What Makes Cricket Commentator Harsha Bhogle Tick?

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Answers by Harsha Bhogle, Cricket commentator, on Quora.

A: People read too much into what commentators say. I speak for myself and there is never an agenda; there are no issues to settle, no sides to be taken. That a world feed is different from an India centric language feed, maybe, is the biggest misconception. On a world feed, you are speaking to people everywhere and so you cannot focus too much on one team. On a country specific feed, like the Hindi feed on Star Sports, you can.

Maybe one other. Many people think the stats we throw out are based on our own homework or spontaneity. Sometimes they are, but only sometimes. Most often, the stats or analytics people provide them to you and in doing so, make you look more knowledgeable than you really are!

Also, the channel doesn't always produce the telecast. Often, it only beams the feed. For eg. for cricket played in India, the BCCI produces the feed and Star Sports relays it. The programmes before, in between and after the game are produced by the network.

There could be others but since I work on the telecast, I don't know what misconceptions exist beyond.


A: I don't know. I certainly don't prepare my lines, occasionally a thought will cross your mind over a morning coffee or while driving to the ground and it comes back. If you prepare your lines, you try too hard to remember them or to find a situation to use them and that isn't a great thing. Having said that, I once heard the producer of Test Match Special on BBC Radio tell me that John Arlott's best off-the-cuff lines were the most prepared! But if you feel the happiness of the fan, or his sadness, the words will emerge.


A: Being happy with small things because the big things aren't always in your control. So I look forward to my morning coffee, the shower that follows, an article I have to do, people I have to meet. Little things. Maybe a mango on the table. I would love to look forward to a World Cup final for example, but that happens rarely and being on it isn't always in your hands. Being happy with little things allows you to be happier more often!

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