The wheels have come off
Over the last 3 months we have been royally entertained by the coverage of the cricket in the Caribbean. Yes, that’s right, 3 months they have been there and it’s not finished yet. As you can imagine, with a crew of about forty people making the broadcast possible, at times it can be an arduous task.
One of the secrets to success on that length of tour is the selection of the commentators and the crew. Those lucky ones who get the nod must be extremely good at their job but at the same time be able to unwind and relax when the need arises.
I have always been an advocate of the adage, work hard play hard, and when you are lucky enough to have some down time, get out there and enjoy it.
Morale within the work environment is of paramount importance. One thing the bosses of TWI , the company that provides that telecast do, is award a trophy at the end of the tour for the biggest stuff-up. All qualify for nomination and regular sessions are held (with a coldie) to enter your hapless mate who has at some stage made an almighty error that has not gone unnoticed.
Over the last few years there have been some classic winners. Four years ago a very festive Australian cameraman by the name of Blewey won the trophy (called the Wheels Off Trophy) by managing to drop his camera while play was on and destroy about half a million rands worth of equipment!
Another winner the following year was an extremely quiet video replay guy also from Australia who overindulged at a world-famous bar called The Pelican in Trinidad and arrived straight from that pub to the flight next morning, hardly able to walk. The normally quiet Aussie was unplayable and caused complete chaos on the way to Barbados.
This year’s winner of the Wheels Off Trophy went to Craig Cozier, son of Tony Cozier, who is the statistician who gave David Hookes some bum information regarding Steve Waugh’s career stats that Hooksey broadcast live to millions! This information was so way off the mark that it was scary.
The Wheels Off trophy, by the way, is a mounted wheel that has broken off one of the boxes that transports equipment around the Caribbean. With over 5 tons of gear travelling from island to island, this is as certain to present itself as is a rum hangover.
My favourite winner of this esteemed award is Tony Cozier. Two years ago Tony was hosting the broadcast. Normally prior to a day’s work the producer likes to start the ball rolling with a brief rehearsal so all can get the cobwebs (or rum) out of their systems.
This memorable morning Tony was running late. He arrived in position to host the broadcast with the countdown clock on 30 seconds to go. Upon the cue from the director he welcomed the viewers and some 15 seconds later launched into “Blah….Blah….Blah….Blah…..Blah”! Everyone was stunned. Tony thought that he was in the middle of the rehearsal. Meanwhile he was going live to air to about twenty million cricket fanatics!