Meet Sohail Khan – the visually-impaired 'cricket encyclopedia' of Pakistan (DP Exclusive)
LAHORE – Born with disability proved to be a great strength for Sohail Khan – a blind sports journalist-cum-statistician filled with energy and passion. He has baffled everyone by his exceptional ability to memorise stats.
Known as 'the encyclopedia of cricket', Sohail's story has excited not just specially impaired people but all of those, who want to pursue their career in this field.
Recalling his childhood, Sohail Khan told Daily Pakistan that he used to listen to the cricket commentary on radio and TV. “I can recognise people just by shaking hands with them. You can either choose to think of the disability as a curse and limit yourself, or focus on your talent and be an achiever,” he said.
Sohail started his career as a RJ in a local radio channel and considered himself lucky to have received nice callers. He was nervous in the beginning but his parents and colleagues provided him the moral support which helped building his confidence. During his stay at the radio, his friends introduced him to social media and then later on he worked for TV channels as well.
“I never dreamt of doing anything extraordinary, I am happy with my achievements,” said Sohail.
When asked about his favourite cricket player and something astonishing about him, Sohail did not hesitate even for a moment to mention former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq. He said that Inzamam had scored his first eight centuries in eight different countries. He named the countries in the exact order.
Sohail’s ability to remember the dates, events and even the exact names of the players since the advent of cricket is astonishing. He is never wrong about the details and comes up with the answer within a second. His friends say, on many occasions he has answered much quickly than Google, the world famous search engine known to provide accurate information within seconds.
When asked about the name of a Pakistani bowler who has the most wickets, Sohail not only answered Wasim Akram but also mentioned the number of wickets he took during his carrier. He said Wasim took 502 ODI and 414 Test wickets.
When asked about how he manages to commentate a live match without seeing it, he replied he mastered to multi-task his brain. He only needs a second to listen to the other commentator sitting beside him and comes up with his own version of commentary at the same time without messing up with the facts.
Sohail has met almost every cricket player who visited Pakistan recently and they have all been baffled by his unique talent.
Finally, in his message to the parents, he said never think about your disabled child as worthless. Support him morally and he will emerge as a talented person who will win the world, he concluded.
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