A bouncer that gave ‘new life’ to Urdu cricket commentary

Renowned cricket commentator and analyst Tariq Saeed, who is commonly topped because the reviver of Urdu commentary in Pakistan, has shared his story behind his exceptional entrance into the world of commentary.

When Saeed was hit by a cricket ball simply above his proper eye, the lifetime of then-college scholar underwent a exceptional change, he instructed Al-Jazeera in an interview.

“After that incident, I left cricket altogether. I used to get scared of the ball. Every time I’d bat, I would see two of those bowlers running at me,” Saeed stated.

The report acknowledged that Saeed needed to play cricket and even dreamt of enjoying for Pakistan sooner or later however the incident left his life targets flat on the bottom.

However, his ardour for the sport remained intact and he continued to stay concerned. “Growing up, I beloved listening to sure commentators on Pakistan matches – Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasan Jaleel, Omer Kureishi to title a couple of.

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“After I stop enjoying, a good friend of mine took me to an exhibition match at FC College [in Lahore] and made me do some commentary.

“There, I got a lot of applause. Later, a national-level flood-lit tournament with top-class national cricketers was also taking place in Lahore. I did some commentary there on the PA system and Abdul Qadir [former Pakistan cricketer] and Imtiaz Sipra [sports writer] came to congratulate me afterwards.”

Saeed stated that he was introduced up in a tradition that revolved round sports activities. “My cousin was very interested in hockey and cricket and I would go and watch him play. My father would tell me stories about Syed Mohammad Jaffer [former India hockey player and Olympian] who was born here so that got me interested in sports too.”

Saeed, who’s now probably the most fashionable voices amongst cricket followers within the nation, stated that the revival of Urdu commentary was essential for Pakistan’s worldwide matches.

“People missed that. The Pakistan Cricket Board introduced Urdu commentary for the Pakistan Super League which is a good thing,” he added.

He stated that nobody paid consideration to Urdu commentary in Pakistan after the blast on Sri Lankan staff bus in 2009. “If you take a look at India, they’ve commentary in up to eight languages,” he added

The report acknowledged that the cricket commentator’s journey had not been a simple one as when he approached Radio Pakistan for an audition, he was instructed that he was too younger for the job.

However, when he tried his luck two years later, he was given the accountability. “Someone told me the sports producer had changed at Radio Pakistan so I thought I’ll meet him. It was Khalid Waqar, an all-time best radio producer. He did my audition and the rest is history. He is my teacher, my mentor and whatever I learnt after that was through him.”

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He stated through the interview that he doesn’t drink chilly water, fizzy drinks or ice cream throughout a busy season. “On match days, I drink tea before every spell. I gargle with hot water frequently. You need to look after your throat and make sure you don’t eat anything sour or greasy,” he stated.

“I also make sure I don’t eat a lot during commentary because that makes me sleepy which is never a good thing when you’re on a mic. You need to be fully focused and concentrating on what’s happening in the middle. If you miss a ball or related events from previous overs, it becomes difficult as the match progresses.”

But focus and reporting on what’s occurring solely will not be sufficient to maintain the listeners and viewers glued, Saeed provides.

“If it’s a long match, like Tests or first-class matches, you need to create a storyboard to keep the audience interested. In Twenty20, it’s all action so there’s no time or need for that. But in the longer format you need to concentrate more, maybe like the players do, to ensure not only the audience but you also don’t zone out.”

Saeed stated that most people in cricketing circles he met needed to characterize Pakistan however he was glad on the choice he took throughout his faculty years.

“Almost 95 per cent of individuals you see linked to cricket off the field are those who wanted to be cricketers once upon a time but couldn’t fulfil their dreams. I’m glad to be one of those.”

(The article initially appeared in Al-Jazeera)

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