In exclusive comments to Pakpassion, renowned commentator Robin Jackman discusses life "in the box", the bright cricketing prospects around the world, sports psychology, and his thoughts on the currently on-going CLT20.
Indian born Jackman featured in 19 international matches for England between 1974 and 1983 taking 33 wickets in total.
Jackman had close ties with South Africa, coaching and representing Rhodesia and Western Province over 11 English winters. When chosen to tour the West Indies in 1980-81, the Guyanese government objected to his involvement with the then apartheid South Africa, and revoked his visa. The second Test was thus cancelled, as the English management chose not to yield to political pressure.
Jackman also represented Surrey and Western Province in a first class career that spanned 16 years and nowadays can be found in the comfort of the commentary box around the world. Recently he commentated on the Pakistan versus Australia limited over series in the UAE.
PakPassion.net: What is it that interests you in your current profession as a TV commentator?
Robin Jackman: The game of cricket in all formats. I have a passion for the game and feel very privileged to have been involved with the game on a professional basis now for 47 years.
PakPassion.net:Do you feel that standards of Television commentary have improved over time or do you feel that commercial/sponsor interests are affecting the style and content?
Robin Jackman: More ex-players are now turning to commentary and so the public will always get up to date views but it would be fair to say that styles and content have been affected in certain instances but not necessarily in a negative way.
PakPassion.net:Which is tougher? Being a player or a commentator?
Robin Jackman:Being a player definitely.
PakPassion.net:How difficult is it for a commentator to remain “neutral”?
Robin Jackman:Being neutral and sounding neutral are two very different things.
PakPassion.net:Have you ever nearly lost your temper with a fellow commentator whilst on air?
Robin Jackman: No never!
PakPassion.net:Having seen Pakistan in action in UAE and other venues, what is it that impresses you the most? What is the most frustrating aspect of watching Pakistan play?
Robin Jackman: What impresses me the most is the abundance of natural talent that the Pakistan team possess but the lack of consistency is what frustrates me the most.
PakPassion.net:How impressed were you with Nasir Jamshed recently against Australia in UAE?
Robin Jackman: Very impressed, I think he has a wonderful future.
PakPassion.net: You have visited Pakistan on previous occasions for commentary, what do you think of the country and the people?
Robin Jackman: I have always been made to feel very welcome in Pakistan by all the people. I have made lasting friends over the years and enjoy their hospitality when visiting.
PakPassion.net:Do you think more needs to be done to encourage the return of international cricket to Pakistan?
Robin Jackman: The whole cricketing world would like to see Pakistan playing in Pakistan again and their supporters deserve to be able to watch them playing at home. I am not sure just how possible this can be if there is a threat of a repeat of the awful attack that happened when Sri Lanka last toured.
PakPassion.net:Tell us about your thoughts on the current standard of fast bowling around the world at the moment?
Robin Jackman: There are many new and exciting fast bowlers emerging all the time. In general I think the standard is very high but there will always be the odd one that stands out amongst the rest.
PakPassion.net:Any young fast bowlers who you think have a very bright future?
Robin Jackman: I am very impressed with the two Australians, Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins.
PakPassion.net:What can young fast bowlers learn from Dale Steyn and his impressive levels of consistency in all formats?
Robin Jackman: Dale is a wonderful bowler and he works very very hard at keeping up the high standards that he sets himself and that Allan Donald sets him. Any young fast bowler must understand that he has chosen a tough career and there are no easy days.
PakPassion.net:The best bit of advice you were given in terms of bowling fast and by whom?
Robin Jackman: That I had chosen a tough career and there weren’t any easy days, told to me by my father.
PakPassion.net: What do you think of the involvement of 'Politics' in cricket? Do you think even today there is some degree of politics in cricket?
Robin Jackman: All the time nations have ministers of sport, politics will be involved in sport. Simple as that.
PakPassion.net: Does sports psychology really play a big part in making players mentally stronger? Or does it depend more on the player?
Robin Jackman: I have become a huge fan of the new way forward and the various other experts who are called in to assist teams but I do feel that their success depends hugely on the individuals that they are working with.
PakPassion.net: What do you make of the Champions League in it's current format and do you think that the Champions League is a requirement in the modern game?
Robin Jackman: I think it is fine and has merely become an extension of the IPL. It seems to make sense to have a tournament to see who the best of the best is.
PakPassion.net: Are T20 tournaments popping up all over the world a genuine threat to Test cricket?
Robin Jackman: No. Absolutely not.
PakPassion.net: Do you see more players becoming freelance cricketers around the world?
Robin Jackman: Unfortunately yes.