Faisal Khan elicits the fervour for cricket and hosting from an elegant and eloquent Maria Nur
Her attributions are aplenty but last month she disclosed her yet another facet with the most popular show on television aired during the Cricket World Cup 2015. Maria Nur is as much a sport enthusiast as she is a model, actress, RJ and host. It was only evident through her 36-episode programme titled ‘Cricket Extra’ aired during the break of innings and end of matches in the world cup cricket on Gtv.
Much as it takes a cricketer to know the ins and outs of a game to understand the intricacies, Maria’s moderation charmed the audience due to her knowledge about the game. More importantly, the oozing confidence and passion had her in complete control of the show.
She decided the topics to discuss during the day’s game to make the show more interactive than just an expert commentary. Her best friend on stage is a tablet she carries around. While some might confuse her for having a speech prepared on that 11 inch screen, but she is actually going through data constantly to discuss more statistics with her guests and viewers.
Statistics like strike rate, over rate, powerplays and run rate are all in her vocabulary as she has tutored herself about the game through the love for it from a young age and has mastered the terminologies to a degree that a lot of the viewers may not even understand.
When asked about the selection of former cricketers invited at her show, she says, ‘These players did not have the grooming like the Shakib’s and Mahmadullah’s of today, but only for these heroes, Bangladesh cricket is where it is today.’ She adds that these heroes are simply ‘raw talent’.
Maria’s favourite among the Tigers is Mashrafe Bin Mortuza; not only for his bowling talents, but for the tenacity and passion he has for the game. ‘He is a true warrior,’ Maria says referring to his consecutive surgeries and the pain that he trades with to bowl over after over and give everything he has for the country.
As a host, she seeks to portray her voice for the nation and bring about questions that people would want to know. For that she spends considerable amount of time in doing research on the subject before going on air.
Television however, was not Maria’s first entry into the media. She stormed the audience by surprise through her voice as a radio jockey for Radio ABC in 2009. Her parents initially were not very supportive of her joining the radio, coming from a conservative family. But determined as she is, she took the challenge and has won the hearts of her family besides of course the large number of audience. To date, Maria attributes the experience at her beloved radio station as a stepping stone to where she stands.
‘I wish I could give them more time now,’ she says with a saddened voice. The radio works more with a sense of imagination on the vocal expressions, which Maria enjoyed most. After 2012 though, this voice had a face as she made her visual appearances in travelling shows. Maria loves travelling, and it was a great opportunity for her to familiarise with many cultures and people through the show ‘Circle the Globe’ on Channel 24.
As she moved from radio to television, challenges were obvious but were in different domains. Radio was all about multitasking. As an RJ she maintained control over SMS locks, consoles, phone calls and music schedules.
The visual media has been a completely different ballgame. Posture, voice, makeup, wardrobe, every minute detail mattered as she was no longer followed by only her voice. Over the passage of time Maria has performed in television commercials and drama like Kabitar Nari, Akabitar Nari, directed by Golam Muktadir, which was released in Eid Ul Fitr 2013.
Maria considers Mostafa Sarwar Farooki a ‘living legend’ for taking ‘Bangladeshi [drama] to a whole new era.’ Even though she claims acting is not her ideal platform, she enjoys getting offers and takes on acting as another challenge. She is part of a new series coming out called ‘5 female friends’, which stars five professional women who are friends. Among all her works, her love for hosting is undying and her relentless gain in knowledge for cricket makes her love hosting such shows even further.
Maria’s television shows reflect her fashion statement and having done a diploma in the discipline, she says endearingly, ‘I should have a sense of fashion, right?’ An overarching performer since early days, Maria finished a Masters in Accounting and has claimed honour’s first class in school.
For all the romantics in love with Maria Nur who think they have a chance to woe her, need to know a few things. She doesn’t look for anyone that fancy. All she wants is honesty, simplicity, and a loving person to be her partner in life. In no way, will she give up her career and independence. Respect and her career is the only way to earn her love.
Given her enthusiasm for the game, when asked about her super XI for a cricket team, Maria picked Finch, Mccullum, Kohli, Sangakarra, Shakib, Williamson, AB Devilliers, Mashrafe, Southee, Boult and Starc. She named her team ‘The Hulk’ and need it be said she makes an invincible team!