Dr Mumbo

When a cricket commentator forgets it’s 2017

To Sydney’s Hotel Centennial and a gathering of adland bigwigs to celebrate Nine’s coming coverage of The Ashes.

Nine wheeled out its lineup of cricket legends and commentators including Michael Clarke, Michael Slater, Ian Healy, Ian Chappell, and Bill Lawry.

And Dr Mumbo can report that Nine is planning to fully respect the sporting traditions of yesteryear. Assuming those traditions are mild homophobia and a sprinkling of casual sexism.

Demonstrating that life won’t be dull in the commentary box when Lawry has the microphone, the 80-year-old batsman was soon regaling advertisers and agency types with his views on his colleagues who attended a private school in South Australia.

Lawry: ‘Pack of poofters’

Lawry informed his audience: “He went to Prince Alfred College where all the great cricketers from South Australia went to, and of course all majored in knitting and crocheting –  they were bloody all a pack of poofters…it was shocking.”

Noticing that he was perhaps losing his audience, Lawry dug deeper, acknowledging to the small number of women in the room: “Anyway, sorry girls.”

After these colourful anecdotes, Slater seemed curiously unenthusiastic about letting Lawry have the microphone again for the rest of the afternoon.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said Lawry suggested he may have slept with Graham MacKenzie’s mother on a boat trip to play in the UK in the Ashes. This was incorrect. Lawry said: “Now I had heard stories in the dressing room of what it’s like on tour. Those stories – you hear them but don’t really believe them – and three quarters of the way up I hear this very feminine voice from behind that said ‘Are you Bill Lawry?’ and I thought ‘God I’m not even in my cabin yet’. I thought ‘How good’s this? A 24-year-old virgin on the way to England?’” – before realising who she was. Lawry did not suggest the two slept together. Dr Mumbo apologises for the error.

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