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the talented mr wagner

Every aspiring cricket player, at some point in their career, ends up playing Monopoly with the Australian commentators, hearing them say either 'Send to Jail' or 'Pass Go and Collect $200', as they survey the player's talent. In the years of Richie Benaud & Bill Lawry, not only were these guys so informed about the game, they presided over games played in their own backyard, the hardest place of all for foreigners, where their weaknesses are quickly exposed.

The longing of every cricketer -  especially NZ ones, whether they admit it or not - is to hear them say 'Pass Go', but it happens so rarely. And making Monopoly all the more miserable is the way these commentators are adoring cheerleaders of their own players, ushering them through Go in their hordes, even as one foreigner after another is 'sent to jail'.

And so it came to pass that the New Zealand team visited those Australian shores. A new TV deal meant new commentators who, I thought, …

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