The former Windies paceman thanks Michael Holding and Tony Cozier for helping him find his way into the commentary box.
"Carlos Brathwaite! Remember the name!"
The ICC World Twenty20 2016 was made immortal by these words from Ian Bishop. In both drama and intensity, it matched the feats of Brathwaite on the field as the Windies all-rounder hammered four consecutive sixes off the hapless Ben Stokes, when 19 runs were needed off the last over, to help his side to the trophy.
When Bishop is behind the mic, it's one of the qualities that ensures much value is added to the cricket-watching experience. His knack for conveying the drama of the game was evident in that final in Kolkata, but Bishop combines it with sharp analysis of the game, delivered in a baritone, all of which shows why David Lloyd, his co-commentator, insisted Bishop narrated what turned out to be the winning moment of that final.
And to think Bishop’s foray into cricket commentary was by accident. “I never really intended to be a commentator. It happened, basically, by chance,” he said. “I like watching cricket. So watching it, and getting paid to talk about it, is probably second to playing.”
As a player, Bishop was, in keeping with the Windies tradition at the time, an outstanding fast bowler. Unfortunately, a series of injuries restricted him to 43 Tests and 84 one-day internationals, in which he picked up 161 and 118 wickets respectively.
Bishop played his last Test in 1998, but thankfully, he has since stayed in the game. “I’ve had some great helpers and mentors along the way,” he said of his journey in commentary. “Michael Holding was really one that opened the door for me. Tony Cozier was a shining example - the late Tony Cozier was brilliant; father figure, lovely guy.”
Bishop believes in relevancy, and it is something he strives to do even today, even as a veteran commentator. “I have a growth mindset,” he said. “I try, every year, to add something. I try not to be stuck in my era, but understand the current era that I am in. The current game, the T20 aspect, and try to grow with it. I thoroughly enjoy it.”
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