22nd July 2008

Please describe that handshake? Hope you didn't have surgery on it afterwards?

I was one of the first people to shake Shahid Afridi's hand that evening, out of all honesty, it was the biggest, bone crusher of a handshake i ever experienced, I remember having to slowly massage the blood flow back into my hand minutes later while sitting back at my table. He must of really not liked me as I introduced myself being from a website, i guess it was his "Hello, You journalist ****" handshake. Anyhow, i reluctantly shook it again later on just before conducting the mini interview but this time it felt like a wet sponge as he had spent most of the evening shaking hand after hand. Made a mental note of this being a reason for his lack batting long innings.
For the record - Afridi was actually a good laugh and cracked a few jokes while i sat with him.

Any chance of meeting Afridi again in the future for a full and comprehensive interview?

Let's see what opportunities PP comes across in the future, I'm certain we will get a decent interview with him one day, just a matter of time.


How do find New York.... specially compared to London? When I was coming to New York for the 1st time after spending a year in London, an American business man (a frequent visitor to London) was siting next to me in the plane. I asked him ... what's difference between London and New York. With a grin on his face, he said.... about 30 years!

Been here for six month so now, can't say I'm missing London as a city but I am missing the people...and the food. It's definitely more organised then London if you take into account public transport and cost of living but the downside is that it's not as clean as London and the condition of the roads are worse then Karachi. The Pakistani community here i feel is years behind those in the UK if you look at established business, restaurants and generally having a noticeable community presence. New Yorkers are definitely more friendly compared to London counterparts, I think it's a urban myth that NY locals are rude and living here is a tough existence, quite the opposite from what i have witnessed so far.

What thoughts get you up in the morning?

During the weekday mornings, it's the thought of finishing off the list of outstanding work related issues that need to get done as they get pushed aside as cricket are PP take precedence.

During the weekends, it's definitely the smell of Paratha for breakfast.

What cricket match/spell of cricket has been the most exciting for you personally in your entire life?

Both were against England!

Best Match - 1st Test, Pakistan Vs England at Lord in July 1996, Pakistan won by 164 runs, Inzy scoring 148 & 70, Wasim & Waqar at their peak taking 10 wickets between them...

http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/stat...tch/63716.html

Best Spell - Natwest Series 2001 - Waqar Younis 7 for 36 against England at Headingley


What stood out for you after having met Shahid Afridi? Forget the cricket, did you detect any difference from the norm in how he behaved?

He was very serious up front but became quite relaxed the more i got to speak to him, making time to pose for pictures while cracking a few jokes with adoring public gathered around the table. I was impressed with his public speaking skills on the stage earlier, If he finishes his career off on a good note, he will definitely be very vocal media personality.

Where do you see PP 5 years from now?

PP will always do what it does best, generating active cricket discussions while being one of best moderated, family friendly forums on the Internet,

If the last few years are anything to go by, the next 5 years will see PP straighten it's claim as the true online home of the Pakistani Cricket. Unfortunately for us, the Pakistani cricket fraternity is not very Internet literate, but times are changing and PP is ready to make the most of opportunities that come it's way in the form of more
interesting interviews, PP blogs written by big names, Q & A sessions with players, genuine recognition from the PCB and even one day acquiring broadcasting rights to domestic cricket so we can all follow the development is Pakistani cricket in more detail from all parts of the globe.

Can you bowl 150kph?

Well, you know how it is, when you are forced to shorten your run up, you lose the lightning pace and ability to reverse it at will, my 5 year old daughter however bowls some mean bouncers and clocked 157kph last week..

Whats up with all the emphasis on bling, bling and gangsta? Is it an attempt to mock the UK Pakistani wannabe gangstas?

I would never mock my Pakistani wannabe gangstas brederin, they are our future generation and the pride of Jamaica!

but seriously, I've grew up in the UK and seen at first hand the differences between the younger Pakistani generation before and after my time. The future really does not look very bright for our youngsters, a large percentage of whom are dropping out of education and struggle with basics like holding down conversations with people from different backgrounds..

Do you play any club cricket or any other sports?

I played a few seasons for Ashford CC in the Surrey league as a leg spinner and late order batsmen but had to say goodbye to the club and "proper" cricket when i moved to the US. Prior to that, i played at school level (Isleworth & Syon) playing along side Owais Shah. We won the Middlesex school championships twice in a row. If anyone really want to know who taught Owais to the bat, it was me. : )

Given the choice and financial freedom, would you rather reside in the UK, US or Pakistan and why?

Good question, It would have to be the US, Florida to be precise, only been there once but fell in love with the place. I can't last more then 2 weeks in Pakistan unfortunately, I start acting like arrogant **** with a bad attitude when things like the water & electricity supply stop working.


Tell us about your joining of the PP team, how did that come about?

I was one of the first few members on the original Pakpassion site on the rival network when it emerged in 2001 and was glued to the site from then onwards. There was no other place to discuss Pakistani cricket online in those days and then around 2003/2004, I attempted to have a go at streaming Pakistani cricket matches and started off Pakpassion TV, one of the first cricket streaming services at the time, it was a huge success but also very illegal, eventually I got my wrist slap with a fine and had to stop it.

I was then approached by Merc with an offer to join the PP admin team which i accepted without a second thought and here i am today as a sort of behind the scenes all rounder, helping out where ever i can.


How was working at ICTS?

I lasted 3 months and was one of the lowest points in my life, I would seriously cry on my way to and from that job. It was however, a great take on real life, so many people working there would be supporting their families and paying their mortgages while working extremely long hours on minimum wage. It was a huge push to get on the right track and try and make something of my life.

Have you ever frisked anyone?

Luckily no, I was mostly on plane guarding duties where they would drive you to the middle of no where and tell you to stand guard under a plane and keep watch for terrorist. I was however given the task to escort super model Caprice on to the plane once.

How can we bring Pak cricket back on line?

Simple, give Pakpassion.net full control of PCB.

The only thing i would change is the officials in charge of the board and give the power to people who actually demonstrated their devotion to the game at an international level.

What are your views on Pak politics (you keep them to your self mostly).

My understanding of Pakistani politics is zilch that's why i keep my mouth shut on the subject. The only thing i would say is that Pakistan is still a very young nation, it will take a few decades, maybe more before we have a decent education and political system to genuinely benefit it's people.

Salman - As seen on TV

Do you think this tag will catch on? Do you want it to catch on?


I hope it doesn't, I'm the worst person to be representing PP live on air , I was forced to have a go as most of our regular pundits where a touch camera shy and i did not want the opportunity for PP to be missed.

How do you feel about all those Venus TV clips disappearing off Youtube with no hard copy left as evidence?

It was a god send, i still have nightmares about that studio backdrop. BTW i still may have a hard copy somewhere but you will have to kill me to get your hands on it.

Bearded or shaved ?

shaved! tried the whole beard thing a few times but it gets too itchy for my liking.

How did you like Orlando?

As mentioned before, it is somewhere i would love to reside in one day, the weather is incredible and the people are very friendly. Old people are not stupid, they have seen the world and choose to retire in Florida for good reasons.

How did you develop an interest in cricket?

If you make any Pakistani kid sit through the 92 World cup semi/final, chances are he will be a changed man by the end of it, this is what happened to me. This love for the game increased whenever Pakistan came to tour the UK during the 90's and when the world cup finally came to my home town in 1999, I was hooked ever since.

Where in PAK are you from?

I was born in London but my family moved to Karachi between 1981-1985 as my father felt the UK was going down hill in terms of education and racism. He started a successful poultry farming business on the outskirts of Karachi in the early 80's but with most success stories, family politics intertwined and he decided to move us back to the UK a few years later.

OK seriously what do you think about Shoaib Akhtar?

I still feel we are going to see more of him in Pakistani colours in the near future, I don't like to mock him very often as we have all witnessed him bowl the most amazing spells over time and we need to acknowledge that first before laying into him due to his off the field antics.

He is the Diego Maradonna of Pakistan and if he is not supported by the board and public, he will fade away in the same manner.




What triggers you to work that hard for Pakpassion, specially since this is a volunteer job.

The main thing is that i enjoy being a apart of a great team of decent people who share the goal to make PP bigger and better. Being associated with such a great site is a very warming feeling and my mind is always in overdrive about how we can take PP to the highest heights.

How do you manage other jobs and chores along with the 24/7 Job at PP.

Not very well of late, my wife and daughter gave up on me a long time ago. My daughter even hides the laptop whenever she gets a chance. Working on PP related matters for me is like a bug that no medicine can fix, I get a great feeling of pride when we pull off things that we couldn't even dream of a few year back.

Do you sometimes feel tired of the multi-dimensional jobs that you do at PP.

Never!, I see myself as a PP all rounder helping out whenever i can, just don't ask me to moderate! The only time i feel tired is when Pakistan play like a bunch of girls and I'm painfully having to follow each ball for the PP Audio commentary while keeping my finger from hitting the "Abort Broadcast" button.

Will you be willing to move to Pakistan. If yes then which parameters would you weigh.

I honestly cannot see myself residing in Pakistan or especially in a city like Karachi, maybe I've been spoilt with the creature comforts of living in the UK. The other factor is safety, crime and the countries general stability, I know it may sound ignorant but I've heard too many stories and been in the middle of a few bad experiences while visiting in the past. However, I pray that the country sorts out the issues that give it a bad name and attract people like myself to change our view on the idea of living there.

The one thing you could change about PCB..

I would give the selectors bus passes and send them on a long trip up and down the country visiting every streets in every village, town and city in search for genuine cricketing talent.

If Musharraf is in a plane and the plane crashes, who would survive?

Musharraf would walk away dusting himself off holding the black box in one hand and a dry martini in the other, shaken not stirred.

How do you spell.. MICROSOFT IS CRAP

P P - R U N S - O N - L I N U X - N O - W O N D E R - I T - C R A S H E S

It is rumoured that Zia ul Haq was constipated the day he died, do you think this is true?

Well you know, it was mango season at the time, so you maybe right.

Does the word MIG bring up any strong emotions in your mind ?

MIG gives me the shivers, I am certain that he is actually a Jinn.

Seriously speaking.... What is your vision of PP? How do you see us improving on what we have?

PP is all about being the true voice of the Pakistani Cricket fan, We will only get better and better as more people connected to Pakistani cricket come across our site. I know for a fact that players, journalist and even the PCB do keep an eye on whats being discussed on our by our posters. My simple vision is for PP to get official PCB recognition one day, that has always been my goal.

Why are other so jealous of our progress ? (and what is the amount of phainti to be administered to such people?)

Why? because PP was the first site of it's kind, a site that is managed by decent professional adults and not a bunch of school kids. Our moderation should win an award for it's strong stance on keeping PP a family frendly site. We attract and respect posters from all walks of life who genuinely feel comfortable discussing their respective teams without fearing of any abuse, there are not many forums around that can make that claim . A large chuck of jealousy also comes from banned poster who demonstrated no respect for themselves and their fellow posters, It's these people who bad mouth PP because they can't move on and settle down on other forums for long, such is the power of PP!

My favorite comment from a banned poster on his exit was; "PP will never survive, it's a sinking ship"



Salman, what is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I'm not one of those people who go on holidays annually, this might sound really boring but my favorite "holiday" destination is Pakistan because of the food, exchange rate and family... not in that specific order. I also love driving in Karachi, it's crazy!

You were in Pakistan when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, what was it like, did you fear for your safety?

I was in Karachi, one minute we were getting ready for my sister-in-laws Walima, I had just dropped off the wife at a parlor and planned to pick her up an hour later. As soon as i got in doors, my mother in law tells me Bhutto has just got shot... I then jumped back in the car and started driving back to parlor to pick her up just in case things got a little lawless. I made it to the end our street before doing a 360 degree hand break skid and speeding back behind our iron gates to avoid any damage to the car from the already active mobs of people causing mayhem on the streets of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The next few hours where quite testing, making a decision to cancel the walima and informing all the guests, meanwhile the wife was still stuck in her parlor a few miles away, with no way of bringing her back home and little communication as the mobile network went down. We tried a few times times to go and get her home safely, only to come straight back after getting a glimpse of the commotion engulfed on the streets, burnt out cars, shot being fired in the air etc. We finally managed to bring my wife home safe and sound, 10 hours later after all the street rioters decided to get some sleep.

The next few days were surreal, total lock down in Karachi, you couldn't even buy a pint of milk, rumors would spread like wild fire, don't drink the water, it's been poisoned or X, Y & Z have also been killed and the commotion would kick off again in no time.... All the while our very own Mercenary would keep calling me up to query why i am refusing to drive across the city to meet Sohail Khan for a PP interview.

You can see pictures i took of the aftermath here;

http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh...ad.php?t=51409

I heard on the grapevine that you said 'Oxy is a wimp - I could eat him under the table' or words to that effect.
Despite seeing at close quarters what fury I can unleash on a table of food, do you still think you could take me on?


I take back my previous statement, even the grapevine is too scared to bear any more fruit in Oxy's presence..

Can i sell homemade chicken tikka on pp, how much a banner would cost?

There are many options available to you, we have a great pay-per-chick campaign here at PP. I can also get you a great discount if you also include lamb dishes in your menu.

Salman Mate, I heard you don't fancy the fried chicken in the US, and prefer the ones in UK...Is this true? If so, why?

Yes it's true, you Amereeki don't know the first thing about fried chicken. In the UK, there is a halal fried chicken place on every street corner. The quality and quantity is far superior to that of the US. Names like Dixy and Chicken Cottage are more popular then Mcdonalds there, compare that to places like Kennedy Fried chicken in Englewood, NJ ( As recommened by Mamo Gogo ) where you have to ask for the "Hallal"option and it taste like rubber.

Also, is it true that things in the US are a lot bigger than the UK?

Yes, the US is definitely the land of the wasteful. They need all that oil to fill those huge 4x4's driven by little mexican dudes. It really cracks me up seeing American's complaining about high gas/fuel prices here. Most people are totally ignorant about what people have been paying for fuel in other countries for the last decade.


Are you by any chance a marketing guy by profession?

Not a marketing person by profession, I'm an IT Project Manager in the banking industry by trade and ran a small car salvage business on the side back in the UK. Marketing is all about being passionate about an idea and having good communication skills to move the idea forward.