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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Sporting Encounter

I’ll tell you something: The first time around when I realised that I was going to host a show on cricket,I decided to do my homework well in advance.

Written by Chaya Unnikrishnan |
May 4, 2009 4:00:23 am

She is back as host on Extraa Innings T20. Mandira Bedi,live from South Africa

How does it feel to be back on a cricket-oriented show?
Superb,I’m really happy to do what I love doing most.

The first time you anchored Extraa Innings there were criticisms galore. Is your cricketing knowledge better now?
I’ll tell you something: The first time around when I realised that I was going to host a show on cricket,I decided to do my homework well in advance. I read up many books on cricket and tried to gain as much knowledge as I could. But it did not help at all. I got slammed by everybody,‘What does she know about cricket?’,‘What is she doing on the show?’ was a common refrain.
So,this time,I haven’t treaded that path. I love the game and represent the common man who is passionate about cricket and that’s what matters. My questions reflect what a layman wants to know from cricketers,team owners and coaches.

What else is new?
Last time,the show was analysis-heavy with cricketing experts and commentators giving their opinions on the game. The discussion was quite dry. Also,despite being in Cape Town for the World Cup,I was sitting in a studio watching the match on a 14-inch screen. This time,I am juggling between the studio and the stadium. Being in the thick of things,watching the ground being dug out,expressions of the players,it’s really fun.
I was used to anchoring the 50-over matches but this is the first time that I am hosting a T20 match. It is such an exciting format,it has successfully captured the imagination of people and has a great India connect.

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Your noodle straps and saris were the talk of the town. Have you deliberately done away with that this time?
Obviously,I cannot be operating in a sari or salwar-kameez this time because I am moving around the stadium. I am wearing what I feel like,it is completely self-styled. I had bright red hair but for IPL,I cut it really short and all black.

Which team are you rooting for?
Last year,I was rooting for both the Royal teams,Rajasthan Royals and Bangalore Royal Challengers. While one team fared badly,the other went on to win the championship. Nobody expected Rajasthan Royals to do so well but they were brilliant.
This time as a presenter,one tends to try and be a little neutral but I am rooting for Mumbai Indians and since my family hails from Delhi,Delhi Daredevils are my favourites too. I like the composition of Bangalore Royal Challengers and of course,Rajasthan Royals.

Who is your favourite cricketer?
This time I find the older players doing very well but my favourite cricketer is Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

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