India is a Cricket crazy nation and these guys are giving the fans their Cricketing fix. Here’s a fascinating conversation with Dhananjaya Chak, Varun Garg, and Ashwin Garg, hosts of the Edges & Sledges Cricket Podcast.
This conversation is part of our Internation Podcast Day special series.
Tell us a little about you and your podcast?
Edges & Sledges: DJ is a lawyer in London, Varun works in marketing in Singapore and Ashwin works in consumer good in the US, and we’ve all known each other for nearly 20 years from high school (Varun and Ashwin are brothers so it’s been even longer for them!).
We grew up playing all forms of cricket (wherever we could find anything that resembled a bat or a ball) and of course following the trials and tribulations of the Indian cricket team. We’ve kept in touch with each other since school, making sure we play IPL fantasy every year!
The three of us have been running the website 1tip1hand.com for nearly four years now. The blog started during India’s last tour of England (2014) as a tribute to cricket as played and watched by the common fan. We saw lots of growth as we focused on the IPL, giving daily fantasy cricket tips right when fantasy cricket was getting popular.
Being passionate cricket fans with an opinion on every small aspect of cricket, in March 2018, we launched Edges & Sledges, the Indian Cricket Podcast. Given our locations, our USP is that we cover all time zones of cricket across geographies so you’ll find us talking CPL and Big Bash with equal enthusiasm!
How long have you been podcasting and why podcasts?
Edges & Sledges: We began podcasting in March 2018. It began after Varun and DJ went on Facebook Live from the Newlands cricket ground in South Africa doing some analysis of the game, and absolutely loved it. We then began having a weekly chat on Facebook Live, that evolved into a more structured podcast.
We’ve been active listeners of podcasts from sports to politics to business, yet always felt there wasn’t a good Indian cricket podcast in the market. We realized there is a lot of written content and even videos from some of the bigger players like Cricinfo / Cricbuzz out there but there seemed to be a gap in the cricketing world for podcasts. Our objective was to create content for the everyday fan who could feel like they are listening to an informal chat among friends.
How has the journey of been so far?
Edges & Sledges: Absolutely fantastic! The podcasting community is a very open and welcoming one and we’ve really enjoyed interacting with other podcasters. We’ve already recorded segments on other shows with cricket enthusiasts from other countries and it’s great to hear their thoughts.
Honestly, we just thought we were giving something new a shot, and our enthusiasm would taper off after a few episodes. 27 episodes later, all three of us seem to be getting more excited for every upcoming episode! Every week is a new learning and loads of fun. Despite one of us inevitably travelling too, we have made it work – by our count so far we have recorded from India, England, Singapore, Canada, USA, China, Bolivia, Morocco, Peru, Greece, and we’ve probably missed something…
Your biggest challenges and frustrations?
Edges & Sledges: Edges & Sledges: Podcasting from three different time zones while all three of us have pretty demanding full-time jobs means scheduling can be incredibly tough.
We struggled initially to figure out technology, and the flow of the show, but over time we’ve found what works for us. Doing this podcast also made us realize how much cricket news there is on a daily basis and sometimes covering all the topics we want within 30-40 minutes is very tough!
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you guys give to wannabe podcasters?
Edges & Sledges: If you have a great idea that you want to talk about, start a podcast! It can be really tough when you are so excited to see the podcast grow, and sometimes there just aren’t as many listeners as you want. It’s really important to be doing the show for your own passion, and over time the listener growth will follow.
Persist and try to get across as many channels as possible. We also found that there is a direct correlation to increasing listeners when you are active on social media so get Tweeting, Grammin’ or whatever floats your boat!
What do you guys think is needed for podcasting to take off in India?
Edges & Sledges: India is surely one of the greatest potential markets for podcast advertising. The medium is just waiting to explode and am sure there won’t be a shortage of content providers!
At the moment, however, there’s a shortage of listeners. Podcasts only grow by word of mouth, so it’s really important that those who listen to a show they like (like Edges and Sledges!) spread the word within their personal networks. Once you listen to a couple of podcasts, you get hooked, and will find yourself searching for other good podcasts in no time!