With the India- New Zealand series getting underway, CS talks to Archana about being a woman cricket presenter and her love for the sport:
I did my English Honors from Kolkata and I never thought that my degree would help me, but it has. I talk for a living now! I never thought I would be a presenter because I was a camera shy person then. But until you do something, you never know whether you can do it or not. I have been presenting for five years now, so it took a while for people to realise that 'Hey she's not just hot, but she also knows what she's talking about'. I don't want to be a bimbette! If you are pretty, people automatically assume that you are dumb. Then it becomes a double task - not only do you have to surpass the male dominance, but also prove yourself. So I do a lot of research before every game so that I don't look like a fool.
Not an expert, just curious
When you are talking to experts and legends, you don't want to come across as someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. I cannot be an expert because I have never played the game. So I have always maintained the persona of a fan and a presenter. I never give an opinion. I always ask questions and don't make statements. I bring in the cricket aspect to my interviews, but I keep it very real. I try to actually find out what a fan would like to know. Also, it's funny but a lot of women like what I do. They like to see a woman finding out more about the game from her perspective.
Moments to cherish
I remember this ODI game in Guwahati. It was Australia v/s India and Australia had already won the series. But I still remember the crowds. Since the sun sets early there, we were headed to the stadium at 7am and as far as my sight could go, I could just see a sea of people waiting to enter the stadium. All for a dead rubber game! That's the passion for the game in India. I was also there when Sachin scored his 17,000 runs, his 12,000 ODI runs. I was also present when he scored his 200 in Gwalior. After India won the Asia Cup, Mahi (M S Dhoni) gave me his winning cap. Even while presenting the recent cricket league, I had a jig with Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, getting the two in the same frame was great.