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  1. #1
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    Member Interview : Big Mac

    Many thanks to @Big Mac for his insightful answers and GIFs.


    PakPassion.net : Tell us about your background.

    Big Mac : Nothing fancy, I’ve got a simple black background.



    Nice and clean and is easier on the eyes if I’m using my computer at night. Don’t see the point in having elaborate desktop pictures when you’re going to cover it up with whatever programs you’re us…wait. That’s not what you meant?

    Oh, right.

    I don’t like to talk about myself so I’ll keep it brief. One side of my family is from Pakistan, other side from India, born and raised in England. Some people will tell you that a multicultural upbringing has benefits like being multi-lingual, open minded, tolerant, knowledgeable and adaptable but that’s all nonsense. The best part, by fay, is that I can pick and choose who to support so I’m always on the winning side.




    PakPassion.net : How did you get into cricket?

    Big Mac : What’s wrong with you? Pay attention. I’m a Pakistani who grew up in an era when you could watch cricket for free on TV. Soul Limbo is THE sound of the summer for people of my generation no matter how hard Channel 5 and Sky tried to make Lou Bega and 10cc a thing.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K13bUI7Vx4

    A bunch of my fellow olds were reduced to tears as a wave of nostalgia swept over them as they watched that clip.


    PakPassion.net : How long have you been following the Pakistan team?

    Big Mac : I feel like this is a sneaky way of finding out my age. I’m old enough to remember everyone gathering around the TV at stupid o’clock to watch the 1992 World Cup final but just because I’ve got grey hairs it doesn’t mean I can’t teach you young’uns how to party.






    PakPassion.net : Why do you think Pakistan have been such a mercurial team historically?

    Big Mac : Hmmm…



    Well, you say historically but it’s not like the Pakistan team has always that way. Even in the 1980s under Imran we were solid and hard to beat but we were far from being a swashbuckling, win or go home team. The numbers bear it out as well, in the 80’s we drew 44 out of 80 Tests. That’s not mercurial, that’s boring. We only seemed exotic to the English media and fans because we were brown guys with funny moustaches and twirling leg-spinners.

    The mercurial/unpredictable/maverick tag didn’t come along until the 1990’s when we had a great line-up of batsmen and genuinely all-time great bowlers. When you’ve got that kind of talent at your disposal there is always a chance to create that little bit of magic that can swing a session, and subsequently a Test match, especially when nobody else knows what the hell is going on when the ball starts reversing at 95mph.

    When you’ve got some of the greatest players in the history of the game who still manage to lose games via choking/technical deficiencies/infighting/match fixing then you’re naturally going to be described as ‘mercurial’. We wore it as a badge of honour because we were too dumb to realise it was really a polite/condescending way of saying “You’re not THAT good”

    And here’s the thing, even in the 90’s and 00’s when the team was full of “match-winners” there was still a depressing predictability about everything. Still couldn’t win in South Africa, still got hammered out of sight by Australia. The only thing that stopped us having an Indian-esque away record was the fact that 1990’s England were genuinely one of the worst teams in the world. That and the fact that India won what, one Test outside India in the entire 90’s? Like seriously, how can you be THAT incompetent? You’d think you’d win a couple of Tests just by accident.

    But yeah, basically I’m saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same so keep that in mind when we get hammered again in Australia.


    PakPassion.net : What are the biggest obstacles facing cricket today?

    Big Mac : This.



    But we’ll come back to this for a later question.


    PakPassion.net : How do you rate Misbah as a batsman? How much longer do you think he has in him to keep playing? His successor (Test captaincy)?

    Big Mac : When he took over as captain I told myself I was done with cricket. The team was homeless after the attacks on the Sri Lankan bus, the captain (Who was only captain due to a leather eating dunce who quit because not throwing his wicket for one game was too much hard work) and our best two bowlers were in jail, the entire team was in disgrace and what did the PCB do? Give the captaincy to an over the hill T20 specialist who wasn’t even good enough to make the squad for the previous tour for no reason other than he has an MBA. What a joke.

    If you go and search my post history for my reaction to his appointment, you won’t find much because I was so disgusted that I stopped posting on PP for a while because Pakistan cricket was dead as far as I was concerned and yet…










    Misbah is the bestest and there will be no successor because he will play forever and ever and ever, suck it haters.




    PakPassion.net : Are you satisfied with the conclusion of the Miandad/Afridi affair?

    Big Mac : Hmm....




    PakPassion.net : What are your thoughts on the now shelved proposal for two divisions of Test cricket?

    Big Mac : Oof, this is a long, complicated question that will take way too long to answer fully. It would be a half step in the right direction but doesn’t really address the underlying problems in the way international cricket is set up right now.

    In order to thrive, cricket needs to:

    • Expand
    • Make Test cricket relevant
    • Have a proper fixture system


    One of the biggest obstacles in the way of those goals is that the power lies with the member boards and not with the ICC, who don’t do much more than provide umpires and follow whatever the member boards say. This prevents them from making the changes necessary to stop the decline of Test cricket because there is nothing stopping the boards from putting short term monetary gain rather than looking at the big picture.

    So, what do we about the way cricket is currently run?






    Cricket must expand. Every other sport on the planet is trying to find ways to expand and find new audiences around the glove. Cricket is the only one which is going in the opposite direction and trying to spin it as a good thing. The Rugby World Cup keeps getting bigger, baseball – which isn’t even a real sport – has become an Olympic event which means nations that never paid much attention to the sport will start putting together teams because the Olympics comes with that aura of prestige.

    You know how much funding the Chinese cricket team currently receives from the ICC? $30,000.

    Per year.

    For a nation of 1.4 Billion people.

    If cricket becomes an Olympic sport, the Chinese government could provide as much as 20 million dollars in funding because that’s how important the Olympics is to China.


    Meanwhile the likes of Giles Clarke keep blocking Olympic Cricket because it interferes with the English summer, as though they couldn’t just send an U-21 or a B team to the Olympics and still be in medal contention.

    As for bilateral tour agreements, they make a mockery of the future tours program. In the last ten years, Australia have played England 30 times, India 22 times, Pakistan 7 times and haven’t played Bangladesh or Zimbabwe at all in Test cricket. How on earth can you take Test rankings seriously when teams play each other an uneven number of times and often they don’t play at all? When a team can cancel or rearrange matches, like Pakistan did, in order to preserve ranking points to qualify for a tournament then how is that tournament anything but a joke?

    This is why interest in Test cricket is dwindling, not because it isn’t exciting but because the games are devoid of any meaning and there’s no prize to play for. What does that mace stand for? You’re the best team in the world? Cool. Until two other teams play each other halfway across the globe a week later and suddenly you’re no longer top dog, even though you haven’t lost in that time since being crowned as the ‘best team in the world.’ India and Pakistan are ranked #1 and #2 in the Test rankings yet the last the time they played was nine years ago. In what world does that even make sense?

    A two-division set up, whether it’s six and six, seven and five or whatever with teams that HAVE to play each other in an even fixture list will mean that every single Test match has an intrinsic value because it counts for points that could make the difference between being champions and runners up, between safety or relegation, between promotion glory or another season languishing in division two.

    Two divisions, everyone plays each other. Three Test series (Not married to that number but it’s a nice Goldilocks number. Not too long, not too short). If England and Australia cry “But what about ma Ashes?” then they can play a couple of extra (unranked) Tests at the end which won’t give any league points and they still have to play the rest of their fixtures. If India don’t want to play Pakistan, fine. They can put their money where their mouth is and forfeit those points. This, along with more equitable revenue sharing and TV revenue akin to the English Premier League (and unlike La Liga) along with parachute payments to compensate relegated teams will create much more exciting Test cricket for everyone involved. Put the whole league under a Test Premier League and Test Division One banner and you can create a real identity, like the IPL has done and you still keep five day games, red ball, white coloured clothing, all the stuff that the purists love about Test cricket while making the package as a whole more attractive to fans, broadcasters and advertisers which means more money for the boards and the ICC.

    I know there is talk of a two-conference system which solves some problems but not all of them, especially if tours are still unbalanced so one series is five Tests and another is two Tests. The idea of a Test championship final/playoff is completely ludicrous as well. Teams that have spent the last two or three years working their way up to the top of the rankings are expected to play a one-off winner takes all game? It’s the kind of thing I expect Allen Stanford to have come up with.

    Also, let’s say that Sri Lanka and India are the two top sides facing off in this Test championship game. The two best teams in the world are from Asia +but they’re supposed to play each other at Lords? Not happening, this isn’t the Imperial Cricket Conference any more.

    But whatever, it’s almost 5am now and I’m not even sure if anything I’m typing makes any sense at this point.


    PakPassion.net : Thoughts on Pakistan attaining the #1 ranking in Tests last month.

    Big Mac : Foreground: Mamoon, Alphafighter, MRSN, GreenKnightRises, etc.

    Background: Me and the rest of PP.




    PakPassion.net : Which Pakistani cricketers do you see taking Pakistan, the team, forward?

    Big Mac : Just the obvious answers really, Azhar and Shafiq are going to have to step up big time to fill the shoes of Misbah and Younus but it’s good to see guys like Babar Azam come into the team and look like they belong in international cricket. I’ve been fooled enough over the years by youngsters who started well and then flamed out not long after to get excited though.

    I just wish that Shehzad and Junior Akmal weren’t such fools. If they had half a brain to share between the two of them then they’d be in the first XI every game. Wouldn’t mind Fawad Alam getting another chance either. I don’t care how far he can hit the ball, when you can score that many runs in first class cricket then it’s got to count for something.

    Shehzad
    Aslam (If he doesn’t make this spot his own then put Junior in at 5, Azhar opens)
    Azhar
    Shafiq
    Babar
    Fawad
    Sarfraz

    That’s a tasty looking top seven if the two “talents” can spend less time at the hairdressers and more time working on their cricket. We look pretty well placed in ODIs with guys like Imad and Nawaz adding value with bat and ball. As far as our bowling goes, Amir is still finding his feet after a long ban and if Junaid can get back into the side that’s a pretty decent strike partnership. I keep forgetting that Rahat is only 28 so he’s got plenty of cricket left in him.

    Being based in England I don’t have the chance to watch any Pakistani domestic cricket so I have to wait to see players play for Pakistan before I can form any opinion so I can’t name random 17 year olds and proclaim them to be the best thing since sliced bread.


    PakPassion.net : Pakistan's chances in New Zealand and Australia?

    Big Mac : We’re gonna win five-nil of course.




    PakPassion.net : What according to you should be the road-map, going forward for Pakistani Cricket?

    Big Mac :




    PakPassion.net : What can be done to make India play more cricket with Pakistan?

    Big Mac : See the rambling, disjointed rant about two division Test cricket somewhere up there. If they stand to lose points for not playing, then they’ll play.


    PakPassion.net : Favourite cricketer, and why? Favourite Pakistani cricketer?

    Big Mac : Imran Khan. Because it was Imran Khan. Duh.

    England – Athers. At that time England were the laughing stock of international cricket and he was a quality player trying not to get dragged down by the rest of the jokers. I loved Jack Russell too, one of the greatest keepers ever and mad as a…box full of mad things. Darren Gough because he was the closest England had to a Pakistani fast bowler.

    Australia – Mark Taylor. I didn’t see much of Allan Border’s Australia so he’s the best Aussie captain I’ve seen, seemed like a classy bloke for an Aussie too. Also, liked Ian Healy, every time England thought they might have a chance of winning an Ashes Test he seemed to come to the crease and take the game away.

    Windies – Curtley Ambrose. No explanation necessary. Richie Richardson and Carl Hooper because they were unbelievably cool.

    Saffers – Honorary Brummie Allan Donald

    India – Dravid. Azharuddin, he was brilliant to watch in full flow. Srinath, an Indian fast bowler who wasn’t rubbish. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see another one.

    Sri Lanka – Aravinda, might still be the best Sri Lankan batsman ever. Ranatunga, fat guy who ticked off the English and the Aussies, what’s not to love?


    PakPassion.net : Favourite GIF(s) of all time?

    Big Mac :



    Last edited by Abdul; 5th November 2016 at 22:11.


    I don't want nobody around me that I have to question.

  2. #2
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    The PP's GIF guy.

    What an amazing interview.

    Well, you say historically but it’s not like the Pakistan team has always that way. Even in the 1980s under Imran we were solid and hard to beat but we were far from being a swashbuckling, win or go home team. The numbers bear it out as well, in the 80’s we drew 44 out of 80 Tests. That’s not mercurial, that’s boring. We only seemed exotic to the English media and fans because we were brown guys with funny moustaches and twirling leg-spinners.

    The mercurial/unpredictable/maverick tag didn’t come along until the 1990’s when we had a great line-up of batsmen and genuinely all-time great bowlers. When you’ve got that kind of talent at your disposal there is always a chance to create that little bit of magic that can swing a session, and subsequently a Test match, especially when nobody else knows what the hell is going on when the ball starts reversing at 95mph.

    When you’ve got some of the greatest players in the history of the game who still manage to lose games via choking/technical deficiencies/infighting/match fixing then you’re naturally going to be described as ‘mercurial’. We wore it as a badge of honour because we were too dumb to realise it was really a polite/condescending way of saying “You’re not THAT good”


    I have long since decided to become a Big Mac's wannabe.


    I am not one of you. I never was. I am not one of them either.

  3. #3
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    Excellent read.

    What could be more awesome than a cat GIF?
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 5th November 2016 at 20:45.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post

    Shehzad
    Aslam (If he doesn’t make this spot his own then put Junior in at 5, Azhar opens)
    Azhar
    Shafiq
    Babar
    Fawad
    Sarfraz

    That’s a tasty looking top seven if the two “talents” can spend less time at the hairdressers and more time working on their cricket. We look pretty well placed in ODIs with guys like Imad and Nawaz adding value with bat and ball. As far as our bowling goes, Amir is still finding his feet after a long ban and if Junaid can get back into the side that’s a pretty decent strike partnership. I keep forgetting that Rahat is only 28 so he’s got plenty of cricket left in him.


    Entertaining interview nonetheless, good to see a spicy interview once in a while. Has the best gimmick on PP, Big Mac.

  5. #5
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    Excellent Interview.

    Gifs made it exciting & colourful.

    Great Insight except Shehzad part.


    Excellent Poster.

  6. #6
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    What the sheer volume of gifs in the OP did to my computer



    See You Space Cowboy....

  7. #7
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    Trying to read this on my phone and well...




    Quote Originally Posted by Donal Cozzie View Post
    What the sheer volume of gifs in the OP did to my computer

    Did you expect anything less? You just reminded me that I had originally written a couple of paragraphs about Ireland constantly getting the shaft but I had to cut it because I felt like I had filled my rant quota for the question.

  8. #8
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    Lol, this guy. One of the best posters here just for the fun-factor he brings.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  9. #9
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    Most colourful interview if there ever was one lol


    Demons run when a good man goes to war
    GO NAWAZ GO!

  10. #10
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    Great interview. Loved the GIFs

  11. #11
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    Is he a Brummie? Is he a mate of @shaz619 ?

    Terrific interview.

    By the way, on the BBC coverage link I of course recognised Waqar bowling, but the second Pakistan quick didn't look like Aaqib Javed. It wasn't the guy whom Johnners named "National Anthem" was it? (Naveed Anjum).

  12. #12
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    On another thread, @Big Mac and I are arguing about whether Tests need to be moved to when people can actually watch them. I'd have liked to hear more about his model: he argues for more relevance but not for actually playing Tests when people are free to watch.

    I also have an issue with the idea of expanding the footprint of cricket. I just don't think that new countries will come on board because each country already has its own sports heritage. The only recent growth has been Afghanistan, and that's all because of cross-pollination due to refugees in Pakistan.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    On another thread, @Big Mac and I are arguing about whether Tests need to be moved to when people can actually watch them. I'd have liked to hear more about his model: he argues for more relevance but not for actually playing Tests when people are free to watch.

    I also have an issue with the idea of expanding the footprint of cricket. I just don't think that new countries will come on board because each country already has its own sports heritage. The only recent growth has been Afghanistan, and that's all because of cross-pollination due to refugees in Pakistan.
    Ireland have managed to grow their domestic structure from nothing, to the stage where they can offer professional central contracts and have a domestic competition that's been granted first-class status. Where's the proud Irish cricket heritage?

    As a reward for all their hard work they've been told that they're not welcome and the number of World Cup places is being reduced.

    You want to move tests to times where more people are available to watch. That's fine. The problem is that nobody wants to watch test cricket outside of England and Australia so you can fiddle with scheduling and timing all you want but the only thing you'll achieve is make the terrible attendances in Asia and the Caribbean even more embarrassing.

    We've got a situation where Supply > Demand and your solution is to increase supply even more.
    Last edited by Big Mac; 6th November 2016 at 03:03.

  14. #14
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    And of course I'm a Brummie, no Northerner could be this awesome and I'm not even going to get started on London. Don't know Shaz but he's welcome to come to the nets and witness my majestic tuk tuk in person.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    Ireland have managed to grow their domestic structure from nothing, to the stage where they can offer professional central contracts and have a domestic competition that's been granted first-class status. Where's the proud Irish cricket heritage?

    As a reward for all their hard work they've been told that they're not welcome and the number of World Cup places is being reduced.

    You want to move tests to times where more people are available to watch. That's fine. The problem is that nobody wants to watch test cricket outside of England and Australia so you can fiddle with scheduling and timing all you want but the only thing you'll achieve is make the terrible attendances in Asia and the Caribbean even more embarrassing.

    We've got a situation where Supply > Demand and your solution is to increase supply even more.
    Actually no, I do partially agree with your remedies.

    I am on record of supporting a World Cup of 4 groups of 4. If Ireland or Afghanistan is good enough it gets out of the group and gets more than 3 matches.

    In terms of Tests, I do support the 2 division structure.

    But where you and I argue is over a lack of interest in Tests outside England and Australia. I think people started to watch limited overs cricket at night because it was all that was available.

    For me, the ideal Test cricket is what we saw in the Day/Night Test at Adelaide and what we see in India. Four Innings in which no team scores more than 300 and no innings lasts more than 65 overs.

    I don't know how much county cricket you have attended. I have attended a lot - even though I've emigrated - and I think a Test can easily be concluded in 3 days, let alone 4. Especially if the points system discourages draws and encourages enterprising declarations.

    Let's say we had minimum 4 x 4 day match series.

    With 10 points for a win, 3 for a draw and 0 for a defeat. And probably a maximum innings duration of 110 overs in the first two innings.
    Last edited by Junaids; 6th November 2016 at 03:17.

  16. #16
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    Shane Warne is on commentary right now promoting four day test cricket.

    As everybody knows, Shane Warne is wrong about everything except leg-spin ergo four day cricket is a bad idea.

    This has gone from being my opinion to being an immutable fact.

    I'm cool with more day night cricket if they can get the ball sorted out, the current pink ball doesn't last long enough.
    Last edited by Big Mac; 6th November 2016 at 03:22.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    And of course I'm a Brummie, no Northerner could be this awesome and I'm not even going to get started on London. Don't know Shaz but he's welcome to come to the nets and witness my majestic tuk tuk in person.
    It all makes sense now, how could I not see! you were there standing before me all along



    I was trying to read this interview yesterday on my phone but my browser kept crashing lol

    Terrific poster and he brings much needed noor and laughter to the forum amid all the doom and gloom, one of the best member interviews on PP
    Last edited by shaz619; 6th November 2016 at 12:44.

  18. #18
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    For those who missed it.


    I don't want nobody around me that I have to question.

  19. #19
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    Thanks @Abdul I totally missed this. Absolute fun and thanks again to the mods for picking 2 of my qs.
    @Big Mac mate - You are a legend. Thanks for your answers.


    "Don't get attached to anything you're not willing to walk out in 30 seconds" Neil McCauley, Heat

  20. #20
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    What a fun interview! One of the more entertaining posters around here.

    Never knew you were half Indian, what can be more great than that.

    On the flip side, your interview kept crashing my phone. This is the only thread where I had to toil hard to make a single post so much so that I had to copy paste from my messaging app. Was worth it though

    I'm outta this thread, else my phone is gonna be up in flames any minute now.

  21. #21
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    Hilarious interview. Entertaining poster.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by street cricketer View Post
    What a fun interview! One of the more entertaining posters around here.

    Never knew you were half Indian, what can be more great than that.
    Being half-billionaire would be nice.

    Also, you can go to your user options and untick the "show images" box to prevent your computers from exploding under the strain.
    Last edited by Big Mac; 8th November 2016 at 02:48.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    Being half-billionaire would be nice.

    Also, you can go to your user options and untick the "show images" box to prevent your computers from exploding under the strain.
    The biggest question of them all...

    Why did you pick "Big Mac" as your username? Don't sound like a unhealthy American.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  24. #24
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    Thanks for destroying my phone mate, tops! This message in itself took 10 minutes to type.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bilal7 View Post
    The biggest question of them all...

    Why did you pick "Big Mac" as your username? Don't sound like a unhealthy American.
    Nickname given to me by a teammate when I played American football at uni.

  26. #26
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    Very interesting stuff Never quite had a member interview like this; but then Big M is unique!


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  27. #27
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    What an entertaining read.

    Brilliant.


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by street cricketer View Post
    What a fun interview! One of the more entertaining posters around here.

    Never knew you were half Indian, what can be more great than that.

    On the flip side, your interview kept crashing my phone. This is the only thread where I had to toil hard to make a single post so much so that I had to copy paste from my messaging app. Was worth it though

    I'm outta this thread, else my phone is gonna be up in flames any minute now.
    I'm the other one. right. right?

    Please retire the member interview section after this. This is THE ULTIMATE INTERVIEW THAT CAN EVER BE. Pin it and change the name of the section to "you'll never match Big Mac but still, give us your thoughts".

    I'm still rolling at the foreground background gif

    Kudos @Big Mac You overplayed yourself


    zindagi tu hi mukhtasir ho ja, shab e gham mukhtasur nahi hoti

  29. #29
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    Awesome interview mate

  30. #30
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    Lol, cool Graphics Inter (Change * View) Format

    And great answer to the Pakistan being mercurial historically question.

  31. #31
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    Always enjoy reading Big Mac's posts.

    A sensible poster.



  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoUgandaCranes View Post
    I'm the other one. right. right?

    Please retire the member interview section after this. This is THE ULTIMATE INTERVIEW THAT CAN EVER BE. Pin it and change the name of the section to "you'll never match Big Mac but still, give us your thoughts".

    I'm still rolling at the foreground background gif

    Kudos @Big Mac You overplayed yourself
    You are my resident foodie guru here on PP. What's better in this world than cricket and food



    P.S.: Well done, you just crashed my phone again.

    I ain't coming back here.
    Last edited by MenInG; 11th November 2016 at 12:09.

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