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Digital Subscriptions > The Cricketer Magazine > December 2017 > Six of the best

Six of the best

Innuendo, Freudian slips, and the perils of live broadcasting. Cricket commentary’s biggest faux pas by Jacob Savill

1. “The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey”

If it’s gaffes you’re after, look no further than the Lord of Misrule, Brian Johnston, whose spell at the helm of Test Match Special was defined by a deep archive of fondly remembered on-air moments. Perhaps his most famous – which some, including Henry Blofeld, still regard as urban legend – came in the famous Oval Test against West Indies in 1976. England were 81 for 7, and with Michael Holding running into bowl at England batsman Peter Willey, Johnston (allegedly) remarked: “The batsman’s Holding, the bowler’s Willey.” Rumour has it he was unaware of what he had said until a woman called in to the station complaining that her young child was listening.

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