Big Bash T20 Cricket commentators Damien Fleming and Mel McLaughlin.
Big Bash T20 Cricket commentators Damien Fleming and Mel McLaughlin. Channel 10

Cricket stars join in Big Bash bonanza

THE Ashes rivalry will fuel plenty of banter amongst this year's Big Bash commentators.

This year's international imports Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen will call the action, as well as play for their respective teams, the Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars.

But they'll have to share the commentary box with Aussie legends Ricky Ponting, Mark Howard, Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Damien Fleming, and sports presenter Mark Howard.

"The banter and rivalry will be there (on the pitch) and in the commentating box," Fleming told The Guide.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Freddie, being a former fast bowler myself, and getting a bit of support from the fast-bowling angle, compared to the batsman like Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh and Kevin Pietersen, who seem to think batting is the most important thing in cricket, when it's bowling."

Fleming, who has been a Big Bash commentator on both Fox Sports and Channel 10, described the pace of the domestic T20 tournament as "a highlights package of a test day".

"On average, you're going to see 160-180 runs and within that see eight or nine sixes and probably 15-20 fours," he said.

"Between that, you're seeing at least seven or eight wickets. You're seeing a lot of results each over."

Channel 10's BBL commentary team: Damien Fleming, Andy Maher, Mark Howard, Mel McLaughlin, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist (front).
Channel 10's BBL commentary team: Damien Fleming, Andy Maher, Mark Howard, Mel McLaughlin, Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist (front). Channel 10

Also returning to the commentary box this year, is legendary West Indies cricketer Sir Vivian Richards.

"There's times when you think 'I'm commentating with King Viv'.

"If you told a 10-year-old Damian Fleming that would happen, he would not believe you," he said.

"He doesn't over talk. He's got statements, like if a batman is doing well (he'll say) 'Yeah, yeah, he bringin' the mustard, man'.

"I look forward to him just bringing 10-12 of these one-liner statements. He's such a big drawcard even now, and he's been retired for more than 20 years."

Keeping all of the guys in line will be Ten's sports presenter Mel McLaughlin.

"I've worked in sports, largely male-dominated sports, for a very long time, so I'm used to it," she laughed. "I haven't felt like the token (woman), or whatever, and that's how it should be."

McLaughlin comes full circle during this month, having joined Channel 10 ahead of last year's Big Bash season. This year alone she has travelled overseas to cover the Winter Olympics in Russia, the World Cup in Brazil and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

"I definitely feel at home at Ten," she said.

"It's that time of year when my life's about to get crazy again. For about five weeks we travel all around the country. It's such a hectic schedule but that's what we love."

The T20 Big Bash League 2014/15 season starts tonight at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

 

This week's Big Bash matches

Tonight: Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars

Friday: Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades

Saturday: Melbourne Stars v Hobart Hurricanes

Sunday: Sydney Thunder v Brisbane Heat

Monday: Perth Scorchers v Adelaide Strikers

Tuesday: Hobart Hurricanes v Sydney Sixers


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