From a fan perspective, what Channel Seven has managed to do so far with the cricket broadcast rights has been reasonably admirable. With some minor tweaks and modern adjustments things have been hauled into the modern age, and refreshed commentary panel – one that actually features people other than male ex-players – brings a new and welcome perspective to things. Plus it’s just so bloody nice to not have to listen to Ian Chappell whinge about the state of the game for hours on end. But one thing that, no matter what Seven does, will always, ALWAYS be a sorely missed feature of the summer of cricket is the absolutely iconic Wide World of Sports theme song.
When that bad boy hits, buddy it’s time for summer. The crack of leather on willow, the snap of the ring on an ice cold tin, the sizzle of bare foot on exposed garden paver as you hot step between the banana lounge opposite the TV that you’ve dragged outdoors and the back door of the house into which you sporadically disappear for a refreshing piss. All of these sounds preceded by the unmistakable, glorious trumpets of the Wide World of Sport theme song, which signifies that it is, indeed, time for cricket.
So the good news then, is that while “officially” the theme song isn’t returning to the Seven broadcast itself, a guerilla-style “hijack” of the Seven’s screens will be bringing the glorious Wide World of Sport theme song back prior to the start of this Thursday’s First Test. And Merv Hughes of all people is involved.
We’ve been passed the very sneaky word that Merv will feature in a beer ad from frosty legends Hawke’s Brewing Co. that will be set to the iconic Channel Nine theme song immediately prior to the Seven broadcast of the First Test kicking off on Thursday afternoon.
Crucially, the ad will be broadcast once and once only, in the Sydney Metro TV market. And with that, the cricket season will officially be declared open.
Swervyn Mervyn features in the ad, in support of Hawke’s recently-released Opener IPA, performing his signature crowd stretch while ah… licking and rubbing the can like a ball.
Thursday’s still a ways off just yet, but even if you don’t happen to catch it as it happens, you can always take yourself back by muting James Brayshaw for two minutes and pumping this badboy out for yourselves.
It’s not quite the late, great Richie Benaud telling us what a marvellous day for cricket it is, but it’s close.