After the success of Harsha ki Khoj, now ESPN-Star Sports is exploring the possibility of another ‘khoj’ for the right commentator. However, this time the competition is going to be tougher because the channel has planned to make it a complete Asia contest. “The contest is tentatively lined up for early next year,” said Jason Dasey, host for SportsCentre, the exclusive daily sports programme on the channel.
Interestingly, Dasey is training Anand Narsimhan, the winner of Harsha ki Khoj, and Narsimhan would be doing a couple of shows with Dasey in SportsCentre. “I am training Narsimhan and he will be doing a couple of shows with me on SportsCentre. He is also getting used to commentating because it is one thing to win a contest and a totally different ballgame to compeer day after day,” he added.
Harsha ki khoj has been a very successful show, he said, adding that the channel is planning to bring up with a similar contest in a bigger and better scale next time. Asked whether if it’s cricketers who make good commentators, Dasey remarked that it is not the case. “You cannot play 100 test matches and 150 ODIs and then turn into a commentator. The journalistic skills and knowledge comes in handy while commentating. Somebody like Harsha Bhogle with his knowledge and journalistic expertise makes a fantastic commentator,” he said.
On his purpose of visit to India, he said, “We are doing a news story on SportsCentre on the new Indian coach Greg Chapel. In the forthcoming series, we are analysing how Chapel can enhance the Indian cricket team performance and the team’s preparation for the forthcoming Zimbabwe trip.”
Dasey said that Chapel would do a good job for the Indian team although it won’t be an easy task ahead. He pointed out that Chapel’s influence, however, would certainly be very positive. “Chapel has been a star himself and has played like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar back in Australia. He would know what it means for Indian stars to experience this stardom. John Wright did succeed to a certain extent but Chapel’s coaching would be good.” Dasey said that Chappel has an aura around him and most Indian cricketers are in awe of him.
Asked on the Indian media scene, he said, “The Indian market has become highly competitive but we believe that ESPN-Star Sports has always had an edge over others in terms of production standards. A lot of other channels who are trying to create an international feel are failing to match the production standards.”