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'Lot of good commentators haven't played at the highest level'

education Updated: Sep 09, 2009 13:10 IST
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Commentator Harsha Bhogle sheds light on the opportunities and scope in sports commentary

Do you think there will be a demand for sports commentators during the Commonwealth Games 2010?
I would think so, but much would depend on the host broadcaster and their degree of preparation. It should, ordinarily, be a great opportunity for young commentators but they would need to work with very good producers and directors to stand out. The commentator is only the last link in a chain. If intermediate elements are not good, there isn't a lot a commentator can do. So, in short, if the host broadcaster is keen and capable, it'sthe best thing that can happen

In today's time, can a qualified person (doctors, engineers and CAs) hope to become a commentator purely on merit without having played at the international level?
They should be able to if they are good enough. They need to know the game, understand their role, have sensitivity to the game and the language. A lot of very good commentators haven't played at the highest level though it is a trend that is changing. But in India I do not think we are ready for it yet.

Should there be more talent hunt shows like Harsha Ki Khoj to find young and fresh faces in sports commentary?
Yes, they should, provided there are enough outlets for those that come through. The first edition of Harsha Ki Khoj threw up some very high quality talent. But talent like that needs enthusiastic producers to take it ahead.

Millions of young people want to become cricketers. When they don't get a chance they aspire to become commentators. What do you have to say about this?
It is unfortunate because, as far as possible, you should never get into something because you were not good enough somewhere else. That can leave people frustrated and that comes through. The skills required for the two things are different and I hope cricketers who do not make it don't feel this is an easy option. It isn't. It requires the same commitment and understanding that a cricket career does.