Member Interview : OZGOD


PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Jun 1, 2001
30th July 2008

Question: Why did you leave Australia and did you move with your family?

Answer: I left Australia to pursue an MBA in the US. My family stayed back home, although my (only) sister is currently working in London.

Question: Have you played cricket at a competitive level?
Answer: Not unless you count social district cricket as competitive! I did play cricket competitively at school, but figured I could earn more money doing something else for my career.

Question: What makes AUS the best cricket team and quite possibly the best sports country in the world?
Answer: I can use two words to answer that: professionalism and commitment. To me, professionalism is about mastery of the fundamentals – making sure you are as well prepared as you can be, while commitment is about making sure you make sure that if you do lose, it won’t be due to lack of trying or preparation. I think that’s a hallmark of Australian sporting teams and sportspeople, be it in cricket, rugby, soccer (football), the Olympics, or whatever. Of course, we also have great infrastructure in Australia which helps our sporting teams succeed.

Question: Your favorite match where AUS LOST?
Answer: I would have to nominate two – one was the WI v. Aus Test in Perth in 1992-93, where Ambrose destroyed us. The second would have to be the 2nd Test between India and Aus in 2001, where Laxman and Dravid turned the tide. That was an epic match.

Question: What do you think of the following Aussies pushing for international duties: Katich, Watson, Casson, Jacques, Mitchell Johnson
Answer: Krapich = hack who lacks mental strength to succeed. I give him kudos for his work ethic though.
Watson = he won’t be a success as a bowler until he learns to move the ball. He may have a chance as a batsman though. But a genuine all-rounder he is not.
Casson = to be honest I haven’t really seen him play, so I can’t comment.
Jaques = I think he will go on to be successful as a batsman. He hasn’t got the greatest technique but he does have a keen eye and good reflexes.
MJ = still very much a work in progress. I do think he’s slightly overrated though.

Question: How big is the pakistani / desi community where you live and how easy to get halal food?
Answer: I guess by “halal” you mean food free of pork? It’s not that hard, as there is a decent “desi” (though more Indian than Pakistani) community here in Boston. There are a lot of Indian food stores that cater to that. Some of the larger chains are now also offering “halal” and “kosher” food.

Question: Why do you have such affinity for grizzly bears?
Answer: Because they kick **** all over tigers, that’s why!

Question: We Indians and Pakistanis skip universities and school to see cricket matches. Are most OZ cricket fans passionate towards cricket like us?
Answer: We skip class just like the best of them, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re not as obsessed (passionate is not the right word) with cricket or our team’s results as you guys are. I suppose it’s because the average OZ sporting fan grows up following a number of sports, so there’s always something else to follow when your team loses.

Question: How does Australia get such great technical and talented cricketers from such a small population? Is it because of great competion even at junior level(selection in school teams) or coz of high quality domestic cricket structure?
Answer: All of the above. Obviously natural talent plays a role, as kids in OZ grow up playing sport, and the school, district and first class scenes are very competitive. And the way our domestic system works, only the very best district and grade players end up playing first grade, as we only have six teams – so whoever makes it will be the cream of the crop. In addition, there is a professional infrastructure that identifies talent early and grooms it (see for more on that).

Question: Winning Ashes or winning a world cup?
Answer: Winning the Ashes.

Question: Whats your beef with Katich? Despite scoring so many runs at the domestic level.
Answer: He can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t field, throws like a girl, runs like a donkey between the wickets, and has a funny looking head.

Question: Which captain did you enjoy watching the most? Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting?
Answer: As a captain, Steve Waugh. As a batsman, Ponting. Waugh was pretty ugly as a batsman for mine.

Question: Which teams you feel are competitive when Australia play them as you watch?

Answer: All teams can be competitive with OZ on their day. If I had to nominate two that of late have really taken it to the OZ, it would be India and SA (even if they do choke in the end).

Question: Which team you hate the most?
Answer: Hate is such a strong word…

Question: Which team you like the most?

Answer: Is this a trick question? Mine, of course!

Question: Your favorite format : T20, Test or ODI
Answer: Tests. That said, it’s like enjoying different kinds of foods – T20 is like fast food, McDonalds or something. ODIs are like a decent meal at a decent restaurant for a higher price, while Tests are the ultimate – a five course meal or something. Eating the same type of food all the time would get boring, so it’s good to mix it up now and then.

Question: Your Thoughts on the Beast as an Australian Fan?
Answer: Honestly? I think he’s someone like Akhtar – someone who fell well short of his potential as a batsman. I think that if he showed a bit more maturity and composure in his game he could have ended up averaging in the high-30s to low-40s. I’m a pragmatist – I love the flash and bash as much as the next bloke, but consistency is what defines greatness to me. To me Afridi shows a lack of mastery of the fundamentals.

Question: Top Five All Rounders in World Cricket at the Moment?

Answer: Probably Freddie, Kallizzz, Jaya (even though he’s retired from Tests), Bravo…I’m struggling to come up with 5. Maybe Oram?

Question: How do you (and Australians in general) perceive the Asian culture, traditions and customs? What, in particular in those, if any, amazes/amuses you the most? What, in particular in those, if any, do you admire the most?
Answer: I’m intrigued by the “respect for seniority” bit. It’s inherent in human society to have respect for elders, and being of part Spanish descent (and a quarter Chinese) that characterizes the society in which I grew up as well, but it’s intriguing seeing it play out in a team sport environment – where people expect to be given more leeway/respect/authority on the basis of being “senior”. To me, respect in a meritocratic environment (be it team or work, etc) is earned through performance, not given on the basis of seniority.

Question: How old are you ?
Answer: Let’s just say I passed the big 3-0 recently. :)

Question: Did a Tiger eat your ex-GF or family member ?
Answer: No. Those lovable pussycats couldn’t hurt a fly!

Question: Who's your most favourite Pakistani player, past or present?
Answer: Imran Khan. Not just a great player but an inspirational leader. Perfect example of a bloke who brought together a lot of strong, divisive personalities and melded them into a focused and cohesive team.

Question: Do you plan to move back to Australia anytime soon?
Answer: Yes, but not in the near future. I need to get a decent ROI on my MBA.

Question: And yes, I can totally see why you hate Katich; he bores me to death.
Answer: Exactly. And he can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t catch, throws like a girl, runs like a geriatric between the wickets, can’t field and has a funny looking head.

Question: If Sreesanth was Australian:
- Would you hold his hand when he was crying OR
- would you advise Harbhajan to repeat the original act.
Answer: I would keep slapping him on the face until he came to his senses and realized he was a bloke and not a little girl.

Question: If Harbhajan was Aussie, would your attitude be different to him than now ?
Answer: Put it this way – I’d think he was a knob, but he’d be our knob, not someone else’s. He’d still be a knob though. You do realize I’m usually harsher on my players than on those from other teams, right?

Question: You seem chilled out and well, shall we say, moderate in your view - thats a contrast with some other Aussie posters - any special reason?
Answer: I’m a moderate kind of bloke. Life’s too short to get stressed over differing opinions. I can argue as much as the next person, but when the argument’s over it’s all bygones.

Question: Finally - cheesy question 120987, what brought you to PP - surely staying at PP to post consumes some amount of your Net time - why post on a Pakistani forum?
Answer: Because it’s the most unbiased cricket forum on the internet. Plus I like seeing my team through the lens of people from other countries – it gives me perspective that is sometimes lacking on OZ forums.

Question: Doesn't it get boring watching Aus win tests all(most) of the time? Nearly everyone expects Aus to win so for a fan there is only downside if they do lose?

Answer: It’s never boring as long as the team is playing well. And I’m old enough (though not that old) to remember a time when we DIDN’T win most of the time. Kim Hughes *cough*

Question: Pak v Aus. Hobart 99. "You could hear that justin langer nick on the moon" (not given). Thoughts? This c360 chase was probably the start of aussie dominance in tests.
Answer: I think it’s fair to say that Langer rode his luck, but it’s the umpire’s job to give him out so good luck to him. I think the start of the OZ dominance in Tests was four years before that though, in the WI in 1995.

Question: Pak v Aus 99 world cup final. Pak had previously beaten Aus in the group stages. Before the final, were you confident of an Aus win or quietly concerned a pak win was on the cards ?
Answer: You’re never confident when Pak is involved, because of how mercurial the team is. It’s the type of team that can score 350 one day and collapse for 100 the next. I was backing my team to win, but I didn’t think it was going to be as easy as it turned out.

Question: Why do u hate indians players?

Answer: Hate is such a strong word. There are many Indian players I admire, such as Tendy, Sehwag, even Bumpcatcher – I admire him for his leadership and how he forged the Indian team into a strong unit in the early 2000s. And up until 2 years ago I used to say that if there was one player I’d love to have in the OZ team from another country, it was Laxman. But there are others I have little time for, such as Harby. If you think I hate Indian players you haven’t seen me when the Ashes or the Mandela Cup (I think that’s what it’s called) is ongoing!

Question: What other sports do you enjoy watching?
Answer: The question should probably be what sports do I NOT enjoy watching. I enjoy watching all sports, probably because I enjoy playing sports in general. Though I’m not a big fan of lawn bowls.

Question: Who is your favourite all-time batsmen, quickie and spinner?
Answer: Of those I’ve seen, I’d have to say Lara as a batsman, Ambrose as a quickie, and Warney as a spinner.

Question: Being an aussie and moving over to the states, what do you think of baseball? Have you been inclined to switch allegance?

Answer: I’ve played a few games here and there, and it’s fascinating. It’s a completely different skillset. It’s a lot more challenging than it looks. The pitcher has a much smaller “window” to work with, and he has to move the ball without benefit of scuffing it, or of it hitting the ground. And even though it looks like batters just heave at the ball it takes a lot of skill to hit it with a rounded bat, and with a 70 degree field in front of you. It’s different.

Question: How long have you been living out of Oz? Do you plan to come back or might you settle in the states?

Answer: Been in the US 3 years now. Planning to return but not right away.

Question: Who is your all-time favourite batsman and bowler?

Answer: As mentioned above it would have to be Lara and Ambrose/Warne.

Question: Do you get angry quickly or are you cool-minded (like me)?
Answer: I’m pretty chill I think.

Question: What´s your name and what´s your age?

Answer: Mario (or Mazza for short), wrong side of 30.

Question: Do you believe in God? If yes then, do you often go to Church to pray?

Answer: Yes I do, and I go to church every weekend. I do pray a lot, but it’s more like talking to God, rather than formal prayer.

Question: How you ever met a cricketer? If yes then, who did you cherish the most meeting with?
Answer: I actually met Wasim Akram back in 1995 or 1996, when Pakistan toured Australia. One of my Pakistani friends knew him so we got to chat with him a bit after a match they played at the SCG. I’ve met Ricky Ponting a few times, he sponsors Rexona which is made by a company I used to work for in OZ (Unilever).

Question: Do you think Australia will still remain the most dominant force of world cricket for next 10 years or so?
Answer: I think we have a competitive advantage in the professionalism of our system. We should be around the top 3 or thereabouts. But you still need talent to consistently be No.1. That said, I don’t see too many other countries with the consistency to challenge for the top spot, aside from maybe SA. If India become more professional they will be a huge threat.

Question: At last, what do you think of MS Dhoni? Where do you see him in future and do you think he has the skills to become a super-star for the future?

Answer: I think he’s a superstar now. I see him as being a great captain as he has a level head. But I think there are better keepers than him at the moment, though he is improving.

Question: Irrelevant fact # 20987 : OZGod - do you know that Simon Katichs in laws are my neighbours?

Answer: I suggest you move ASAP.

Question: Do you have a Bostonian accent, Australian accent or Bostralian accent ?

Answer: I think my Ozzie accent is getting a bit diluted unfortunately. Half the time people don’t always understand me first off, so I end up “Americanising” my pronunciation. I can switch back and forth fairly easily though.

Question: Where do you see Australian cricket by the time the 2015 World Cup (in Australia and New Zealand) arrives?

Answer: We should be in the top 3 or thereabouts.

Question: Who would you want to bat for you (not get out) in a test match if your life was at stake?
Answer: Steve Waugh. Or Brian Lara.

Question: Whats your take on t20 cricket and with the start of leagues like IPL and EPL. Do you think this will help spread the game to youngsters or will this have a negative effect on the Test Matches.
Answer: I don’t mind T20 as long as it’s managed properly. It’s catering to a different target market and cricket needs cash flow to flourish. But it shouldn’t become the centerpiece of the game.

Question: Your thoughts on cricket spreading in the U.S and becoming a widely accepted sport, perhaps not like NFL, NBA but like MLS?
Answer: Won’t happen. No grassroots. At least with soccer/football, it’s the #1 sport for high school kids (boys and girls). Even with those grassroots see how hard it is to build up a professional league to the level of the legacy sports like basketball, NFL etc. If you don’t have first- or second-mover advantage in this industry it’s near impossible to grow a new sport – it would take generations. Put it this way – will baseball/NFL ever become a widely accepted sport in the subcontinent or Australia? No.

Question: How would u feel if Katich scores a match winning knock for Aus?
Answer: I’d be happy for him, as I was in the WI. But consistency is what earns respect from me. Krapich would need to score a multitude of match-winning knocks and that won’t happen.

Question: If Katich has an average of say around 50 for the next two years or so would u then maybe rate him?
Answer: Probably. But it won’t happen so I’m safe.

Question: What is it about Katichs funny looking head that u dont like?
Answer: He has this weird-looking pinched forehead and he always looks like the kind of bloke you see outside the casinos after having blown all his money.

Question: Are u obsessed by Katich?
Answer: Is this a trick question?

Question: Are u really Simon Katich in disguise, with ur funny looking head and all?
Answer: Do you see me walking around with a paper bag over my head?

Question: Do u think a lion can beat a tiger in a fight?
Answer: Absolutely. No contest. (Suck on that Switch! :p)

Question: Did India win a moral victory in Australia?
Answer: No.

Question: What do u think Harby really called Symonds?
Answer: I think he called him a monkey and tried to escape on a technicality. Of course, my opinion doesn’t really count, and others will have different opinions.

Question: When u fly home to Sydney how many beers do u consume on the flight?
Answer: Actually, I generally try not to drink too much alcohol when flying, because you get dehydrated so easily. David Boon I am not.

Question: If u drink wine on this flight do u still consider yourself a man?
Answer: Of course! So what if the Frogs drink wine? They’re still men…aren’t they?

Have fun with these as i know some of these topics are close to ur heart...LOL

Question: Seeing Austrailia as an ally of US in the so called war on terror, what are your views about it and what is the general feeling in Aus about this whole situation?
Answer: Put it this way – the Liberal government that had been in power for 12+ years got voted out of office last year, because of the perception that we were tied to the hip to Dubya and his War On Terror. That should give you the people’s answer. Invading Afghanistan to get Bin Laden was the right thing – invading Iraq was not. Absolute joke.

Question: ..... and yeah, Did Katich used to bully you in school ? Maybe a few headbutts with his funny looking head ?!?!?!
Answer: He’d definitely come off second best if he tried butting me with his cockroach head – I play rugby! :p

Question: Who is your favourite Pakistani and Indian Cricketer and why?
Answer: As mentioned earlier, Imran Khan for Pak and Laxman for India.

Question: If given a chance to punch Harbhajan or Sreesanth or Krapich? Choose only one and tell why?
Answer: I’d line them all up so their heads were 1 inch apart, then I’d put Krapich in front and I’d smack him one. Three for the price of one! Sreesanth would probably cry for about 2 secs then he’d realize I’m not as pretty as Pretty Zinta so he’d stop!

Question: Are Australians religious?
Answer: I think so, but not in an overt way. Definitely the Western world is becoming more secular, which is a shame.

Question: Do you believe in God?
Answer: Yep.
Question: Are you a Student or are you working in USA? What do you do for a living?
Answer: I finished my MBA in Boston last year and am now working here.

Question: You seems to be a big cricket fan residing in United States. So till now how many native American friends you have managed to convert into cricket fan? What's the main things they dislike about cricket?
Answer: Funnily enough, I managed to convert 2. They just think it’s too slow and weird. I find they gravitate to rugby much easier than cricket. Though it’s funny – they talk about how insane a 5 day Test match is, yet in baseball where they play 200+ games in the season they will usually have 4- or 5-game series with other teams (eg Red Sox vs Yankees road trip) where they will play every day for the 5 days and they talk about there being an overall series winner. So how is that different from a Test match?

Question: Has there been any moment when you have regretted being in United States? Please share.
Answer: Everytime Australia play in the rugby or cricket and I have to stay up till midnight.

Question: Please share 3 main differences you find between Pakistan cricket fans and Indian cricket fans.
Answer: There’s not that many differences to tell you the truth. Pak fans are generally pessimistic, Indians are optimistic. Indians get excited over one victory and get morose after one defeat. Actually wait, Pak fans do that too!

Question: If you were to become a Mod in PP- share the first new thing that would you have implement in this site.
Answer: Nothing. The site is great as it is. I used to be an admin at the ESPNSTAR site and Saj and his team run this much more professionally than ESPNSTAR ever did their site (which was why I left).

Question: If you could invite six cricketers to dinner who will you invite and why.
Answer: I would invite Sreesanth, Harby, Afridi, Warne, Symmo and Ponting and sit back and watch the fur fly.

Question: If you could take six cricketers to Mars and leave them there for good who will you take (why is optional if you want to answer).
Answer: Symmo (he’s an idiot), Krapich (obvious, I’m too tired to type it), Harby (he’s an idiot), Giles (for a laugh), Lou Vincent (because he’s a wuss) and Akhtar (the lighter gravity will improve his fitness).

Question: If you were the match refree in the Harby/ Sree match how would you have handled it.
Answer: I’d have made them both don boxing gloves and made them sort it out like men. Once they’ve punched the crap out of each other they can shake hands and move on. Instead of that rubbish Farukh Engineer made them do, holding hands and kissing and all that. Eww!
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Haha you can tell this interview was done some time ago eh.

Question: Doesn't it get boring watching Aus win tests all(most) of the time? Nearly everyone expects Aus to win so for a fan there is only downside if they do lose?

Answer: It’s never boring as long as the team is playing well. And I’m old enough (though not that old) to remember a time when we DIDN’T win most of the time. Kim Hughes *cough*
Good to see u here oz, I use to post at espn cricket forum :)

Yes Zainu, I used to administer ESPNSTAR's forums years ago and I remember you. :)


Anyway, seemed like a good interview and he comes across as a reasonable guy too.

Barra, it was actually the ESPNSTAR forums back when ESPNSTAR's joint venture had a website for football, cricket and other sports. This was years ago, early to mid 2000s. I believe it is now FOX SPORTS ASIA.
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One of my favorite posters, it's a shame he's an aussie :yk
One of my favorite posters, it's a shame he's an aussie :yk

Well I heard we're making you guys honorary Ozzies for the WC in 2015 - you can get an OZ visa and go to NZ! Just as long as we can pick from all your Islanders for the rugby as well :D