Tragedy changed Danny Morrison's path

AUSSIE MOVE: The commentary box still beckons for globetrotter Danny Morrison, but he hopes academy coaching is where his future lies.
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AUSSIE MOVE: The commentary box still beckons for globetrotter Danny Morrison, but he hopes academy coaching is where his future lies.

The commentary box still beckons for globetrotter Danny Morrison, but he hopes academy coaching is where his future lies.

And promising Australian bowlers, rather than New Zealanders, will be the beneficiaries.

New Zealand's fifth-highest test wicket-taker (160 from 48 tests) popped up in The Gabba commentary box for ABC radio this week. He's not far from home, Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, about an hour north of Brisbane, where he has been happily domiciled for five years with wife Kim and children Tayla, 13, and Jakob, 12.

Morrison is well known in Australian cricket, having been part of the Fox Sports commentary team and jousted with their best batsmen in a decade-long career from 1987-97. He exchanges a greeting and a smile with Richie Benaud and Ian Chappell as they stroll past at the back of The Gabba media centre.

Awful circumstances lured him across the Tasman five years ago, having carved a niche on Sky television's Cricket Company, and on Radio Sport.

"I had a family tragedy, with my sister taking her own life. A lot of stuff went down in my family and with my wife's family. That was a bit of a spark to create some space between us and those dramas. From a massive emotional angle, it was time for a bit of a change," he said.

"It's a great environment for the children and put a bit of a smile on our faces and some sunshine back in my life and Kim's life, just dealing with pretty heavy family stuff."

Kim, whose field is aromatherapy and skin care, is now expanding her business. Tayla is a ballerina, Jakob is rugby mad and a promising first-five.

Morrison, 45, began in corporate hospitality through contacts of former Australian paceman Jeff Thomson, before securing the Fox Sports gig. A change in producer caused his contract at Fox to end, but the door to Asia opened and, needing the work, he still travels.

"I had to get on the road and do overseas gigs. The market is massive in India, doing the IPL, and Ten Sports in Dubai, doing series in Asia.

"If New Zealand's touring Bangladesh or there's a one-day series, they want to use you. It's tough being on the road a lot but you're doing what you love doing."

The Twenty20 explosion has been good for Morrison. Known for his likeable larrikin persona behind the microphone, he has ramped it up a notch in the Indian Premier League.

"I've embraced T20, I get excited about that and start yelling, `My, so-and-so's off a bit.' You do it because that audience is a lot younger and they like all that."

It won't be forever. Morrison is bowling coach for the Sunshine Coast Scorchers in the Brisbane premier competition, and hopes to be involved in an academy setup at nearby Maroochydore.

"Maybe long term it will keep me based on the Coast. That would be ideal. At the moment you've got to go where the work is and pay the rent and school fees."

Fairfax Media