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Name: Aslam Khota

Vitalstatistics:Supersport cricket analyst & Radio 2000 commentator.
I caught up with Alsam and was really eager to find out about his experiences in the Carribean. Here is my Interview


swoosh:“Slmz Aslam. Good to have you on the Blog again, And we were mighty proud that you were over there commentating for Such a Prestigeous event. Obviously myself and the Blog want to know and get a feel of what was it like out there in the Carribian.How was it, to be commentating for such a big event like the World Cup, Was it any different that commentating at local cricket matches. The Atmosphere around the places etc?

aslam: It was a privilege to ‘represent’ South Africa at the world event. I try to keep my commentary as simple as possible because you speak to a diverse listernership and not everyone is fully acquainted with the game. So most matches demand the same approach but the atmosphere does give you a rush. The atmosphere was unique as the West Indies is unique. The beauty is captivating and the people, the food, the manner in which they approach the tourist industry is different and it all works

swoosh: Many pundits are calling this one a real FLOP if you may call it. For many reasons, The length of the tourney, Woolmers death sorta cast a pall over this tournament, The early Exit of India and Pakistan. Your thoughts on this?
aslam:The standard of the cricket was certainly not the best. Most pitches really made for difficult cricket and teams and individuals found it hard. You could count about 5 or 6 matches that were good in the whole tournament. The tournament felt much longer because of the logistical fact that it took place on different islands and time had to be put aside for reserve days and travel etc. Woolmers death hit the tournament and the mood very hard. Whether it was foul play or a most ironical/co-incidental death for its timing, South Africans were very disturbed and took a while to recover.
The elimination of the eastern giants was disappointing but not surprising. After the way they played in South Africa prior to the tournament all the signs were there that they were vulnerable. Having said that; had they qualified, they were talented enough to turn things around.

swoosh: Lets focus on Pakistan & India. Im sure a real shocker to you. But Ive never ever seen them play so lax. Obviously pundits again expect somehing sinister. Was It or are the miinows like Bangladesh and Ireland evolving ….?

aslam: Nothing sinister at all!! You play badly You loose its that simple. Yes Bangladesh and Ireland had nothing to loose and played positively. No team can be taken lightly and dont be suprised if Canada, Scotland,The Netherlands also pick up suprise results. They too are becoming more professional and the extra help and funding will see to that.

swoosh: What was the best stadium you visited in the Carribean?Im sure the Islands must be breathtaking?

aslam: Grenada’s Queens Park was most impressive. The Chinese who built the stadium left no stone unturned after the devastating hurricane that virtually destroyed the Island. It is brand new and great facilities too.The Kensington Oval in Barbados ranks among the best in the world from every aspect. The Islands must be unrivalled in the world for it’s serene beauty. St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis and Grenada have more to offer from breathtaking rainforests, mountains, dormant volcanoes and classic beaches. Georgetown in Guyana – is so beautiful and quaint as a city. It has old town charm about it, and although poverty is there, the more you see the more you like it. It seems to grow on you. The Country has three magnificet rivers, two that are part of the great rainforests of South America and has a total of 40 waterfalls of which the Keiteur is one of the most breathtaking in the world for its height and might! Go if you get a chance. The Proteas go there in 2009 for a series and 2010 for the ICC Champs Trophy.

swoosh: Lets move on to SA. I remember everyone gearing up for that big Semi and it was virtually over by 17:00 pm our time. How would you rate SA’S performance throughout the World Cup?aslam: Disappointing! Very Inconsistent and the excuse that they were unable to come to terms with pitches and the number of days between games was feeble. It was similar for all teams and the one day series against India and Pakistan saw pitches similar to the West Indies and the Proteas were encouraged as they beat the two teams convincingly. The semi defeat was hard to absorb and understand. The boys were over anxious more especially when they won the toss and what looked a certain 300+ pitch. Ponting played his trumpcard McGrath with the new ball for the first time in the tourney, and the Proteas Idea of attacking him failed as he was more challenging with the new ball. In their earlier encounter in St Kitts it worked as McGrath was used as first change and the plan paid off. SA must plan for 2011 and start dropping players who will no longer be playing/ too old!! Experience is irreplaceable thats why get the YOUNGSTERS to start now and prepare.

swoosh: Do we need to ring major changes. I see with the latest contracts nothings changed?What changes would you suggest?

aslam:Arthur and Smith overall over the last 16 to 18 months have done well and got SA to number one. But the support staff needs another look in. I believe recently retired players with experience will add another dimension to coaching aspects and game plans etc. Bowling coach or a batting coach – anything will help.As I said in the previuos question, players need to be pushed to retire or choose one form and make openings to prepare for Champs Trophy in 2008 in Bangladesh, and Windies in 2010 etc.

swoosh: The Ozzis, A machine, A Unit, Amazing. Your Thoughts?

aslam: Just a very well organised unit. Look back at their WC campaign and you will see nothing special or out of the ordinary in their approach. Ponting will tell you, they play responsibly and are able to adjust to conditions and that teams are mostly intimidated before the match even starts! With all that they have a few gifted players to make things easier. Leadership in that team can’t be difficult, but it still takes some doing to gel all the talent and make them perform. Their new tact is to play the teams out of the game very early, either by bowling you out cheaply or batting you out of the match.

swoosh: What was one of the highs of the world Cup for you, And one of the lows?


One only? Mohamed Ashrafuls innings against SA was brilliant in its execution.He played SA out of that match and caused much consternation for the rest of the campaign. Dont forget Gibbs’ 6×6, Malinga’s 4 in 4, and Jayawardenes commanding century in the semi against the Kiwis. The lowest was the manner of the loss in the semi against the OZ. They fear SA and we got it all wrong to hand them an easy passage to victory.

swoosh: Out there you must have rubbed shoulders with some of the greats in the commentating business. Can you name some of them or even some great cricketing personalities you met out there.?

aslam: Sir Viv Richards always a hero was there and chatted alot. Many others especailly among the TV and radio commentary teams. It was great to work with Neil Manthorp and Fazeer Mohamed, Andrew Mason, the brilliant Simon Crosskill, who I hope the Safricans can hear as he is very good.

swoosh: Lastly Aslam, Who was your star team and player of the World Cup and why?

aslam: Mahela Jayawardene for his leadership under such pressure, his batting when it mattered most. The semi final century must go down as one of the most intelligent knocks for a very long time. The Aussies were professional, but the Lankans were just endearing as a team, in their approach and free style of playing was most outstanding in the tournament.

Jazakallah Aslam. Thanks for the Interview and We wish you success in your future endevours in CricketSwoosh. We will caht to you again on the blog with the upcoming cricket season and tours to England and Austrailia.

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Comments (6)

  • Anonymous
    May 22, 2007 at 7:27 am Reply

    Good interview, by the way it was also Aslam’s Birthday on the 21st May… so A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our darling uncle, may the Almighty grant you even more success, you deserve it!
    Love Always
    Yumna & Farid

  • Faheem_Vezharz
    May 22, 2007 at 3:05 pm Reply

    Great interview and a Happy B’day!About the pic u want me 2 verify.Im doing a file on it and will get back 2 u.Can u tell me where it was spotted

  • Anonymous
    May 22, 2007 at 7:24 pm Reply

    good interview swoosh

    all the best Aslam, hope to read more of your articles and interviews

    A cricket Fan

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2007 at 5:27 pm Reply

    awesome interview

    keep up the PR

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2007 at 5:28 pm Reply

    Good to see our guys strutting their stuff.

    we hope tosee more


  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2007 at 5:30 pm Reply

    What about Hashim Amla as future Captain?

    Your thoughts…..Aslam

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