to spoil a great journey.”
The commentary box will never be the same
The nine network was credited with revolutionising the way cricket was telecast. Bill Lawry acknowledged as much when reflecting on his remarkable career.
“The replays, the third umpires, stump-cam, Greiggie and his pitch report way back in the early days – sticking a key into the pitch – brought to the people just how Test cricket was played.”
The on-air antics in particular between Bill Lawry and Tony Greig provided many memorable moments. Along with Richie Benaud and Ian Chappell. they provided informative, entertaining and great coverage.
The Boxing day test is one of the biggest days on the Australian sporting calendar. One of the highlights in recent years, for those tuning in, was knowing that Bill Lawry would be back on our screens.
Thanks for the memories Bill Lawry
For most of us, the channel nine commentary team has been synonymous with Australian cricket coverage. The new broadcasters may require a period of adjustment. And while so many media performers divide public opinion, this was not the case for Bill Lawry who really is universally loved.
It is hard to imagine another cricket commentator who can capture the big moments with such excitement. “Got him!” And most importantly, provide such great tactical insight and the ability to capture the audience which is a rare combination that makes a great commentator.
From a test debut in 1961 to then still be involved in the game fifty years later is a remarkable feat. The viewer at home has been the real winner for the massive contribution Bill Lawry has made. Thank you Bill.