Interview of Cricket Fans – 57 – Cricket Archivist
Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories and how you began as a cricket archivist.
In 1989-90, during the India tour of Pakistan is when I remember I started watching Cricket and within a few months, I fell in love with this sport.
During Sharjah Series, 1991, I was not able to watch live games because I was just 11 years old and a school going student in class 4th, so I didn’t have time to watch highlights. So I recorded the game on VHS before going to sleep so I that I could watch it later.
After that, I recorded the World Cup 1992 which Pakistan won.
Since I follow cricket, I fell more in love with this sport and that forced me to record some of the most memorable matches. One of my uncle too recorded some Pakistan games and it encouraged me to do the same.
I also purchased VHS from a shop from Pakistan called Pakistan Sports which is a famous shop for sports collection in Pakistan. As a student of 5th class, that time I did not have enough money to purchase VHS, but my father helped me a lot and without him, I wouldn’t have been able to record games in the 1990s.
What does your collection consist of?
I Have around 800 to 900 VHS & around 500 DVDs in my collection. Total of around 6000 cricket matches from all around the world. Mostly u can say that 80 percent of games I recorded myself from the 90s and the post-2000 era.
As far as time is concerned, since I record games myself, it takes a lot of time to watch or record games on VHS. Also, there was no computer in those days and to record on a particular time, one had to set a timer for that game.
From 2014, I started digitising my VHS to MP4 files into the hard drive.
What steps do you take in order to prevent yourself from getting a copyright strike in your channel? Did you face any copyright issue?
Most of the games played before the 2007-2008 period are protected from copyright. The games played after that period is when one might face an issue because it’s owned by different channels or cricket boards. This is why we don’t see IPL or any other T20 Leagues on YouTube. Even the Australian cricket board recently terminated many channels because of copyright issues. So that is why one needs to take a lot of care while uploading content.
There are some issues one might face if they upload Asia Cup games post 2000. I received one strike on my channel because of uploading some Asia Cup game which happened in 2004.
What challenges did you face as a cricket archivist?
Though my channel never got terminated, I only got one copyright strike. But a few months ago, someone hacked my Youtube channel. This is when my channel just completed 100K subscribers so they tried to hack and sell. But thanks to the YouTube team and one of my friend, I was able to recover my account.
What is proprietary about your channel?
I respect all cricket collectors or cricket archivists around the world. This is only possible because of their passion. And I know some of the archivists like Mainak Sinha from India. I swap some good games with him. What makes me different is that I also record games from teams like Kenya, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh in the 90s or early 2000s. I have even recorded games from teams like Hong Kong, UAE, USA. Some of the collectors who I have interacted with were surprised to know that I record games from minnow teams too.
Any particular video of yours that did well on your channel?
India Film Stars & Indian cricketers playing in a friendly game during 2000 -01. This is the most popular video on my channel along with Irfan Pathan’s partnership with JP Yadav, Ajit Akarkar’s century at Lords in 2002, some Afro-Asia Cup clips and some Srilankan stuff are the top viewed videos on my page.
What was the inspiration behind recording Indian matches?
Growing up, Sachin Tendulkar was one of my favourite cricketers and I loved his batting right from when he made his debut. He is the reason I started recording games involving India’s matches too. Some Indians fans were also surprised that I record Indian games from the 90s era.
Below is the link to Zohaib’s YouTube Channel.