ESPN US has announced that Ian Darke is to replace Martin Tyler as its lead play-by-play commentator for the 2014 World Cup.
Tyler, who is the lead commentator for Sky Sports, joined ESPN for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, and his deal included this year’s tournament in Brazil.
Darke also was a commentator for ESPN four years ago and gained a more prominent role for the network over the last four years with its coverage of the U.S. national team and England’s Premier League.
ESPN said that it and Tyler had agreed to end their relationship. “Ian Darke made a long-term commitment to ESPN,” said Tyler.
“That commitment deserves to be rewarded by Ian being the lead commentator at World Cup 2014 for ESPN. With that in mind, it was only right and proper for me to offer to stand down.”
Darke will broadcast the opener on June 12 between Brazil and Croatia and all U.S. matches.
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