Black Caps player Ish Sodhi talks to Radio Tarana’s Sanjesh Narain about the initiative by Spark Sport to broadcast cricket with commentary in Hindi.
TVNZ will screen the first T20 international of the men’s and women’s series and several Super Smash matches.
Black Caps cricket player Ish Sodhi sports an impressive moustache, which he says he grew because he didn’t feel that he looked like a dad.
It’s the first time in decades that the network has had the rights to screen live cricket.
The West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh are all scheduled to play in New Zealand in 2020/21 as well as the women’s teams from Australia and England.
Black Caps bowler Ish Sodhi says he can’t wait to give fans what they’ve been missing when New Zealand plays the West Indies this month.
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“I think because no one’s watched live cricket for a long time in New Zealand, a lot of people will be really excited. So it’ll be great to see international cricket.”
Sodhi says free-to-air matches are fantastic for all enthusiasts of the game, but especially young fans who might not have access to premium coverage.
The 27 year old, who lives in Christchurch with his family, grew up in Papatoetoe, South Auckland and loves the positive impact of free-to air games.
“I think a lot of households where I grew up didn’t really have Sky TV. So it’s really good that they (will now be able) to watch some cricket.
“And also, the great thing about that is it opens it up to a whole new demographic. There’s so many hugely talented kids coming through those lower socio-economic groups.
“If they’re exposed to it, and they get a bit of inspiration from it, I think it’ll be really good in terms of development of cricket in that area and that’s definitely something I’d love to promote.”
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Ish Sodhi says “I think a lot of households where I grew up didn’t really have Sky TV. So it’s really good that they (will now be able) to watch some cricket”.
Returning after two months playing in the Caribbean Premier League, Sodhi spent his two weeks in quarantine in East Auckland and says it was an experience he couldn’t fault.
“They were unbelievable. All the food there was incredible, the facilities were great.”
He’s now reunited with his wife Angelina and baby daughter Dahlia, who was just two months old when he left to play for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
“To see how much she’s grown has been pretty special. Thankfully now it’s our New Zealand summer, so we get to spend a lot more time together.”
Sodhi jokes that he is already seeing signs of Dahlia following in her father’s run-up.
“I think early on she used to get into the position of an off-spin bowler when she slept, and me being a leg-spinner, I was a little bit disappointed in that but it’s a little bit too early to tell.
“I’m not going to lie. I’d love to see her play some cricket. I’d love to be driving her to cricket on a Saturday morning, but it’s not something I’ll force.”
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Ish Sodhi (right, pictured with Katene Clarke of Northern District) loves to cook when he’s not playing cricket. He says he got plenty of practice during lockdown.
When he’s not playing cricket, Sodhi, who also represents Northern Districts, loves to cook. He says he got plenty of practice during lockdown and he especially loves to bake banana loaves – with the addition of Whittaker’s chocolate.
“I think if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, my house is the place to be,” he says.
Nadia Lim’s cookbook is also a big hit in the Sodhi household.
“She’s got a mint fish curry, which my missus loves as well, so that’s kind of been a staple in our home.”
But it’s not only his culinary skills that he has been cultivating during lockdown.
Sodhi now sports an impressive moustache, which he says he grew because he didn’t feel that he looked like a dad.
“Growing up, my dad had a moustache and a bit of a goatee and I guess a lot of the guys from the 80s and 90s had a moustache.
“So I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to try to look as much like a dad as I can’.
“I’ve had a lot of positive responses from my family and friends. I guess the only person that doesn’t like it is my wife.”
T20 Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies, TVNZ 1, Friday, November 27