AN INTERVIEW WITH GAUTAM BHIMANI
You have a multifaceted personality, having experience in different fields, including copy writing, radio jockeying, travelling, so what is the one thing that drew your interest towards cricket commentary?
Two things really. One, cricket was always in my blood as I grew up around the game watching Test matches live at the stadium from age of 6. Mainly because my father, he was also a cricket writer and a TV/radio commentator. Secondly, being around cricket happens to fulfil multiple interests.....Writing, speaking and travelling! But it was still never an ambition. It ended up happening in the end quite by accident, thanks to another passion: quizzing. I won a national level quiz. Availed of the prize which was a holiday in Singapore. Visited the ESPN studio there and the rest is......my cricket history.
Who is your favourite cricketer? Any related experience with him that you cherish?
My favourite cricketer on field is AB de Villiers. But my favourite person who has played cricket is Sachin Tendulkar. Traveling with him and sitting next to him on a long flight in the Caribbean in 2002 was an experience to cherish. We chatted as if we were great friends.
Apart from cricket and travel, what excites you the most?
For starters, the very thing that got me into cricket: quizzing. I am a passionate quizzer and quizmaster. Apart from that the theatre bug bit me as a child and it has stood me in good stead ever since, even helping me get confident for Live TV.
What advice would you like to give to the youngsters who want to try their luck in commentary?
The best advice is to know that every commentator who has not played a professional sport has a very different role to play from an expert. It carries the responsibility of one who knows the medium inside out and someone who understands and appreciates the nuances and numbers associated with a sport to be able to form an ideal team with an expert.
What is your one 'rule' for a successful career?
The number one rule is that there are NO rules. Anyone can become anything, anytime. Also, If you are lucky enough to turn a passion into a profession, great. If not turn your profession into a passion.
An avid traveller has now become an author with 'Reverse Sweep'. Tell us something about your book?
People had a thousand questions about my cricketing travels. Everyone wanted to hear stories. I couldn't share every anecdote personally with every curious mind. The book did it for me.
Talking about 'Reverse Sweep', is there any role you would like to swap with anyone whose life you want to live? May be for a minute?
As a person, despite the lowest point of my life, I would never trade me for anyone else. But if pushed, I could be a dog for a day. Eat. Sleep. Be pampered. Repeat.
What is the most exciting thing about doing the commentary live?
Be it commentary or anchoring there is no greater buzz than to be live. To see that red light come on and know that there are no second chances is a huge high and brings out the best in me. Years of being on stage doing theatre drove away my stage fright.
What do you think about talentrack as a platform for budding talents?
talentrack is a great concept and hence a fabulous platform for budding talents across fields. To be able to have a one stop showcase that goes directly into the hands of appropriate potential recruiters is both practical and rewarding for both clients and talents.