Bill Lawry © Getty Images
Bill Lawry © Getty Images

According to a report in Sydney Morning Herald, Bill Lawry  will not commentate again, taking away with him perhaps the last link of a bygone era of cricket commentary that spanned decades in the era that preceded ball-by-ball commentary on the internet. From John Arlott to Alan McGilvray to Tony Cozier to Brian Johnston to Richie Benaud, the best in business used to be used to be mellifluous and analytical, sombre yet tongue-in-cheek.

Lawry, sacked midway during the 1970-71 home Ashes, was roped in immediately as commentator. He commentated during the last Test of the series (the first Australia played in his absence). He has decided to quit after a stint spanning almost five decades, though for the past few years he did not commentate in matches outside Melbourne.

Lawry will be remembered for his light-hearted banter with Tony Greig. “Oh dear, oh dear” was as synonymous to Lawry as “mwavellous” was to Benaud. With Benaud, Greig and Ian Chappell, Lawry helped form an excellent commentary team, perhaps the greatest in televised cricket history.

Lawry is about to end his stint as commentator following a deal with Channel Seven and Fortal. He had dropped speculations that the 2017-18 Ashes could be his last in the commentary box. It is believed that Lawry was approached by both Channel Seven and Fox Sports, but the deal didn’t materialise.

On Sunday, Fox Sports announced the addition of Mark Waugh, Michael Hussey, Mel Jones, Michael Vaughan and Isa Guha. They have already included Adam Gilchrist, Allan Border and Brendon Julian.

Seven Network went a step ahead, announcing on Friday that they have signed Ricky Ponting as the face of a revamped commentary panel. Meanwhile, none of Channel Nine‘s commentators — Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Michael Clarke, Ian Healy or Mark Nicholas — have been roped in by Seven or Fox.