Australia, we may have found a new voice of cricket.
At just 16-years-old, Queensland schoolboy Joe Stretton has impressed on Fox Cricket commentary debut earning rave reviews from Shane Warne and Michael Vaughan.
Stretton won the right to commentate two overs of the BBL match between the Melbourne Stars and Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG through Fox Cricket’s “So You Think You Can Commentate” competition.
Stretton was the winner after calling Peter Siddle’s dropped catch from the Boxing Day Test as he came on as a substitute fielder but dropped a sitter off Nathan Lyon.
It was the second time he’s been on the broadcast after getting his first taste on Friday in Brisbane before being flown down to Melbourne at the MCG.
After initially giving him a hand, Warne and Vaughan said they’d let Stretton call the rest of the fifth over but he quickly joined in the conversation.
“To be honest, I was actually more nervous about the Friday night game where I had to do a little talk in the innings break but this one was great because I met everyone beforehand,” he told news.com.au.
“By the time I got on they knew enough about me to actually have a conversation rather than just commentate. By the end of it, I didn’t have any nerves.”
Stretton quickly hit his rhythm, dropping some big observations and opinions in the call.
He also took another shot at Peter Siddle, saying “keep dropping them”.
Despite commentating with two cricket legends, Stretton said they quickly set him at ease.
“I’m a big cricket fan but it’s not as intimidating as you’d think,” he said.
“They’re really kind characters, used to dealing with teenage kids — I assumed they both have teenage kids — and they just knew and built my confidence up so I was able to show that on the telly.
“They let you be yourself with it. What they were telling me was when you’re commentating, there’s really no wrong answer so really just say what’s happened and what you think.
“They’re just normal fellas and they like a laugh. That’s what I found. It’s surprising, they don’t think they’re elite in any sense.”
Stretton also said it was an awesome experience being around the commentary box
“It was great, they made me feel right at home Fox and gave us stuff to eat. I was able to show my personality,” he said.
But they also threw him under the bus before his stint with him eating and ice cream.
“It was a bit unexpected, they said come over and sit next to us,” he said. “Then all of a sudden they turned the camera on me, so that was a bit rough.”
As he was about to leave the box, Vaughan got Stretton to pass on his Instagram handle with an aim to get it to 1000 followers.
After starting the day around the 300 mark, he ended the day with more than 4600 followers.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” he said.
Warne praised Stretton’s performance and said it’s something for people to remember if they get the opportunity to do it next year.
“The thing is, remember what Joe did, he did something different, ham it up, remember Bill Lawry,” Warne said, before doing his best impression.
As he’s about to turn 17 in a couple of days, social media were looking forward to hearing more from Stretton, praising his performance in the commentary box.
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