Nasser on Bumble: His passion for cricket came through in every word

NASSER HUSSAIN: Bumble always sensed when the viewer needed cheering up and his passion for cricket came through in every word… From Stuart Broad’s heroics to Sweet Caroline, he’s one of the all-time greats and I’ll miss him on the mic

  • David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd is leaving the Sky Sports commentary team after 22 years
  • He shared many commentary boxes with fellow Sportsmail columnist Hussain
  • Bumble was always the ultimate pro and happily threw himself into everything
  • We toured New Zealand in a camper van – and I didn’t get a lot of sleep!
  • He always sensed when the crowd needed cheering up and when to be serious
  • Edgbaston sing-off with Freddie Flintoff at T20 Finals Day was TV gold

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd is leaving the Sky Sports cricket commentary team after 22 years covering England across all three formats and helping launch Twenty20 cricket in this country.

NASSER HUSSAIN, who played under Bumble when he was England coach and then shared many commentary boxes with him around the world, has written this tribute to his great friend and colleague. 

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd is leaving the Sky Sports cricket commentary team after 22 years

He will be missed by good friend, colleague and fellow Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain

I cannot believe I will not be sharing a Sky commentary box with David Lloyd anymore. He is one of the all-time great commentators and a wonderful human being.

Cricket is in Bumble’s veins. You can hear his love and passion for the game in every word he says and he has that priceless ability to inform and entertain at the same time.

Bumble always tries to promote what is good for cricket but he is never afraid to call out anything bad that needs to be addressed, like criticising poor over-rates.

Cricket can be a slow game at times but invariably Bumble is at his best during those quiet periods. He becomes that great entertainer and brings the game back to life. 

On air with Ian Ward and Hussain ahead of the Test with New Zealand at Headingley in 2015

Lloyd pictured in 1999 when he joined the Sky Sports commentary team for England games

And he always knows when to talk and when not to, when to be serious and when to have fun.

Bumble senses when the viewer needs cheering up and can always bring a smile to their faces, whether it is by singing Sweet Caroline or just making a little one-liner.

Then in the next breath he is switching on to find the perfect words for the great moments, like Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over during the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup or Stuart Broad’s eight for 15 at Trent Bridge in 2015.

It is never about Bumble. He doesn’t make commentary about him. Like that time when Carlos Brathwaite hit four sixes in the last over off Ben Stokes to win the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup for West Indies.

Bumble was the lead commentator but he turned to Ian Bishop and said ‘this is West Indies moment. You do it.’ 

Hussain was England’s vice captain when Lloyd was coach and they built a good relationship

Bumbles gets into the spirit ahead of the mascot race at the T20 Blast finals day in 2015

And that’s how he instigated one of the great cricket commentary moments, with Bishop saying ‘remember the name.’

What you see on TV with Bumble is the person we all see day in and day out. 

There is no different face for public consumption. He is a genuine person who loves life and enjoys having a laugh and relishing the cricket. He takes people as he finds them.

That’s why he spends so much time talking cricket to people. He always has time for anyone and will sit there for hours talking not just cricket but music, beer and anything else that takes his fancy with anyone. 

He is never fussed about fancy restaurants either. Just a decent pint and a good curry and he is happy whatever the surroundings.

Bumble on guitar and Andrew Flintoff dressed as Elvis as they serenade the crowd in 2017

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed his company, first as an England player when he was coach and for the last 17 years as broadcasting colleagues and friends.

He has done everything in the game and is such an accomplished broadcaster you almost forget he played for and coached England and had time as a first-class umpire too as well as his long association with Lancashire. He has so much experience he was our go to man on every subject. He ticked every box.

The funniest moments? I still laugh at the umpiring demonstration we did in the indoor school at Lord’s and Bumble’s impression of the old umpire Harry Baldwin. 

He was only given short notice of us doing that but he was brilliant and so naturally funny. If you need cheering up look it up on Youtube and I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face.

Lloyd shares a joke with fellow Lancastrian James Anderson in Sri Lanka back in 2018

Then that was the time I shared a camper van with him in New Zealand. Bumble would get up every 10 minutes in the middle of the night to go to the loo and I’d wake up each morning to the sight of the former England coach and broadcasting legend wandering around in just his underwear.

Or how about the time he went out to do the toss, looked down to see whether it had landed heads or tails and ended up head-butting match referee Richie Richardson who was attempting to do the same thing?

Bumble is old-school in his high standards. He would pick up the rest of us for talking too much and cares passionately about how the game is broadcast. He is so professional, too, and was always the first in to work every morning.

He always came up with ideas and never just left it to the producer. Before Twenty20 finals day he would be ringing and emailing the producer saying ‘shall we do that?’ and ‘should we do this.’ 

Bumble apparently in animated discussion with England captain Joe Root in New Zealand 

And when a producer had a good idea he would throw himself into it a hundred per cent, like when it was suggested he take on Freddie Flintoff in a singalong in front of the Hollies Stand at Edgbaston. It was television gold.

It would always be great walking out of a ground with Bumble because everyone would be shouting his name and want to speak to him. You can for=get he is 74, too. 

There was not a single day when Bumble didn’t turn up with that energy, drive and enthusiasm.

We loved him when he was our coach. He could be up and down, like the time we came in at lunch in Auckland in 1997 after a bad session and said ‘where’s the coach?’ 

Bumble speaks to fellow Sky pundit Michael Atherton ahead of the 2018 Test match in Galle

Bumble was walking around the rugby ground because he couldn’t face talking to us!

And when he went AWOL after we lost to Australia A and we had to go to the airport to persuade him not to go home. 

Thankfully he stayed and we went on to win the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. But he was a brilliant coach and always supported us a hundred per cent.

That loyalty is something I have seen throughout the time I have spent with Bumble. If you are a mate of his you are a mate for life and that’s what we will always be.

Sky lost one great commentator in Michael Holding earlier this year and now we have lost another in Bumble. They were both a joy to work with and both will be sadly missed.

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