17 June, 2021

Played With Soft Hands

As ever, Wilkins charms with measured chumminess, but ignores matters that bite

Played With Soft Hands
outlookindia.com
2018-09-07T10:41:34+05:30

Years before he became premier, years after he rallied wou­­nded tigers into a World Cup-winning team, Imran Khan was watching his Pakis­tan play dismally at the 1999 WC in England from the comment­ary box. Writing in his memoirs, Alan Wilkins, Khan’s fellow commentator, describes how the fuming ex-cap­­­tain clambered over the scaffolding, “moving like a cricketing Zorro over the pipes and railings onto the balcony of the Pakistan dressing room” to (loudly) give the team a talking to, his duties at the microphone be damned.

Wilkins might have been pronounced ‘emotional’ and benched in his county cricket days; as a commentator, nat­i­onalist emotion is hardly the accusation that can be directed at the Wel­­­­­sh­­man. Forget climbing pipes, he wouldn’t even slip in a ‘we’ while calling a game.

He is not that kind of presenter; he is also not that kind of writer. Wilkins’s understated voice is both the greatest strength and weakness of Easier Said...

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