The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dhoni sets dream for another Benaud

Ranchi, Nov. 29: Dhoni can well be an inspiration for a Benaud in making.

Ashrut Kumar, a final year Hindi (hons) student of St Xavier's College, has been nurturing hopes for the past 11 years to get a call for an international cricket match commentator.

While people enjoy cricket matches along with the magical voice of Richie Benaud, considered to be the doyen of TV commentary, Ashrut, a polio victim, keeps the volume at zero and practises running commentary to hone his skills.

Ashrut, who has already won many laurels for cricket commentary in the state and at the national level, is at present trying to improve the skill taking help from his college professors and radio artistes, to become an international commentator.

Ashrut preferred Hindi to English as his undergraduate course of study only to become a commentator.

He has been practising regularly for improving his language besides appearing for an audition for the All India Radio, which will entertain him only after graduation.

The 24-year-old enthusiast, who began live commentary in Class VII, is quite confident about his emergence as an international cricket commentator. 'I did a live commentary at Harmu when Dhoni scored a double century in a district-level cricket tournament. After his selection in Team India, I hope to add my voice along with Dhoni's spectacular batting in an international match very soon,' added Ashrut.

Kamal Kumar Bose, head of the Hindi department of St Xavier College, said Ashrut is not a cricketer, but, nonetheless, he is involved with the game like any of the young cricketer.

'Days are not far when we will hear Ashrut's live commentary with international cricket matches,' he added.

His college friends are also proud of the commentary Ashrut does. 'We get mesmerised by his enthralling voice during the matches. He has the power to enliven the moments seen on the television,' said Deepak, one of his friends in the college.

Ashrut, who also offered his voice for a live commentary of the cricket match played between the chief minister's XI and the Speaker's XI in July this year, got a lot of prizes for his commentary during the past decade. And all the while he never did it as an amateur but with an eye set on the horizon of professional commentator, he said.

In his career, spanning over a decade, the young commentator was appreciated by cricketers such as Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Jadeja and Prabhakar during matches played at various stadiums across the country. Ashrut, who set his goal during the 1992 cricket World Cup, has been doing live commentary in the inter-university cricket tournaments since 1996.

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