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Talking sport

Sportscaster and television personality Charu Sharma was in the city to launch cricketing memorabilia

Pic. by R.Ragu

CHARU SHARMA is lively to talk to. Full of energy and enthusiasm, the popular sportscaster and television personality was in the city recently to launch Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev memorabilia.

Sitting at Cricketer's Hut, a guest house on Ethiraj Salai, this six-time national springboard diving champion talks about his latest contract with `9 Yards,' a Mumbai-based sports and entertainment company, and how he balances career and family life.

What is the nature of your tie-up with `9 Yards'?

The contract (one year) requires that I use my experience in the world of sport for closer association with the corporate world. We have already completed a series of lectures on sports at various corporates in Bangalore.

You have over 20 years of experience as a sportscaster with Sony Max, ESPN, Star Sports and Doordarshan. Which channel do you enjoy working with the most?

I am a sportsman first and all the time talk about sport regardless of the channel I work with. Besides, I'm particular about balancing career and family, so I tend to work only for 120 days a year.

What was it like to anchor an event alongside Mandira Bedi for Sony Max during the World Cup? Wasn't her inclusion intended to add glamour to the proceedings?

It was fun (guffaws). Everybody who watches the game is not a pundit. Mandira's role in the programme was not meant to be that of an analyst or a commentator but that of an enthusiast. After all, sport is entertainment and television being a visual medium a little bit of glamour is acceptable.

But don't you think it trivialises an event?

What is so sacred about a cricketing event that a woman should not anchor it? There was a hue and cry in the late 1970s when one-day matches started becoming popular. People felt they destroyed the beauty of the game but today you can't live without them. Similarly, talk shows on cricket too are in the process of evolution.

What do you enjoy most — anchoring a show or being a commentator?

I must confess I enjoy being a commentator. It is one of the easiest jobs in the world, provided you know the sport and have the gift of the gab. When you are anchoring or presenting a show, the camera is trained on you and from the word `go' you are under pressure to ensure perfection and carry the programme till the end without any glitches.

What interests you apart from cricket?

I am a multi sport man. I love playing golf and tennis. I was also into springboard diving till the age of 17.

Former Indian cricketers Kris Srikkanth and S.Venkatraghavan released 200 (limited edition) Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev memorabilia at Launch Pad. The memorabilia has been brought out by J. K. Mahindra's Cricket Shop, at Chepauk. The products can be ordered either through crickinfo worldwide or purchased directly from the Cricket Shop. An exhibition-cum-sale of gift items, cricket bats, T-shirts and other accessories, on at Launch Pad, concludes today.

SANGEETH KURIAN

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