These are, without a scope of doubt, very interesting times to be a cricket content creator in India. Not only because the almighty Indian Cricket team is always producing enough action-packed content for the world to carry, but primarily because we are being subjected to a storm in cricketing content.
It’s like there’s a flooding of content on a sport that unites Afghanistan, provides unbridled joy to the Pakistanis, one which the Australians are good at, that the Windies play combining fun and passion, one that the English invented and the Indians are dominating.
Gone are the days when the average Indian cricket journo would only concern herself or himself with news on the sport and its heroes or rising stars alone. Today- according to some- Virat Kohli having a soup with his better half in in Notting Hill is also being looked at as ‘Cricket Content.’ Just like the dance moves of David Warner and family are being provided to you as cricket content.
Then, we have the memers and the trollers; the first time bloggers and betting stars; the brands you fantasise about given their hook into betting and gaming and then, the cricket authors who are doing what they always have.
Diving into the vantage point of Cricket from where analysis, opinion pieces, tributes and even, mockery germinate, albeit backed with context, to give us something to chew on.
Something worth contemplation. Something that’s not always about the breaking news such as Dhawan’s separation or what car Rohit drives or what tattoo Ben Stokes recently got.
Never a better time to be a cricket content creator in a country that’s obsessively giving you everything about the sport.
Then whether its Smriti’s association with Red Bull Cricket, Jemimah’s favourite dance moves, Pant and Hetmyer’s hairdo, Dennis Freedman’s take on Gambhir, Pandya’s Lamborghini, and yet, at the same time, content on Shiv Chanderpaul’s unsung knocks, the classic “who-was-better-among-Lara-and-Sachin,” Warne’s best Ashes spells and why Pujara isn’t the Wall- there’s something on everyone for as long as its cricket.
And in midst of what often becomes a fish market, where sounds much like what one hears in an old industrial mill runs riot, there are those like Vedant Sharma who are a breath of fresh air in the world of cricket content.
They are our rescuers in a cricket content world dabbling-god knows why- with monotony.
You can call it cricket journalism.
But in the classic sense of the word, there aren’t many journalists out there anyway. Those, who are, are plying their trade in the world of online cricket writing, some not so seriously, while others with a certain honesty and sincerity much like Vedant Sharma, a young 20-something cricket lover, content writer, author, podcaster, interviewer who’s been there, done that- at a pretty young age- and is far from being done.
In some ways, it’s no irony that among India’s finest young cricket content creators, Vedant Sharma is associate with Sports Tiger.
He’s hungry like a tiger about the game that’s both endlessly interesting and so often runs the risk of overshooting it.
For instance, and BCCI or ECB, shouldn’t complain actually, there was a series earlier in 2021 where Root and team visited India to play a full fledged series. The Tests were a disaster for England but the white-ball series yielded a satisfactory- if not incredible-result.
Then, few months back, India played England again. Whether there was a need to overkill cricket followers and the purists with repetition is something that none can decide, but youngsters like Vedant Sharma found an opportunity amid this monotony.
By creating intriguing content on the series and intrepidly so, the nice-natured gent from Rajasthan kept producing content. On his sports platform that he’s helped nurture into a buzzing content site, Vedant Sharma steered content- written and videos- on the two teams, given their possible playing eleven, analysis into England’s strengths, pitfalls of both teams and whatnot.
Then when came the IPL, which is gala party time for the country where Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are no mere mortals but idols, Vedant Sharma and SportsTiger went into a full all-out attack.
You can open the site at any given point of time, and there’s content on the famous franchise-based T20 league on every team, covering minuscule details, then even if its about a cricket spat or unexpected picks in a starting eleven- Sports Tiger’s tiger has been growling with excitement.
A couple of years back, when much of world cricket and its journalists were busy writing about the ICC 50 over world cup (men’s), content creators like Vedant Sharma were dancing to their own beats. How?
This affable young man was interviewing David Gower of all cricketers and at a time where he could simply have felt pressure of being across one of the greatest to have ever wielded the bat for England, Vedant Sharma was eloquence and calmness personified.
Goes to show a long way that one doesn’t only need to be a Jatin Sapru, one of the most renowned faces and exciting talkers on Cricket, to be successful.
Yet, much of what Vedant Sharma has achieved; an identify of his own, presence in an industry that has so much clutter and less regard for the young, appreciation from the Indian cricket board, and love from the Rajasthan Royals of the IPL, this writer-at-heart hasn’t retreated to an easy-going zone.
If there’s a complaint some may have about the Jaipur-based youngster, then it’s that most phone calls to him are instantly cut, instead of them being answered.
But even then, there’s a reason.
Vedant is anything but rude or arrogant; he’s got a team to manage, a bunch of interns to mentor, a collective of sports writers to brainstorm with. And that’s six days a week.
The boy who looks at the Sawai Man Singh stadium as if it were his home away from home, always engrossed in that unblinking stare, the one you throw to your loved one, for Vedant Sharma one of the finest cricket stadia in all of India is his den of creativity.
That’s where he saw Sanju Samson for the first time, found Rahane time the ball perfectly to the covers, saw Watson and the Wall, the place wherein he perhaps did countless match reports from during his stint with the widely regarded Rajasthan Royals, and who knows, would have even endured a few rough days in there as well.
For its all part of the game and the game does dictate that passion and love for cricket will win over everything.
Which is precisely what Vedant Sharma is doing today, having already written lots of important content on popular cricket sites like Cric Tracker and having shared his penchant for the heavyweights of cricket: the Indian Cricket team.
What must, however, be said about Vedant Sharma is that, that very unmissable quality of providing cricket, what we can’t do without- context, and besides, a sense of passion- you can be sure that the sport is in nice hands where it presenters are concerned.
He doesn’t reduce Steve Smith to some average joe when the Aussie squares up against the Indians nor does, like so many his age, Vedant Sharma goes ga-ga only about the biggest run-makers and wicket-smashers.
Presenting facts, backing them with a context and never losing his marbles when he’s confronted by strong opinions, this smart-thinking Jaipur-loving cricket journalist is getting slowly to where he’s often wanted.
A place called far away, is probably what Vedant would hope for himself. But philosophy dictates, one doesn’t have to run away from the noise to find peace; Vedant combats multiple rival sites, some of which even function on pure popcorn journalism.
And if you go by Richard Bach’s logic who did come up with this unsung legend- there’s no such place as faraway- you’d realise it.
Which is why Vedant’s previous stints, wherein he became a regular on News Nation analysing what went wrong, what could’ve been been done better, (post a match) have widened the horizons of the earnest young man.
It’s aligned him with a sense of ‘break-the-monotony’ in the field of Cricket Journalism.
He’s done pieces on the struggle- and the rise- of the Afghanistan team when he could so easily have made your dull day even drab by engaging in gossipy journalism.
Not a man who brings loudness to the front, Vedant’s quietly diligent ways saw him contribute interesting content to The Citizen, which was long before he entered SportsTiger taking their content to rip-roaring speed!
Not that he ever showed off about it, Vedant’s voice and settled aura offer bright hope to an industry that’s largely becoming cluttered and horribly so.
Vedant Sharma possesses excellent man-management skills, which includes many back-breaking hours coordinating between different content guys running after copy of a creative or something else cricket-related.
This speaks of the rigours involved in presenting the sport with a certain background and basic core understanding that has something for everyone;
Opportunity for other young cricket content creators to jump in
Scope for the elderly to rekindle their love affair with cricket.
Scope for the inexperienced to build a base like a Vedant Sharma once did and connect with the cricketing ecosystem.
Remember that being resilient when the chips is a supreme quality.
Most importantly, from where the above stand, not rubbing one’s achievements onto the others’ face.
Way to go Vedant Sharma. Remember, in a country where they are publishing anything in the name of cricket journalism, the onus lies on you to save the dying art and skill, by adding to its corrosive surface a coating of honesty and meaning.
Good wishes, always.