Questions asked regarding future of Michael Slater after 'erratic' summer
The Seven Network has denied a report respected cricket broadcaster Michael Slater will be dropped from this summer’s lineup.
TV Blackbox approached SEVEN yesterday regarding the future of Slater and was originally supplied a ‘No Comment’, however the network has now denied his axing, with a spokesperson indicating decisions regarding the commentary line-up would be finalised in coming months.
Slater’s commentary style attracted significant criticism during last season’s BBL with viewers complaining he was ‘too loud’ and ‘repeative’. Additionally sources from within the network have suggested he was 'unreliable' and displayed 'temper' issues, leading him to miss some scheduled BBL matches.
Seven’s commentary team will be bolstered this summer by the inclusion of former New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum. The Daily Telegraph is reporting McCullum will join the network for this summer's three-Test series against the Black Caps. McCullum will also play a key commentary role in Seven's Big Bash coverage.
Additionally it was confirmed this week highly regarded sports executive David Barham has also departed the network. Barham pioneered BBL, Formula One and AFL coverage at TEN, before taking on the role of Head of SEVEN Cricket in April last year. Barham played a pivotal role in assembling the networks cricket commentary and production team before taking personal leave in November. Seven's cricket coverage is now executive produced by Chris Jones.
The change comes as SEVEN looks to reinvigorate the network's coverage of the game, which experienced a significant rating decline last summer with viewers complaining of fatigue over the drawn-out season.
Slater's voice will soon return to his previous home at NINE when he joins former Australian captain Michael Clarke as Australia's representatives on the International Broadcast team for next month's 50-over Cricket World Cup in England.
Fox Cricket will provide LIVE coverage of all 48 matches from the tournament via FOXTEL and KAYO platforms, while NINE has rights to all matches involving Australia, plus the Finals.
The full list of commentators for the 2019 World Cup to be broadcast on Fox Cricket and NINE are: Nasser Hussain, Michael Clarke, Ian Bishop, Sourav Ganguly, Melanie Jones, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, Alison Mitchell, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith, Wasim Akram, Shaun Pollock, Michael Slater, Mark Nicholas, Michael Holding, Isa Guha, Pommie Mbangwa, Sanjay Manjrekar, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Ramiz Raja, Athar Ali Khan and Ian Ward.