Artist behind the art of Urdu commentary

Tariq Saeed, the sensational Urdu cricketer commentator, was once an aspiring college cricketer. He was playing for FC College Lahore. However, the man who dreamed of representing Pakistan at the highest level was once hit by a bouncer on the head near his right eye, which put an end to his progressive career. He still has that scar on his eye that changed his life.

Tariq was always smart with the use of words. After leaving the game with a head injury, he used to comment on college games. Knowing that he had the skill to juggle words, his friends convinced him to speak to their university professor Naheed Shahid who was also a producer at Radio Pakistan to give him a break as a radio commentator.

The 45-year-old took a break from the radio and the rest is history. He now has a reputation as the country’s best Urdu commentator and is often known for his hard-hitting lines.

Recently at the T20 National Cup, while explaining legendary all-rounder Shoaib Malik’s habit of scoring points and finishing matches for over two decades, he said: “Darzi jab tak jiyega tab tak siyega [the tailor will stitch as long as they live]”. People in the comments box burst into laughter, and this line went viral online.

While laughing at the skill, Tariq explained that commentators also get “aamad” (revelation) like poets, which helps them come up with witty phrases effortlessly.

He credits Radio Pakistan for his training as a commentator.

“Radio Pakistan was an excellent breeding ground for [Urdu] commentators, but now things are not as good as they used to be, ”he said when speaking to Bol News.

The seasoned commentator pointed out that commentary in Urdu did not increase in the 1950s and 1960s because commentators tried to explain everything in Urdu, omitting all English terms. According to him, this confused listeners.

“But in the 1970s, commentators started using English terms which helped cricket fans understand the game better,” he argued. “Urdu commentary has a rich history, Munir Hussain, Hassan Jalil and Muhammad Idrees were among the best Urdu commentators. “

The man from Sahiwal believes the development of commentary in Urdu was shaken by the departure of international cricket after the devastating terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.

“Unfortunately when cricket left Pakistan it took everything with it, including the progress of the Urdu commentary,” he said.

However, he believes that things are now moving in the right direction and if all goes well, the commentary in the national language will reach a new high.

Tariq pays tribute to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for promoting Urdu commentary at key national events including the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

“The PCB does a great job in promoting Urdu commentary as the authorities have introduced it in big tournaments like PSL and other national tournaments, which has spurred the growth of national language commentary,” a- he asserted. “The time is not long gone when Pakistan, like India, will have a separate national language channel for cricket commentary in Urdu.”

He further revealed that his all-time favorite moment to comment was when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup Final at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Plus, aggressive former Pakistani opener Imran Nazir has been his favorite hitter to speak.

“Imran Nazir was my favorite hitter, I always liked to comment on his hitter. He was a very good ball timekeeper, which delighted me during it

Dora W. Clawson