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How badly do you miss ESPN School Quiz hosted by Harsha Bhogle?

How badly do you miss ESPN School Quiz hosted by Harsha Bhogle?

Md Imtiaz

Published: 13 Feb 2021 5:39 AM GMT

Two decades ago, our life as school students, probably wasn't spoilt by choices that today's school-goers enjoy. In the early 2000s, life was pretty content with our algebra equations, gully cricket, and Sunday binge watches on TV. At Y2K, when India was slowly getting a hang of cable television, pandora's box opened to us. Watching live sports broadcasts, that too, from the faraway lands of Europe were a dream come true.

While a section got immersed in the rivalries between Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool, equally the legendary tennis and WWE icons grew popular in India, all thanks to ESPN. While the madness over the sports kept growing manifold, we welcomed some remarkable indigenous infotainment shows. Our Sunday mornings would especially be kept reserved for the ESPN School Quiz. The show that lasted for just five years, left a lasting impact on our childhood.

Hosted by none other than Harsha Bhogle, one of India's best commentators of sports, the ESPN School Quiz was an ultimate showdown of India's sporting knowledge that was being cultivated meticulously at school levels. Every year over 2000 exuberant school children from hundreds of schools across India would fight for the ultimate which would be hosted aired on national television.

The brand of sporting excellence created by ESPN was further exemplified in the show that had gripped us for a good five years. Every kid would aspire to make their way into the quiz and bring pride to their institutions.

Segregated into three rounds - Citius, Altius, and Fortius (motto of the Olympic games), the show offered an interactive, challenging display of the students' mental abilities. The excitement and enthusiasm and often disappointments would give us vicarious joy from the other side of the screen.

The best part of the show was 'Voice of cricket' Bhogle himself, who just charmed and inspired an entire generation to contemplate a career in sports commentary. Bhogle's immaculate presentation, along with his witty remarks and surprisingly mindboggling trivia had knocked us to believe him to be the Sachin Tendulkar with the microphone. The way he constantly encouraged the young schoolgoers go on playing the bouts of 5 Ws and 1 H was super entertaining to watch.

It was through this show, we probably got to know about the modern-day greats like Pankaj Advani, Koneru Humpy, and Rohan Bopannas. The ESPN School Quiz was probably the first-ever show that taught us about the huge content repository of sports.

However, like all good things, the show also came to an end after five years of broadcast. Bhogle in 2020 cited the reason why he left his popular sports quiz show. The cricket expert said that while he hosted the show for five years, he was starting to get a little “affected” by the participating students, who ended up on the losing side. He added that some of the participants used to travel long distances and he could not bear their “sadness” upon losing. However, he also admitted to getting many tweets of late of his followers requesting him to return the show. He then concluded by saying that the show could still happen on popular demand with another anchor hosting it.

Who knows if ever we will get back the show on the air, but the quiz without the master host wouldn't probably ever be the same.

Also read: Aarohi Pandit - The world’s first woman pilot to cross both Atlantic and Pacific Ocean

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