Harsha Bhogle chats with
Bidisha Singhaon being a commentator and an anchor. He is currently anchoring
How’d you describe
It’s a travel show but we don’t intend to make it to look like a packaged ‘places to see in India’ kind of thing. I have travelled to parts of India, most of which I hadn’t seen before. So, there will be parts that other Indians may not have seen as well.
I am not your ‘regular’ host or guide doing a piece about the history, or the other attractions, of a place. I am a visitor like everyone else, knowing as much or as little, and reflecting on what I see.
Why’s a cricket commentator hosting a travel show?
I felt I must do something I hadn’t done before in a medium in which I had done so much! I have always tried to have an identity outside my profession. This was one way of exploring it. All I ever wanted to do was voice-overs for documentaries.. for no reason, it’s just a whim. I got to do that and a little more as well!
Your favourite holiday destination among the cricket playing nations?
Ah, I don’t get much time to squeeze in a holiday but New Zealand was excellent. I haven’t been around much in Australia or England in spite of so many visits there. There is always something to see in South Africa.. I had an outstanding holiday there, four years ago.
Your favourite among the places you have visited on Travel India?
Bodh Gaya. The monastery is so calm and clean, quite in contrast to what you see outside; especially on the way from Patna.
What do you have to say about cricketers getting into TV?
If you are asking me about commentators, that’s an old trend. I go with it.. but not all the time. I think being a cricketer is one qualification, a strong qualification, but not the only one.
Wasim Akram was judging Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina.. did you watch it? Would you ever do such a show?
I watched a bit of one of the episodes. I wouldn’t do such a show.. it’s not my area of skill. And I live too much in the real world.
Don’t you miss doing the commentary for major matches like the India-Australia series?
Yes I do, but I have an exclusive contract with ESPN-Star Sports. There is no point in missing things that you were never going to do in the first place.
What do you think of ICL?
I do watch a bit of it here and there. I think every sport needs drivers.. either big names or big competition. ICL is struggling on that front for the moment.
Recently, there have been several pulp fiction books based on cricket — The Zoya Factor, 22 Yards and Three Mistakes of My Life. How authentic are they?
I have read Anuja Chauhan’s The Zoya Factor. I’m not sure whether being authentic was the key. It was just a story woven around the game.