World Cup 2011 has ushered in a new phase in the world of cricket history. Gone are the days when one had to wait for that perfect breakthrough to get into a state level team to make their final dream of playing for team India a reality. And till the time that dream became a reality, one had to shuffle between their regular lives and the cricket life to maintain balance, unsure if their dream is ever going tomaterialize. But brain masters like Lalit Modi ended this with the Indian Premiere League, with a new age approach to the way the world looked at sports! IPL not only brought with it, huge amounts of money, but a global platform where young, aspiring amateur cricketers could realize their dreams on a global platform and turn it into a career of their lives.
But the popularity of cricket has come as a boon not only to cricket players, but to those who love the game as much and love talking about it too! Yes, we are talking about cricket commentators here. With so many matches (test & one day) and charity matches being held all over the world, the job of a Cricket Commentator is very much in demand. And will rise further, with the way the cricket rage is spreading and gaining momentum commercially.
What do they do?
Just loving the game is not enough. You should know the game through and through, with names of cricketers (past + present), milestone matches, debacle matches, teams etc. Many retired cricketers take being commentators and are usually a huge hit, but there are popular and immensely successful commentators without a cricketing background like Harsh Bhogale & Charu Sharma.
Sitting in front of the camera, what matters is the way you present the match. And who better to draw inspiration from other than the famous Harsha Bhogale, India’s most successful cricket commentator.
Harsha works for ESPN STAR Sports and is a Chemical Engineer and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad. He has worked with advertising agencies for various prestigious companies like Colgate, Halo shampoo, Palmolive and Charmis.
He began his commenting career at the early age of 19 for All India Radio. In 1991-92, he became the first Indian commentator to be invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India's cricket series before the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Since then, he has worked for ABC Radio Grandstand during India's Australian tours. Besides this, he has done assignments for the BBC and was also part of their commentary team in the 1996 and the 1999 Cricket World Cups.
Since 1995, he has been presenting live cricket from all around the world for ESPN STAR Sports. He has covered more than 80 Test Matches and almost 300 One Day Internationals. He has also covered the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April/May 2009.
He has also hosted several television programs such as Harsha Online, Harsha Unplugged and School Quiz Olympiad for ESPN and Star Sports. Harsha is Indian cricket's first non-player celebrity and also appears in several TV and print commercials. In addition, Harsha was the advisor to the Mumbai Indians for the 2008 IPL.
He has also penned down two books titled, Azhar – The Authorized Biography of Mohammad Azharuddin and Harsha: Out of the Box - Watching the Game We Love.
How do I get there?
An MBA degree to develop your analytical bent of mind, followed by a Mass Communicatoion degree.
Typical day in the life of a Cricket Commentator
Pros & Cons about this career
• You become famous • Good money
• You need to be an excellent orator, besides having complete knowledge about the game, its players and facts. It is very dangerous to have partial knowledge in this field, for you never know, your ignorance can cause a blunder and a sure shot death of your career. • Being a household name takes time, so when you start out, you need to ensure that you are saying the right things keeping the viewer's attention engaged. • Once you start, be prepared for some drawbacks now and then; you will only be able to rise the ladder in due course of time. Simultaneously, you should have an alternative means of a livelihood to survive through the years.