With the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent cancellation of all cricket matches, former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden will now aim to bring fans closer to actual cricket by lending his voice to the online gaming world as a commentator on the World Cricket Championship (WCC).
Hayden will offer English commentary with his familiar banter bringing life into the virtual game. He will join former India opener Aakash Chopra who recently came on board as a Hindi commentator to cater to 110 million players.
“Any gamification of a real sport can be a very creative and a liberating space. I loved the freedom that I got in the commentary box of the virtual cricketing world,” said Hayden.
The former Australian opener believes that amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, online sports becomes all the more relevant and entertaining as everyone is staying at home and no live cricket action is taking place.
“Since there are no live cricket matches, this is a way that I can be involved and still communicate with the cricket audience through WCC. Games like these provide a space for people to enjoy themselves and relax, which is important during COVID-19 lockdown.
When asked about the difference of commentating in a live match as compared to doing the same for an online game,” Hayden said: “The game has surely given me a lot of freedom to put my own spin to the commentary script of 1500 words that I was provided with.”
“I never felt like I was commentating on virtual cricket as the commentary included everything from weather conditions, to the size of grounds, different grounds around the world.
“It was almost like doing commentary for a live game. I generated energy in my voice creatively with variation in my voice and patterns in my voice. It was fun to bring to life a situation, maybe a big 6 or an out for the game, as if for a real match,” he added.
P R Rajendran, MD and CEO, Nextwave Multimedia and creator of WCC, said: “With no actual cricket games taking place currently, we hope to fill the gap with commentators like Matthew Hayden and Aakash Chopra to build familiarity and comfort on the game enabling people to come as close to actual cricket as possible.”