Sports is the best teacher as it teaches you to be a good leader, says sports anchor Karan Ambardar
As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 draws to a close, we catch up with sports anchor Karan Ambardar who talks about his love for sports and how it produces great leaders
Karan Ambardar is super-excited about the semi-finals as he speaks to me before the match resumes on the second day between India and New Zealand.
This is the first time he is hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup and the hope to see India in the finals can’t make him happier. Unfortunately, India didn’t make it to the finals but the show must go on for Karan.
Where it began
Karan’s love for sports started at the age of 4. “That is when my dad put me on the field.” Born and brought up in Delhi, Karan studied at Springdales school and excelled at multiple sports. He also played for Delhi.
But in 2003 due to an injury his dreams of playing professionally came to an end. “My world came crashing down but I decided that if I couldn’t play at least I could hold the mic and talk about sports.”
Another world opens up
Soon, Karan took to sports anchoring. A familiar face in the sports circuit, he has been hosting the ICC World Cup from Mumbai. Karan was the first Indian to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and the UEFA Champions league for SONY ESPN. He has been into sports for a very long time.
Speaking about the recent criticism that Sanjay Manjerekar has been facing recently, Karan says, “I am a sports anchor. I break down the game and analyse it but I do not criticise. It is a thin line that you can’t cross. For a sports anchor, the usage of words matters and the words you use should not feel like an insult to the players or the audience.”
He has also hosted the Pro-Kabaddi league for the first three seasons apart from all seasons of Hockey India league. He has also covered hockey internationally.
Till the last season, Karan was the face of MotoGP in India as well.
Leadership and sports
From Mahendra Singh Dhoni to Virat Kohli, and Dravid and Sachin- cricket has produced many leaders and why just cricket, almost in all sports we can see sportsmen and sportswomen who have shown grit, determination and the will to carry on in the face of failure and still inspire. They have inspired us over the years.
“Sports teaches you discipline, dedication and builds your personality. It is your best teacher and once you emerge as a great leader you learn to treat your opposition with respect no matter what the situation.”
Karan says that sports has always been a great teacher but now due to media coverage and social media, that message has been amplified. “There is this mutual respect sportspeople have for each other despite all the competitiveness. When it comes out, it is inspiring and therefore, I feel sports should be compulsory for individuals.”
A career in sports
“I am also diversifying. I will be producing my first show very soon - a sports travellogue. It is for anyone who wants to do anything in sports, and it is going to be huge. So many avenues have opened up for ex-sportsmen and young people to become players.”
He adds with so many Sports Leagues, the world of sports has opened up like never before and there is so much people can do with their career.
As far as anchoring is concerned, he says, “My advice is that people have to love sports, and if they don’t then they have to develop that love for sports by watching it and learning. Also, anchors need to be great storytellers. Weaving a story and narrating it to the audience is what an anchor’s job is all about."
And that’s not all, he says. “Anchors are like salesman. If a salesman doesn’t know about the product, he won’t be able to sell it.”