Published: 17th February 2018
There is no way without doing your homework in this field: Suhail Chandhok
So what if an injury kept him off the field? Sports analyst and commentator Suhail Chandhok took to the off-field with gusto and mastered that too
You've seen him play host at various sporting events in badminton,kabaddi cricket, football and more. You've even seen him play a pivotal role in Tamil blockbuster, Veeram. Clearly, namma Chennai boy Suhail Chandhok has been, and still is, going places. It's not just about being born into sports; it's more than that for him when it comes to sports commentary. "It is the homework and research that I love — talking to players, past players, coaches. With that, I always try to add more to the commentary, add more to the action beyond what the viewers are already seeing," he explains, adding that there is no way forward without doing your homework, in this field.
While studying at the University of Adelaide, Suhail went on to become its first Indian cricket recipient of the Oxford-Cambridge Half Blue Award
Born into a sports family — his father is Indian rallying champion Vicky Chandhok and his brother is F1 racer Karan Chandhok — Suhail refers to sports as "the family business," a language that comes to him easily. But mastering several dialects and jargon of the language — kabaddi, hockey, badminton, cricket, football and more — must have surely been a challenge, right? It turns out that even while growing up, Suhail was interested in multiple sports, even unheard ones, so the juggling act is something he has clearly mastered. "It helps that I have played many of these sports, gone as far as playing cricket professionally too. But it's a unique challenge — to be in tune with the jargon of every sport. Every sport is beautiful," says Suhail.
It's a unique challenge to dig deeper into every sport and understand it from a different point of view
Suhail Chandhok, Sports Commentator and Analyst
Regarding sports in India, the sports analyst feels that with the leagues coming into sports like kabaddi and football, "India is truly on its way to becoming a multi-sport nation." And though it is at the nascent stage, India is headed in the right direction, he believes. And when it comes to the young players of these leagues, who are finally getting their spot in the sun, and signing big contracts, Suhail feels that there is a need for player education. There is a need to teach them how to manage not only their new-found fame, but finances as well.
Suhail has played for the IPL team, Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past. He is currently the host of #OnTheBall with Suhail, India’s first Periscope TV chat show
Another initiative that Suhail feels is going in the right direction is Khelo India, the recent programme launched by the Government of India to develop sports, which is “a fantastic initiative and a massive step in the right direction,” feels Chandhok, who is currently based in Mumbai. "How much longer will schools keep saying that they don't have the infrastructure? We need to find innovative ways to use available spaces," he opines, adding that the myth ‘sports takes away from academics’ needs to be debunked, now! "I remember when I was ten and playing cricket. I would lie about it at school, but my parents were informed and yet, I scored pretty well in my exams," says Suhail, who believes that sports can teach you life lessons too.
A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand-in-hand and the combination of education and sports can help with that
Suhail Chandhok, sports commentator and analyst
So what does Suhail feel about what he does? "Every day is a wonderful opportunity for me to live my dream and give my 100 per cent," he says. Spoken like a true champion.
Follow him on twitter at @suhailchandhok