Kasturi Naidoo is a famous face in South Africa’s cricket circles and has worked across print, radio, television and online media. Fondly known as Kass, she is widely regarded as an award-winning sports journalist who defied the odds and achieved her childhood dream of becoming the country’s first female television cricket commentator.
Kass talked exclusively with Cricingif about her commentary stint with the HBL Pakistan Super League, the hospitality in Pakistan, her favourite venue and on a range of other topics.
How would you describe your first experience in this part of the world?
I truly enjoyed my first ever trip to Pakistan. I won’t lie, but I was not entirely sure what to expect. I can now honestly say that I will recommend Pakistan to my friends and family. What my first visit to Pakistan taught me is that perception is reality and unless we foreigners start telling better stories about this great country, a whole lot of good will be lost to the international market. There are great stories to be told.
"Pakistan is blessed to have such exceptional young talent in the country."
I wish I had more time to explore. The hospitality was probably the standout part about my trip to Pakistan. Wherever I went, people were kind and generous. The food was outstanding, especially when it was home-cooked.
Kass Naidoo with fellow presenters Erin Holland and Urooj Mumtaz ©@KassNaidoo
Which venue out of the four you visited did you like the most?
I truly enjoyed visiting Islamabad and commentating on the matches in Rawalpindi. I enjoyed the vibe of Islamabad, the climate, the mountains, coffee shop and the people. I was fortunate enough to eat at people’s homes so I was treated to some of the best food around. Other than that, lunch at the Lahore Gymkhana was also really delicious.
Where would you rank the HBL PSL as compared to other leagues in terms of competitiveness?
The HBL Pakistan Super League is certainly one of the top T20 leagues in the world. It attracts some of the top players in the world while showcasing some of the up and coming Pakistan players.
"It was incredible to be there to experience the first all-Pakistan hosted PSL tournament."
Pakistan is blessed to have such exceptional young talent in the country. Peshawar Zalmi’s Haider Ali is fairly impressive and looks destined to play for Pakistan. I’m also a big fan of the Quetta Gladiators’ duo of Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain.
Kass Naidoo in the company of Michael Slater and Zainab Abbas ©@KassNaidoo
Would you like to come back if the HBL PSL matches are rescheduled anytime soon?
I would love to return to Pakistan. It is an enriching experience commentating there. The passion of the Pakistan people is incredible. It was great to be one of four women broadcasters on the team, denoting the fact that diversity and inclusion is high on the agenda of the PCB. I am grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for the opportunity to be part of the fifth edition of this magnificent league.
I feel the event has inspired a whole new generation and given hope to another generation once denied, and it was incredible to be there to experience the first all-Pakistan hosted PSL tournament.