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Importance of television production and Pakistan Cricket

Today I am going to write into some of the neglected aspects in Pakistan, Pakistan Cricket and Pakistan Cricket Board. Its on the importance of television production and cricket commentary. Many countries have promoted the game of cricket in their countries by means of the same. But here in Pakistan its a completely neglected aspect and this thing was seen even when the TV contracts were granted to the companies (usually PTV those times) for covering Pakistani games, and for each home series, the contracts were granted on the series-to-series basis instead of a tenure based contract or agreement.
They are the current broadcasters of Pakistan
Cricket but thanks to the lenient policy of PCB,
we're not able to present ourselves properly on the
cricketing grounds.
Today, the reality is that in the telecast rights domain a huge question mark hangs over any tourney that features any high profile cricket team. And if truth be told, it makes no difference whether a series involves a traditional cricket power like Australia on the opposing side or one from Timbaktoo. As long as the Pakistani team is playing, the tag of "event of national import" can be applied. To understand what's at stake a recap is in order. If I am not wrong, Ten Sports were the first company, formerly run by CBFS chief Abdul Rahman Bakhatir and now under an Indian Television company, who had the privilege of having a tenure based contract, unlike the previous series' against Australia in Arabian deserts and against Kiwis at home by Transworld International aka TWI which had series-to-series contract. I am not against any company or being biased as if a company being run by Indian Financers don't have the right to broadcast Pakistani games blah blah blah, but the fact is that a television production quality for a cricket game is judged by the number of cameras used, the quality and the age of equipment used, the expertise of cameramen, the number and quality of addons and last but not the least is commentators.
If I call my information right, minimum of 12 to 14 cameras atleast are required to meet the letter of the law for an acceptable (in my language - a budgetary) production. More higher and top quality production requires atleast 20 and more cameras. Usually large television companies use specialized organizations like Octagon Productions, Sports Brand Productions and WorldTel Productions (which used to produce later matches of Sharjah Cup and some Bangladeshi games before Ten Sports came), for the task.
The majority of such companies usually carry the support staff and their main staff alongside the production whereas miniature companies use those freelancers who're hired on assignment basis (I am not narrating the term series-to-series basis, as there are some instances that there are some back to back series' so they can give an assignment of two series' under their belts, just like the current India v Australia and than India against Kiwis, both were back to back with difference of 5 - 7 days between both series'), and if Pakistan able to stage their home games at home, such companies used the local cameramen who gave a world class reputation.
Although it's said BCCI is the richest cricket board of the cricketing world,
but they're investing in their production standards and than on their cricket
grounds, so that their cricket package could be attractive for foreign
stakeholders. Can't the guys at PCB learn from them???
If I talk of addons, in this competitive era of technology, having a speed gun, an lbw matt application, a slo mo and an ultra slo mo cameras, a snickometer and so on so forth is requirement of todays cricket games as the viewer wants each and every bit of details about their players and their play and now comes my favourite addon, the HotSpot, which uses some additional cameras and which gives clear details about nicks off the bat and around the pads. In the Ashes 2010-11, four of such cameras are used for the accuracy else on the usual basis 2 of them are used for the same purpose, but the only drawback this technology is being used by limited countries, is the cost of this technology and will take time to get it implemented globally. Therefore majority stake-holders of such companies want to keep their profit maximized with respect to the cheap production expenses. This can specially be the case where the television revenues are on the lower sides for the teams like Zimbabwe and Kenya as opposed to the teams like India and England when compete against each other. It thus requires the cricket boards to ensure that it spares no effort to ensure highest production level available. Other important factors of the production sides are the director and its commentators. The fees commanded by them are commensurate with their ability and global know-how. The best directors in this business are well known and the bigger companies try to have such people in their team.
Now come to my main reason writing this, The production level of current Pakistan South Africa series in the Emirates was sadly under valued thanks to its commentators. The South Africans were well prepared and well represented. They even pronounced Pakistani players names with closer to their origins. Names like Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed they pronounced them rightly. But on the other hand representation of Pakistani commentators and presenters were diminished. Plus whoever was the commentator Pakistan end, pronounced some of the Proteas players name not correctly. Johan Botha is to name one. Plus the company (Ten Sports) used a fine Pakistani player as a commentator which he is not considered as the frontline commentator. If I look around there was Amir Sohail who was a great player of his time and still with Ramiz Raja, he is one of the highest rated Pakistani commentator in todays time. He also have the respect of frontline commentators like Jeff Boycott and Ian Chappel. Pakistan could also use the services of Asif Iqbal and Wasim Akram as commentators for a Pakistani series' provided their primary channel's commitments do not discount them, as Wasim Akram is currently associated with ESPN Star Sports for their cricket commentary team.
In any case, economy again is one of the contributory factors when the producers make the selection. Sadly this economy reflects neither on the 'rights holder' nor on the producer but sadly upon the country that's hosting the series; Pakistan. When will be learn not to compromise on those matters which are important and which decides how the cricket in your country is seen globally!!! When PCB fulfill its duties to utmost?

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