THIRTY-THREE years. It has been a good run for Channel Nine and, I suppose like all good things, it had to come to an end sometime.
For those who missed the news this week, Channel 10 has emerged as a likely bidder for the Australia cricket coverage from the end of this season.
The 2012-2013 summer marks the end of Nine's seven-year contract with Cricket Australia to broadcast tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 matches.
Word around the grounds is that a shift to Channel 10 could spell the end of the careers of some very familiar faces - or should I say voices?
Some people have been complaining for years about the cricket commentating personnel on Nine - but with their record over the last 12 months, I shudder to think what Ten will do with it.
Picture Richie Benaud, not in his usual ivory-coloured jacket and white, polite, side-parted 'do, but in a much more modernised, navy arrangement, stripy tie, and his hair jelled and combed back like Charlie Pickering.
Instead of his usual, "...and welcome back to the SCG where Australia are 2 for 222", we would no doubt get some kind of 7pm Project-style sarcastic introduction attempting to link the tea break to other key events of the week.
It's not my cup of tea, but don't tell me Richie and his commentary team couldn't pull off that whole youthful Channel 10 style.
After all, adaptation is Richie Benaud's middle name.
Thirty-three years is a long time and, for many, the voices of Richie, Bill, Tony and Ian are forever etched on the brain.
Over the decades their mannerisms have transcended the tiny speakers on our television sets and invaded our everyday existence.
Who hasn't bunged on their best Bill/Tony/Richie impersonation during a game of backyard cricket - or while out fishing - or after someone drops the milk on the kitchen floor?
Let's also not forget that Billy Birmingham made a career of taking the mickey out of our beloved commentary team - selling two million records of his Twelfth Man series.
As a matter of fact, bugger Channel 10 I say - I reckon I could handle another few years of watching cricket on the Nine Network, in spite of Mark Nicholas.
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