Interview of Cricket Fans – 171 _
Thank you for your participation in this interview, firstly tell us a bit about your website ‘All Over Cricket’.
Hi Jay. The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for thinking I’m interesting enough to interview!
Jokes aside, I started ‘All Over Cricket’ in April of this year. AOC is a website/e-mailer featuring articles and podcasts from a diverse team of contributors from around the world. Our content reflects the truly global and gender-inclusive sport that we believe cricket should be.
July is an exciting month! We took a break to revamp a few things and will be re-launching on July 7th with more regular content, including a deep dive into Shafali Verma’s career statistics. I can confidently say nobody has analyzed her numbers as thoroughly as we have, and you don’t want to miss it.
Checkout the website here: allovercric.com and subscribe to AOC with your email adress through the website.
Apart from your website, you have also written on Cricket for different platforms, tell us about the motivation behind writing and covering this beautiful sport.
Part of the answer to your question is in the question itself. Cricket is truly a beautiful sport.
Sadly, it’s also broken.
Cricket is the only major global sport that up until recently was shrinking the number of teams in its World Cup. I find it ridiculous that the BCCI gets approximately 51 million USD in annual ICC grants when a combined 93 associate boards receive around 25 million per annum.
In the work I’ve done for The Cricketer, Emerging Cricket, The Japan Times, and others, I’ve aimed to tell stories that go beyond Full Member cricket. Cricket should be available for all to enjoy, and these stories need to be told to raise awareness of the sport in developing regions.
I guess I have a personal stake in this as someone who was born and raised in Hong Kong, and has been around the national age group set up.
I want to see Hong Kong given the right funding, exposure, and opportunities to grow the sport amongst the local Chinese population. I carry this same dream for all associate nations.
Your experience as a commentator?
Want to hear a crazy story? Just before Covid spread like wildfire around the world, I was out for a run one morning when I received a call from an unknown number. I rejected the call, because I was sweating bullets and out of breath. After my run, the number called again. I picked up this time, and the person on the phone told me they’d hear me commentate at a tournament in Malaysia, and that they wanted me at the Asia Cup Regional Qualifiers in Thailand. The catch: I had to fly out immediately.
So two and a half hours later, after doing some cheeky bicep curls, taking a sorry excuse of a shower, rushing through mom’s biryani, dumping clothes in a suitcase, and booking a last-minute flight ticket, I was at the gate for my flight to Bangkok a full hour early.
Coming back to the question, commentating is fun and rewarding. I’ve taken inspiration from the likes of Ian Bishop, Harsha Bhogle and Brian Murgatroyd. I’ve studied them closely and reverse-engineered what they do with, adding my own personal flavour. I’m big on providing audiences with historical context and stats while playing with the tone and pitch of my voice. Commentary is a performance. And I love the challenge of keeping viewers glued to the screen.
Tell us about your favourite cricketer growing up.
I’m going to cheat big time and give you six names! Sachin was truly a god in those days. He was imperious in the 2003 Men’s World Cup.
VVS Laxman. The India vs Australia test series is the first test series I ever watched…I know: What an amazing introduction to test cricket!
Sehwag was an absolute freak of nature, capable of changing the course of a game in the space of a session.
Bangladesh’s Mohammad Rafique would have picked up more wickets had he been supported by a more potent bowling attack.
From the associate world, Steve Tikolo was a class apart, and Ireland’s Kyle McCallan was criminally underrated.
Who is your favourite Women’s Cricketer, how long have you been supporting her and the reason behind your support?
Two names. Shafali Verma. No-brainer. Only Alyssa Healy has a higher T20I strike rate since the start of 2018 (marginal difference), but Shafali is still just 17. Incredible! She also has the best balls/six ratio in T20I cricket in that period.
The second name would be Alyssa Healy herself. She is the best T20I batter in the world. I don’t see how anyone can debate that.
Thoughts on the finals of the WTC?
Honestly, I’m not heartbroken that India lost. The semi-final exit in the 2019 Men’s World Cup really hurt. I lost a lot of sleep after India’s collapse against England in the 2017 Women’s World Cup, especially as it came a month after the Champions Trophy Final loss.
Thanks for the question, Jay. You’ve ruined my day with painful memories. Hope you’re happy.
Looking forward to the next ICC event which will take place in the UAE later this year?
Absolutely! Can’t wait to see associate nations in action against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round. The Netherlands has a better bowling unit than many Full Members. They showed their prowess in the 2-1 series victory over Ireland.
Unfortunately, they were missing their three best middle order batters in that series because of county commitments. The return of Colin Ackermann, ten Doeschate, and van der Merwe will strengthen them. I’ve also converted one of my Dutch friends into being a cricket fan, and I can’t wait to grab a beer (or ten) with him while watching his team in action.
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