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Ravi Kishan on hitting the ball out of the park with his Bhojpuri cricket commentary at IPL 2023

Ravi Kishan was a part of Bigg Boss S1, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa S5, and web shows Rangbaaz, The Whistleblower and Khakee: The Bihar Chapter

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 09.06.23, 05:07 PM
Ravi Kishan strikes a pose with the mic

Ravi Kishan strikes a pose with the mic Instagram

Actor Ravi Kishan Shukla brings a burst of energy into whatever he does and wherever he goes. His Bhojpuri commentary in the recently concluded IPL 2023, delivered Ravi Kishan-style, has won the hearts of millions across the globe. Having worked in multiple languages — Hindi, Bhojpuri, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil – the 53-year-old actor-politician shared with us his experience of his opening innings as a cricket commentator, being an ambassador for Bhojpuri culture and his upcoming projects.

The Telegraph Online: Your cricket commentary in Bhojpuri at the IPL 2023 has won many hearts. Tell us about the experience.


Ravi Kishan: I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported and enjoyed the Bhojpuri commentary. I am thankful for the love and support I have received from fans across the world. For me, the idea of having Bhojpuri cricket commentary during IPL 2023 was creative, overwhelming and something that should have been done long ago, considering the number of Bhojpuri speakers we have. It was an exceptional chance to display Bhojpuri culture and cheer up millions of cricket fans. Due to all the fans’ support, the atmosphere felt electrifying, and I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the audience through my commentary. I am humbled by the response and the entire experience is memorable.

Why do you think it became so popular?

Ravi Kishan: Bhojpuri commentary has grown in popularity because of its relatability and connection with the masses. It captured hearts as we showcased our cultural identity. The simplicity of the language struck a chord and created an emotional connection. Overall, the unique blend of our culture, language and talent worked into the spicy flavour of Bhojpuri commentary, what we call tadka, making it extremely popular.

Cricket commentary is not an easy task. You must be a passionate cricket fan as well. How did you prepare?

Ravi Kishan: Well, for me, cricket commentary was not as challenging a job as I thought it would be. Being a hardcore cricket enthusiast, the love of playing the sport helped me immerse myself in the world of cricket with ease. Although studying or differentiating the nuances of the game and keeping up with the latest trends and statistics were something new to me.

When I was given the chance to do it as a celebrity, I experienced a mix of exhilaration and responsibility. It was an opportunity for me to communicate my passion for the game to millions of fans and offer informed commentary. I eagerly accepted the assignment because I knew it would provide me with a chance to interact with other cricket enthusiasts and make a unique contribution to the sport.

Are you going to be a part of other cricket tournaments also or will it be an annual project for you?

Ravi Kishan: I have enjoyed and would love to do it again for the love and support that my fans have for me. However, I believe that more things are in the pipeline to explore, with completely new projects. While I can’t predict the future, I am open to participating in other tournaments if they align with my time and values. If the audience expresses a desire to see me in other tournaments, then there is a possibility that they may witness me participating in them.

What kind of feedback have you got from colleagues from the industry and the political world?

Ravi Kishan: My colleagues in the film industry and political friends have been greatly supportive and appreciative of my work. They have encouraged and motivated me with their kind words and how they feel proud of me as I am constantly working on the betterment of the Bhojpuri language, people and cinema.

But I felt truly inspired when there was this tweet, that came to my attention, which was from Mr Anil Agarwalji, the chairman of Vedanta Group, and on that day there was this celebratory lunch for the success of IPL, and wherever I greeted fellow partners they kept saying they liked my Bhojpuri commentary. I am grateful for their continuous encouragement and support.

You are like a brand ambassador for Bhojpuri culture and community. What kind of response do you get when you travel the world?

Ravi Kishan: As a proud representative of Bhojpuri culture and community, it’s an honour to be considered a brand ambassador. When I tour the world, I am overwhelmed by the affection and warmth from people of all nationalities. They appreciate the richness of Bhojpuri culture, music and cinema. It’s heartening to witness how our art form transcends boundaries and connects with people globally.

How are you dividing time between acting, politics, brand shoots and cricket commentary?

Ravi Kishan: As an actor and politician, I believe in effective time management and balancing diverse responsibilities. To ensure smooth work division, I rely on a well-structured schedule that is efficiently taken care of by my management team. Both demand dedication and I ensure adequate time allocation for both.

You bring high energy wherever you go. What’s the secret?

Ravi Kishan: I believe the secret to bringing high energy wherever I go lies in a balanced approach. Firstly, my work is my passion, and I put my heart and soul into every project, which naturally fuels my energy. Secondly, my devotion to Mahadev, Lord Shiva, keeps me grounded and spiritually connected, providing me with inner strength and positivity. Lastly, I prioritise a healthy lifestyle. Together these factors contribute to the vibrant energy that I bring to my work and personal life.

Tell us about the films and web shows that are keeping you busy. Which ones are you excited about?

Ravi Kishan: Well, I am thrilled to share that some incredible projects have been keeping me busy. One such venture close to my heart is Mahadev Ka Gorakhpur, a project that director Rajesh Nair and I have passionately worked on. It promises to be an absolute treat. Also recently, I wrapped up the shooting for a fascinating Netflix series called Vakalatnama. I have had the pleasure of working with the talented Kiran Rao on a captivating project titled Laapaata Ladies. And I have joined forces with the legendary Sunny Deol for a project called Soorya.

Your daughter Riva also debuted recently. What is your advice to her?

Ravi Kishan: As a father, I am extremely proud of my daughter, Riva, for her recent debut in the music video Bewafa Se Pyar Kiya with T-Series. She has worked hard to achieve whatever she has set a goal for. I have seen her struggles, her efforts and her determination to fight back. My daughter is my rockstar, and I couldn’t be happier for her. My wife Priti and I have always educated our children about right and wrong, but we have let them breathe and grow on their own. My firstborn Riva has carved her path and earned this opportunity through her talent. My advice to her is to stay focused, believe in herself and continue to work hard. I am always there to support her in every step of her journey, and I am excited to see what the future holds for her.

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