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Trilegal associate leaves, joins ESPN Cricinfo as statistics writer: How Bishen Jeswant batted for his dream job

Trilegal's Jeswant: Crazy about league tables
Trilegal's Jeswant: Crazy about league tables

Anything can happen in a nation where cricket is religion, including bidding adieu to one of India’s “Big Six” law firms to churn out statistical commentary.

Former Trilegal Bangalore associate Bishen Jeswant’s exit from the firm last Monday to join the world’s largest cricket news website, ESPN Cricinfo, as a statistics columnist affirms this.

“What you really need to bag a job like this is initiative,” said Jeswant. “Be committed and take your chance.”

“Once they join a law firm, law graduates hesitate to take the plunge and do something that truly appeals to them because one tends to get sucked in by the comfortable life style that comes with substantial financial reward. Acutely aware of this, I set out to find a job that is true to my calling.”

Fielding for the big break

Jeswant, whose cricket-writing break came at ESPN Cricinfo as well as cricket mobile application Cricbuzz, told Legally India that neither organisation had an opening at the time he applied, but writing to former cricketers and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) president Anil Kumble and secretary Javagal Srinath, helped to put the process of his hire into motion.

Always a diehard fan of the gentleman’s game and having joined the employment and labour law team of the firm right after graduating from NLIU Bhopal in 2012, Jeswant began his search for a cricket-related job mid 2013. “I was not disillusioned with law but am only moving because I have a passion for cricket,” he explained.

After writing to Kumble and Srinath, who responded, Jeswant managed to bag an administrative role at the KSCA, but in the three-month gap before the final negotiations in December, he decided to hunt further for a more suitable cricket-related job profile and eventually landed the ESPN and Cricbuzz gigs.

While ESPN, after assessing his statistical writing for an India-South Africa tour in September, offered him a column, Cricbuzz gave him a news and live commentary opportunity. He said he chose the 22-year-old ESPN Cricinfo “because it is the absolute number one”.


“I did all the right things to stay as closely associated with sports as I could,” commented Jeswant.

Other than “initiative” his luck was ostensibly also polished by keeping his passion alive during his time at Trilegal: he served as a coach at the Jawahar Cricket Association in Bangalore and was one of the 27 cricket umpires selected out of 800 people who wrote the umpires exam for the KSCA state panel.

His familiarity with journalistic writing comes from working around 50 weeks all-in with Mylaw.net during law school, where he was a student journalist writing weekly articles.

Yet undecided innings

“I don’t want to be emotional about it because I love cricket at this time and say yes I am going to make this my career and it will last for a lifetime. After one or two years I will make an assessment that whether I am good enough and whether there is enough to do,” commented Jeswant.

He said that while there is a “glass ceiling” in the sphere of cricket commentating, with former players monopolising it, the writing sphere was open to fresh talent and specifically statistical writing was a niche area that is not very popular yet and has enough scope to potentially sustain a lifelong career.

“Statistics-based writing is not very common. Readers are either very intimidated by numbers or put off by numbers, so it is not so popular. Over time the idea with publishing houses and websites is to make statistics more user friendly and appealing with graphs and pie charts and all kind of statistics that are presented in a way that makes it more easy to comprehend.”

“I also intend to do non statistical writing, eventually going in front of the camera, presenting, hosting and doing a few other things,” he said.

Jeswant is also open to be back in a law firm if eventually that is the best course for him to take. "[At Trilegal] I had a fantastic team to work with and met some very nice people in the course of my two years in the Bangalore office. Trilegal is a young firm with a great culture and I will certainly miss the place," he remarked.

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