Cricket: Former Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson headlines MediaWorks' commentary team

Former Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson headlines the new Mediaworks commentary team for the 2020/21 international and domestic cricket season, with free-to-air commentary on Magic Talk.

Hession will link up with former Blackcaps bowler Simon Doull and broadcaster Rikki Swannell, while Magic Talk host Peter Williams will also make appearances during the summer. 

More names will follow in the coming weeks. 

In August, MediaWorks signed a three-year deal with NZ Cricket to broadcast Blackcaps and White Ferns internationals, as well as selected domestic content, on Magic Talk's 31 frequencies and streaming app Rova. 

While the NZ domestic season is already underway, the Blackcaps will return to action on November 27, with a Twenty20 against West Indies in Auckland. 

After the West Indies visit, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh will fill out the Blackcaps schedule through to the end of March 2021.

"The cricket on offer this summer, coupled with the fantastic voices who will be calling it alongside me, should deliver a gripping summer for fans of the Blackcaps and White Ferns," says Hesson.

"I have first-hand experience in the Blackcaps environment and combined with my analytical thinking, I'm looking forward to painting a picture for the listener in terms of what the players are going through and competing with, as they go about their business."

Swannell is excited to call games over the summer. 

"I'm just excited to be leaving my house," she says. "In all seriousness, we deserve some fun and there's nothing like a summer of cricket to lift the spirits. 

"Magic Talk will bring some fresh thinking and new ideas to cricket coverage across the country, building each match into more than just a one-off game. 

Cricket: Former Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson headlines MediaWorks' commentary team

"We'll get to know our Blackcaps and White Ferns on and off the field, and have some fun, which is what sport is all about."

Meanwhile, Williams returns to commentary, 43 years after broadcasting his first cricket match.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into cricket broadcasting again," says Williams. "It's been over 20 years, but I've never lost my love and affection for the game. 

"I broadcast my first cricket match at Lancaster Park 43 years ago and while the game has changed beyond belief, the basic thrill of watching the contest of bowler versus batsman will always remain the essence of the game. 

"You'll hear our passion for the sport booming out of your radio or app this summer." 

NZ Cricket ended a more-than-20-year relationship with NZME's Radio Sport in February, choosing to explore its radio broadcast and digital audio streaming options. 

In October 2019, NZ Cricket also ended its previous relationship with Sky Sport, announcing a six-year streaming broadcast deal with Spark Sport.