Sports presenter Saarthak: I admire Novak Djokovic for his relentless pursuit of excellence

Young actor, sports presenter Saarthak is one of the youngest commentators who led the commentary box during LIVE Prime Time games for Sony Sports Network

Sports presenter Saarthak: I admire Novak Djokovic for his relentless pursuit of excellence
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Kumar Raviraj Sinha

Actor, sports presenter Saarthak has single handedly hosted this year’s French Open games live shows broadcast by Sony Sports Network . Saarthak recently hosted all the episodes of “12th Khiladi’s” IPL 2022. He calls doing a cameo in Ranveer Singh starrer 'Gully Boy' "a special experience" and would love to act more.

1. How did your journey of being a sports presenter start?

At first, I would just share my sports videos online. I would pick up any sport and express myself. My first TV break came with the channel Discovery Sport (now Eurosport) when I was sent in to host an International Triathlon in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Interestingly, this led to my first break as a commentator during prime time on the Sony Sports Network for the Pro Wrestling League. The journey has been a roller-coaster ride from doing commentary for a local cricket match at Azad Maidan to covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.

2. What drew you towards this profession?

The dream was to play Tennis for India. It didn't happen. The world of media and broadcasting fascinated me. I wanted to combine my ability to communicate with the undying passion for sport. I was fortunate to be mentored by Mr Anand Narasimhan, a senior anchor at Network 18. He was someone I really looked up to. His growth in the world of media starting out as a sports anchor has been phenomenal. With his support, I began my journey at the Times Television Network as a summer Intern in 2014. That's where it all began. I observed and absorbed. My love towards this profession has only grown over the years.

3. Not many people know how to become a presenter, what tips would you like to give to newcomers?

Cover the local sporting leagues, talk about them, write about them and connect with the players there. Staying in tune with sports and the current affairs related to it is fundamental for any sports presenter.

I will recommend studying the sports you love the most thoroughly, shoot your own videos as you speak on them, create maximum possible content and share it online. Keep at it. Your work will be noticed. This is something that can be done by anyone who is interested in this career path.

4. You have hosted so many sports, which is your favorite and why?

I grew up playing Tennis all day. Watching Grand Slam matches on television gave me a special high. The emotion of watching a one on one grueling rivalry on television was something else for me. Watching a Rafa punch the air or a Djokovic do the splits always got me really excited. So it has to be Tennis.

5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I may be meditating in the Himalayas. Haha! Wherever I am, I wish to be doing the things I love doing.

6. How was your meeting with Cricketer Rashid Khan? Share some details.

Rashid Khan is a fun-loving person. He kept cracking jokes as soon as I met him. It was a very enriching experience because not every day does one get to spend the day with the Cricketer of the Decade. He is a rare talent. He opened up about his fondest memories. He shared some of his favourite Bollywood dialogues. We discussed everything from Sara Ali Khan to Shane Warne.

7. Who is your inspiration in sports and why?

Novak Djokovic is someone I hugely admire for his relentless pursuit of excellence. At 35, he looks like he is still 23 on the Tennis court. His ability to rise above the greats like Nadal and Federer over the years, despite the crowds not being in his favor on several occasions, showcases his mental resolve. He has always been a major source of inspiration throughout my life. The poise and maturity with which he handled the entire Australian Open earlier this year, speaks volumes about him as a person. His integrity, sense of humor and character are commendable.

8. What’s next?

Doing something interesting for the upcoming US Open on a leading international Tennis platform based in the UK.

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