The Twelfth Guy Who Finally Made it to the XI – Manas TiwariDecember 5, 2016
Growing up I was told cricket won’t earn you bread, now it is even paying for my bills.
Just like most of the other Indian kids of the 90s, I was also fascinated with this beautiful sport but was too young to understand that making it as a career requires more than passion. To be on top you need dedication, hard-work, grit and talent, something that I probably lacked.
So when I was done with my schooling and had wasted a year playing cricket, my career growth was at still. Being a good orator and having the confidence to face the camera, I enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.
By this time I started believing that cricket won’t do me any good. So, in my first year of college I stopped playing and for almost 7 to 8 months didn’t watch any match. I used to follow the scores and updates every now and then, but considered this as the only option to get rid of what I started believing was an addiction.
It was in the second year of my college when things became a little tricky. Due to some reasons I was forced to take cricket as one of my additional subjects and the passion for the sport was triggered once again.We used to have this University tournament and I was selected to represent my college team. Within months I was named the college sports captain and later also became the captain of the cricket team.This was the moment when I realized that this is what I was good at and running away wasn’t a smart option. Maybe I was meant for this.
But, hey how does that solve the problem? Because, I was 20 and couldn’t be a professional cricketer. This is where my journalism degree came into play. I realized that I could still be associated with the game by talking and writing about it.
Since I wasn’t an expert or an ex-cricketer, there was no way people were listening to my opinion. So, the next task was to find a platform that allows me to reach masses and entered Sportskeeda.com in the scene.
Now it has become the number 1 Indian sports website but that wasn’t the case 18 months ago. It was still growing and had this very good feature that allowed anyone to submit their articles and if the editor liked it, they will be published after moderation with your name.
So, I started submitting my articles both on cricket as well as football. For the first five to six articles, I was getting 1000-1500 reads which was decent given that I just started but remember I wasn’t being paid for it so all that effort was just to get some recognition.
Then, suddenly my next article got over 80,000 reads. Now, this was completely unexpected. I was happy, delighted, and proud and when something like this happens it gives you a lot of confidence to try out new things.
So in my next article I tried a different style of writing. For the first time I gave a first person account of how my life went in a circle from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli and this one was appreciated by a lot of all people.
I got many tweets congratulating me and one of them was from the founder of an upcoming cricket website CrickGeek who asked me to write for them. I gladly accepted the offer and started as a freelancer and within a month became the editor of the website managing a team of young and ambitious writers.
Meanwhile I continued to explore different domains and got a full-time writing job in Noida where I mostly work on financial and trade news.
CrickGeek grew at an amazing pace and within first five months we had about 1.5 lakh followers. People started appreciating my articles and now they were eagerly waiting to hear the opinion. Some cricketers also shared my articles on twitter and I started getting requests from many cricket fans.
I also received many offers from different websites including a call from the well-renowned sports journalist Ayaz Memon’s (Cricketwallah) team to write for them.
It is a wonderful feeling to have when you know that your hard-work is being appreciated. I know the journey is long but I have certainly come a long way from where I was two years ago.
Yes, sometimes it’s disheartening to see how people do not place journalism on the same level as they do engineering or medical studies but somewhere the declining quality of electronic media also had a role to play in it.
I believe that journalism is a field that offers you a lot of opportunity and yet for some reasons, it remains highly underrated. Yes, there is not much money involved initially but if this field excites you, it shouldn’t matter at all.
I think we are blessed to be a part of this generation where internet gives us so much of exposure. It’s a request that if you are an artist and like to write, sing, dance, act, paint or anything else, put your work out there because somebody might appreciate it.
And, never let anyone tell you to stop doing what you love because growing up I was told cricket won’t earn you bread, now it is even paying for my bills.
Contact me here.
Or Have a look at my blog – https://thetwelfthguy.wordpress.com/