Cricket: Cumming joins Sky team

Craig Cumming.
Craig Cumming.
Former Otago opening batsman Craig Cumming has switched his bat for a mike this summer.

The 37-year-old retired at the end of last season, having scored more runs and more centuries for Otago than anyone else.

But before he has had much of a chance to miss the game, he is involved again, albeit this time from the sidelines.

He has joined the Sky broadcasting team and is contracted for six domestic twenty/20 games, two tests and one one-day international.

"I'm not involved from a playing point of view but I'm still watching and talking about it and that takes care of the itch," he said.

"I've been given an opportunity and now I've got to prove I can do it."

An advertising manager for The Star, Cumming has dabbled in broadcasting, working for Radio Sport's Saturday scoreboard programme for the past three years and now joining Mark Richardson on Radio Sport for an hour every Tuesday morning to talk about cricket.

Public speaking comes naturally to him and that ability has helped open doors, but the gift of the gab is not always a blessing.

"In radio, you have to fill time and your voice paints the picture, whereas in TV, there are different challenges. You have to speak about what is in front of you and you have a certain time to talk.

"The key for me is to get the delivery right. I like to talk but sometimes I talk too much, so I've got to learn to sharpen it up and get to the point."

One of the reasons Cumming decided to pull up stumps was to spend more time with his family and enjoy a regular summer, perhaps even go camping.

That trip is still on the cards, as most of the work he is contracted to do is in March.

In the meantime, he is happy to be "a consultant for section two and section three" of the local club cricket scene, in which his sons, Jacob (9) and Zac (7), play.