Aug 22, 2009
Ace commentator,columnist and analyst of the game of cricket, Charu Sharma, was in the city to unveil the logo of the Karnataka Premier League’s Mangalore Franchise Team, owned by Mohiuddin Bava of Fiza Developers. DaijiWorld caught up with him to talk about his area of expertise, the recent happenings in the world of cricket and the game in general.
Q) Does the birth and gaga over the 'instant cricket' and it's popularity spell the death knell for 'Test Cricket?
Charu: Never. For, in my opinion, every cricketer worth his salt, will have the ultimate or the foremost wish to play 'Test Cricket'. Change is imperative and no game can be immune from it. Instant cricket is just a by-product, but the 'holy grail' for all the cricketers will still be the test arena, where their skills are put to real test. In fact, the cricketers themselves will drive or chalk out initiatives towards this end, that is, for the survival of Test Cricket.
Q) But then, ultimately is it not the gate collection that matters?
Charu: True. With changing times, this has to be borne foremost in the mind, but then 'quality has no substitute' and I think, there will be a blend which will help sort out matters.
Q) Have the recent happenings at the 'DDCA' baffled you?
Charu: Well-Yes and No. Yes, because of the magnitude or the proportions it has assumed this time around. No- because it is a perennial problem, which is unique at the DDCA. It is heartening to note that senior and strong players have taken a stand this time, regarding matters of selection and other important issues. The movement would have fizzled out, if lesser known players had revolted. Anything that brings about a change for the good of the game has to be appreciated. This should not be a futile exercise though. However, I would like to add that though DDCA has the worst reputation, other state level cricket establishments too are vying for this dubious honour!
Q) What about the top West Indies players then, who seem to have lost out on revolting for a different cause though?
Charu: Agreed, that it is for a different cause. They seem to have lost out now, but then ultimately the facts have been made public, and it is the public that will decide on matters such as these in the long run. Imagine a West Indies team being drubbed by Bangladesh!! This cannot continue for long, and changes are sure to happen. Every justifiable revolt needs time to fructify.
Q) Coming to your profession, does it irritate you, if you are paired with someone who knows little or nothing about the game just for the sake of glamour?
Charu: The demands of television or the channel owner have to be understood in the right perspective. Ultimately here too, it is the ‘team work' that delivers the desired result. If there are any shortcomings in my partner, it is up to me then, to make that bit of extra effort to rectify it. Showing one-upmanship or slighting the partner with lesser knowledge, does not make sense in any case. It's the end result that matters.
Q) You do in-depth analysis, talk of pitch reports, weather conditions, compare strengths of teams et.al -'where does this all fit in, when the popular adage relating to the game still runs like 'Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties'?
Charu: It is true, you cannot predict an outcome. The adage applies mostly in the case of a batsman, because even a silly mistake may cost him his wicket, never to get a second chance. But the same cannot be said of a fielder or a bowler. Most of the assumptions, analysis etc., are based on experience with little or no chance of going off tangent.
Q) Is applying ‘restraint’ a must while commentating?
Charu: Very. Imagine commentating like- My Mum can bat better than him! Can she really? The wisecrack may endear you to some, but then, the fellow in the ground might just not be able to take it. You are not even allowing him a honorable exit, if he wants one. It is very easy to be over critical and get carried away by the situation. Personal viewpoints too can and should take a backseat, while commentating. Alertness, awareness and being on guard every second too are essentials for someone commenting 'live'.
Q) Any embarrassing moment you still care to remember?
Charu- I am given to sudden attacks owing to cramps and this has cut short my discussions with other panelists - You people have never come to know about it, because such incidents are concealed tactfully by the men behind the camera and other technicians in the studio!
Q) Care to make some predictions on the upcoming Champions Trophy?
Charu- Teams from the sub-continent will definitely be on the back foot. Team India will not have a cake-walk. It is worth spending some time and energy on the strengths of other competing teams, which are formidable.
Q) Tournaments like the KPL- Do you foresee a bright future for the likes of them?
Charu- There are no reasons to believe that tournaments like the KPL will not do well. The initial response in itself has been terrific. For players involved with these at first, will be 'small mountains to climb'. Once that is done, then they can only climb higher. Latent talents definitely will be harnessed. In due course, I am of the opinion that this exercise if pursued seriously, will produce players worthy to represent the national team.