“It’s going to get hotter as the day progresses” — Ravi Shastri
Sunil Gavaskar’s appalling Jamaican accent. ShastriBot’s many clichés. Manjrekar’s mediocrity and 90s nostalgia. Ramiz Raja’s unintended (?) innuendo. Ranjit Fernando’s god-awful grammar. Arun Lal’s… every word.
I’m sick of it all. In fact I’ve been physically nauseated by cricket commentary for the better part of a decade. For me the straw that broke the camel’s back came during Indian cricket’s finest moment. We’d just won the world cup after a 28 year-long wait, Sachin Tendulkar was hoisted on the shoulders of Kohli & Co. and was being carried around the ground to rapturous screaming. It was a beautiful emotional scene. We all just wanted to soak it in, listen to the crowd and watch the man who’d carried Indian cricket for over 20 years be carried around the ground like the hero he was.
But Gavaskar would not shut up. He felt the need to shove himself into the moment; like the retired uncle who just couldn’t make peace with the fact that his time was past, Gavaskar rambled on saying nothing memorable butting into the euphoria with his inane euphemisms.
It was at that moment that I decided that something had to be done.
In February of 2015, Meerkat was released. Live video streaming from any phone was now possible, and immediately, my long held dream suddenly seemed possible. What if any regular Kumar or Kini could live stream cricket commentary from his phone and anyone could tune in?
The result could be something special. Pretty much every Indian is an expert in cricket. We watch matches with a feverish zeal. We know the history of the game and the relevant statistics like the back of our hand. And lord knows we’re brutally honest about our feelings towards several players. We love the game without any sense of politics and can be brutally honest about it. Giving the power of commentary to the people, could make some magic.
Commentary in India’s multitude of languages; Konkani (my mother tongue), Tulu, Assamese, Oriya, Tamil, Punjabi, Hindi you name it.
Commentary that was emotional and reactive, while also being analytical.
Commentary where one could swear and scream when we won or lost.
Commentary as a democracy. Of the people, by the people, for the people!
So we went ahead and made it. And we’ve called it ShortPitch.
It’s still early days, and the product is still very much in beta, but it works (especially well when you’re on a laptop, mobile UI is a bit buggy). But we can’t wait to show it to a few of our friends to see what they think.
Live streaming comes with livechat, where your friends can swear at you, as seen above!
So tune in, to listen to me ramble on about how Vijay played an unnecessarily rash short at the stroke of lunch yesterday. Or swear at Hazlewood for his unnecessary staring after every delivery. Or make bored sighs when the test goes through a lull.
Or better yet, hit that yellow broadcast button and share your “Pitch” with your friends.
We can’t wait to see what the voice of the people has to say!
P.S: IPL season begins April 4th. That should be fun!
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