Down The Ground is a podcast that is the brainchild of 7 hyper-active desis who think they can run the ICC. The question is, can they really?
What do we do?
What exactly does Cricket mean to us? More than a sport, it’s an emotion that has given us some of the best and worst moments of our lives. It has taught us the very definition of perseverance and struggle. It’s taught us to think quickly on our feet and improvise at the last moment. It’s taught us how to endure pain and how to cherish happiness.
It’s an emotion that has the ability to have an impact on the way our cardiovascular systems work. The tense moments of a thrilling chase forces our overworked hearts to pump blood quickly, whilst crushing defeats make our hearts and minds go numb entirely. It’s as much of a blessing as it is a curse. No psychiatrist or doctor has a cure for the volatility that this sport induces in our minds, but it’s embedded in our soul, so we still crave for it.
You might ask, why start a podcast about this double edged sword that is part of our lives? It’s to share our passion and emotions with people who are similarly passionate about this phenomenon know as Cricket. We have a diverse cast of members at DTG who work tirelessly to engage our audiences across all social media platforms and to bring you guys weekly doses of cricket podcasts. We have a German (yes, you read that right), a few Pakistanis who reside in the motherland, a Desi Aussie, an inhabitant of Trump’s America, and a dweller of paradise. (Kashmir, that is).
We strive to be the biggest, most engaging Cricket show in Pakistan, and we need the help of our audience to get there. That is why we always ask for honest feedback from our listeners and we take their feedback very seriously. We have Cricketers, trainers, coaches, pundits on our show regularly where we interview them about their respective careers and thoughts about cricket in general.
Taimoor Khan Shabih
A 20 year old Engineering student living in Sydney, Taimoor had always wanted to explore entrepreneurial opportunities from a young age. Being a die hard fan of Pakistan Cricket from the age of 7 and envious of the Indian batting culture from even before that, Taimoor found a bunch of guys online who were willing to embark on a Cricketing venture with him. His goal was simple - create the best online platform for Cricket on the planet. When not watching Cricket or doing stuff related to DTG, he’s somewhere on the web reading about his 2nd biggest love- technology.
Taimoor will be seen pushing his colleagues to make DTG the premium destination for all things related to Pakistani Cricket. However, his desi genes (and those of his colleagues) often leads to procrastination and come in the way of making this dream a reality!
I’m a chemist by profession but a Cricket enthusiast at heart. Having lived in the US my whole life, it’s a bit weird how I gravitated towards cricket. Growing up, I had heard of cricket but never really paid it much attention. I was too busy following and playing “normal” American sports like any other kid would whilst growing up here. In high school, my Dad showed me a video from the 1992 World Cup final, and BAAAM!
It was like a light-bulb moment, instantaneously my Pakistani/desi genes got activated! Since then, I have been a die-hard fan of cricket! The cliche, I eat (not to be confused with Shahid Afridi’s eat), sleep, and breathe cricket is true 100% because I literally do! My goal with Down The Ground is to share this passion with you all! We want to create a platform that allows you to interact with other fans (and us) and at the same time listen to “expert” opinions on the happenings of Pakistan cricket!
I'm a 19 year old Karachiite studying for my Bachelors degree. I took some cricket lessons before discovering hard ball cricket isn't as easy as it seems. I also played gully cricket regularly with the kids and uncles in my neighborhood. But now I just like to talk and occasionally write about it.
I've only been to a couple of international games and I only remember part of one: the Asia Cup game between Sri Lanka and India in 2008. I fell asleep halfway through the first innings after having pizza.
I was only eight years old and it was a year later that I fell in love with cricket,after Pakistan won the T20 World Cup. I grew up as part of the T20 generation. I'm a fan of T20 and ODI cricket. But Test cricket is still the best format for me.
I would say I'm cool, calm and collected - except when it comes to cricket. Like most Pakistani people, cricket is a big part of my life. Not to be clichéd but it's my first love. I watch a lot of it, I've played a fair bit of it, I read a lot about it and I also love to talk about it, which is why I was on board when we came up with the idea of a podcast
Uman Naq is a bit different when compared to the rest of the DTG crew. A neutral fan amongst a cast full of patriotic die hard Pakistani fans. Naq fell in love with cricket at the age of 6 mainly because there was nothing else to do except playing cricket. Currently studying the intricacies of Electric science, Naq has a vast experience in the field of Cricket, having worked for various reputable cricket websites.
Naq is a huge fanboy of Cristiano Ronaldo whom he considers his idol and inspiration. He often has to sacrifice his sleep in order to watch his idol play.
In a World full of Finchs, Maxwells, Zamans, Sharmas and Millers, Naq is still fascinated by the style and class of guys like Laxman, Dravid and MisYou though his favorite cricketer is King Kohli.
A decade ago, a gentleman wanted to start a podcast about cricket, a concept which was unheard of among cricket fans. Lack of support from his friends and increasing family and business responsibilities meant that he had to give up on his dream. This gentleman was Sayed.
A decade later when cricket podcasts were thriving, Sayed still regretted his decision of giving up on his dream.
Nevertheless, as the saying goes, "The world is full of great surprises", there was indeed a great surprise for Sayed in store. One day, Sayed came across a bunch of passionate cricket fans on a cricket website. He got to know them online and they all collectively decided to start Down The Ground. Sayed was instrumental at guiding this bunch of youngsta beauties and DTG wouldn’t have been possible without him. Labelled by a passionate DTG fan as the Chisti Mujahid of our podcast, Sayed is a man the rest of the DTG crew truly respects and adores.
Abdullah Ansari is a sensation at DTG. A true encyclopedia of everything related to Pakistan Cricket. Abdullah couldn't fulfill his childhood dream of representing his nation at the international level because he had to move to Egypt for his studies, but it resulted in Abdullah turning into a manic cricket lover gaining and mentally archiving knowledge about all forms of cricket.
Blessed with a sharp memory, Abdullah has vast experience in cricket journalism and has worked for different cricket avenues. AA's love for cricket is majestic, such is the craze of cricket that he records every single match that Pakistan plays, every domestic match in Pakistan that is televised, any match involving a Pakistani player.
An avid football watcher who is a Chelsea fanboy, Abdullah often has to be ready for disappointments but with the appointment of Maurizio Sarri this year, it has been quite a relief for Chelsea fans.
For Hadi, life revolves around cricket. When he's not watching it, he's playing it, when he's not playing it, he's umpiring it and when he's not umpiring it, he's reading about it. If supporting the Pakistan cricket team isn't tiring enough as it is, he is also unfortunate enough to be a supporter of Manchester United, so he has a better relationship with disappointment than Shahid Afridi does with golden ducks.
Hadi is a 3rd year Psychology student, who will be graduating next summer (good results permitting) but one test he has definitely failed is the 'Tebbit Test'. Despite being born and raised in England, it is, in his own words, a 'no-brainer' to support Pakistan over his England. He was lucky enough to be able to go to two Pakistan games in the 2019 World Cup. His favourite player in the current Pakistan team is Imam-ul-Haq, and is strongly of the view that he isn't a 'parchi'.
Omar Khan (O.K.), a 19-year old from Pakistan, was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Funnily enough, despite living and growing around Arabs, he can't put together one coherent statement in Arabic. After all, he is Pakistani, and since when do we like to assimilate?
Omar is currently in the second year of his Bachelor's in ECSE (Google it) and is currently residing in Melbourne. He is part of the Monash University Indoor Cricket team and has his eyes firmly set on the salivating-worthy captaincy role, even if it requires a harsh mutiny (again, he is Pakistani after all).
He's an absolute cricket enthusiast/maniac and an avid reader.
Haris Ahmad is one of the rarest all of phenomena: an American cricket fan. Born in the metropolis of Chicago, there’s no logical reason as to why he’s a cricket fanatic, yet here he is.
He is currently pursuing his Medical degree in Ohio and always makes time to watch any and all cricket matches between his studying, often to a fault.
He recently travelled to England for the 2019 Cricket World Cup and proudly boasts a 2-0 record when he is attending a Pakistan match. He later described the journey as “the greatest time of my life”.
When he’s not frantically cramming for an exam, Haris contributes to the DTG twitter page.
Misbah came at the right time for me. Growing up I wasn’t very much into cricket, I have vague memories of the 99 world cup, I actually remember Saeed Anwar taking a catch - that was probably the first memory I had of the Pakistan team, I thought he was the best fielder in the world ha! But generally growing up, I didn’t like watching it, I played cricket, I probably made Afridi proud with the way I played. Less boom more bust though.
It wasn’t until the 2009 Ashes where I actually wanted to watch cricket, Test cricket at that too. I watched the T20 world cups and supported Pakistan of course, but never actually cared, but the Ashes, I cared, watching Collingwood, and the Panesar and Anderson block out for the draw at Cardiff, oof, I was hooked. I supported England and I’m not ashamed to admit it, during the 2010 series, although I liked the look of Azhar Ali, the rest of the team just seemed a bit meh to me, that hard gritty style that I liked about England, Pakistan just didn’t have so I didn’t care for them.
Then Misbah came, and I turned quicker than Afridi came out of retirement. Having Misbah, Younis, Azhar, Junaid Khan and even players like Cheema, Abdur Rehman in the team – this wasn’t a team of flair or a team that crumbled, it was ugly, but they refused to be beaten, and I loved it. I could never play like that, but I loved watching it, and I respected the players even more for being able to do it.
From there it was natural progression, I supported Pakistan unconditionally, I learnt the history, went to the games, and even travelled around the world to watch them play. There are days I hate them, and days I love them, but now that’s just part and parcel for every fan around the world.
Outside of cricket, I work as a Journalist in London, and try to make economic jokes wherever possible.
A massive cricket fan from the day I started to understand how it is played.
Follows the game more than the biggest cricket freak you know.
Test cricket is, without the slightest doubt, the best cricket.
Lying around the whole day watching a Test match is as good a feeling as it gets.
Oh, and bit of a writer too.