THE JERSEY COLLECTOR: SALMAN RANA

I realized I loved cricket was in 2004 during the India tour of Pakistan. I remember watching an ODI from that series on a big screen outside my house with more than hundred people in my community sitting there and glued to the big screen as Shoaib Akhtar was bowling to Virender Sehwag. That series is what made me watch, play and talk about cricket every day. Ever since then, I have been an addict.

With the Advent of the Kerry Packer world series, there came with it the introduction of the coloured jerseys, over the decades the coloured jerseys have become a symbol of national pride, who can forget the first Cricket world cup played in those Iconic Jerseys?

Today I Interview a man who is the Connoisseur of these jerseys,The Jersey Collector Salman Rana.

Hi Salman Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, I am a 22 year old Pakistani-Canadian. I was born and raised in my beautiful little city of Multan, Punjab, Pakistan and moved to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in 2011. I am a student but I have taken a break from studying for now. I am a huge cricket fan. I love playing, watching and talking about cricket, so all my focus is on cricket for now. I have been playing cricket since I was a toddler and it has been a huge part of my life. Currently, I am playing league cricket in Mississauga and preparing for the upcoming season. I love collecting cricket jerseys and that is why I decided to make my YouTube channel. On my channel I talk about cricket jerseys and interact with amazing people who are just as passionate as me when it comes to collecting cricket jerseys. 

How did you first get involved in cricket?

I was born to a cricket-loving father, so I believe I was born into cricket. I cannot recall the first time I held a cricket bat or a ball, it was probably the day I started walking. I have been watching cricket since I was a year old but the first time I realized I loved cricket was in 2004 during the India tour of Pakistan. I remember watching an ODI from that series on a big screen outside my house with more than hundred people in my community sitting there and glued to the big screen as Shoaib Akhtar was bowling to Virender Sehwag. That series is what made me watch, play and talk about cricket every day. Ever since then, I have been an addict. 

Some of Salman’s early collections

As a youngster what player did you look upto most?

Growing up in Pakistan in the 2000s, I initially became a Shahid Afridi fan like many others. In 2004 I went to Multan Stadium to watch Pakistan vs India 1st Test in March 2004. That’s the match where Virender Sehwag scored 309 and Shoaib Akhtar got smashed all over the park. Though Akhtar got smashed, I was too young to understand what good or bad bowling was. All I saw as a kid was Akhtar run in hard in every over and the crowd chanting  “HOOOOOOO”  and smashing plastic bottles on steel railings with every step he took. That day Shoaib Akhtar became an idol of mine and I fell in love with fast bowling. 

What started your interest in collecting jerseys?

I am very passionate about cricket and the only other passion of mine that gets close to cricket is professional wrestling. I used to collect wrestling belts as a kid because I wanted to emulate John Cena. Just like how I wanted to become John Cena, I also wanted to become Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar. I wanted to play cricket wearing Pakistan’s jerseys. I wanted to hit scoop shots wearing the 2007 T20 World Cup jersey and be the Misbah ul Haq of my street. I haven’t stopped collecting jerseys since then.

For how long have you been collecting Cricket jerseys?

In 2005 my father got me my first cricket jersey because I wanted to “dress like Afridi”. I used to buy fake replicas from local stores in Pakistan and when I moved to Canada in 2011, the only way I could get jerseys is through my father when he would come from Pakistan to Canada. 2011-2019 I just relied on my father to get me whatever jerseys he could get. Last year I decided to go all out and spent hundreds of dollars on official replicas and started growing my collection by buying jerseys on eBay. Now I have close to 100 jerseys and I won’t be stopping anytime soon. 

The 1992 England jersey and the 1999 Pakistan Jersey are some of the iconic jerseys in salman’s collection

You have a Youtube channel, where you talk about Cricket jerseys, tell us a little bit about your channel? 

Being a die-hard cricket fan, I loved watching cricket videos on YouTube and wanted to start my own channel. I did not want to be like others and just talk about cricket news, post copyrighted highlights or make coaching videos. I wanted to be different and talk about something I was extremely passionate about. Collecting cricket jerseys and talking about them is my niche in the huge cricket universe. On my channel, I review and rate a cricket jersey every single Sunday on my weekly series called, “Jersey Sundays”. I make videos about Top 10 cricket jerseys of a specific country. I talk about anything that is related to cricket jerseys, some examples of that are; discussing jersey makers like Admiral, Adidas, Nike etc, how to buy jerseys, comparing jerseys of today to those of yesterday and much more. As my channel grows, my main focus will remain the cricket jersey niche but I want to explore more cricket related topics and hopefully grow my audience. I love interacting with passionate cricket fans online. 

What are your most prized jerseys in your collection?

My all-time favourite jersey is Pakistan’s 1999 World Cup jersey. I don’t think Pakistan has ever had a better-looking jersey than that. England’s 1992 World Cup jersey is one of my favourites, it is such an iconic jersey. I also have Javed Miandad’s jersey from when he was the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team during the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy, that jersey means a lot to me. I am a huge Quetta Gladiators fan, so the official QG replica means a lot to me as well. The 2005 Pakistan jersey that started my whole collection, holds a special place in my heart. I love all my jerseys though. 

What according to you are the Top five most iconic Cricket jerseys and why?

To start this off, let’s just have all the 1992 World Cup jerseys as one entry. ‘92 world cup changed cricket forever. That World Cup is the reason more teams accepted the colour clothing and here I am trying to collect every jersey I can from 1992-2020. Those jerseys were simple, elegant and revolutionary in the cricketing world. Most people love the lightning bolt Australian jersey from 1993/94 and I think it is a beautiful jersey but the 1999 World Cup jersey is better in my opinion. It was a beautiful design and Australia winning that world cup iconized that jersey. The “shooting stars” jersey was an illustration of that amazing Australian team. Those men were superstars and they looked phenomenal in those jerseys. Test jerseys are simple but it’s the on-field action, story and fight that makes a Test jersey iconic. England’s 2005 Ashes series jersey is one of the most iconic Test jerseys of all time. That Ashes series was arguably one of the best Test series ever played and those jerseys will remain an important part of history for many years to come. Bangladesh’s 1999 World Cup jersey is also a very iconic jersey in my opinion. Bangladesh has proven a lot of people wrong and has gained the respect of cricket fans all over the world in the last decade but some fans still doubt their ability. In 1999, everyone doubted their ability. They were the ultimate underdogs and they beat the runner-ups of that tournament, Pakistan. I don’t think cricket fans will ever forget that match or that jersey. India’s 2011 World Cup jersey. I think people will still be buying that jersey in the 2050s. It could possibly be the most iconic cricket jersey of all time in terms of how big that World Cup was and how big the game became after India’s win.

How would you define success?

Peace is success. In a world full of chaos, if you can have inner peace, you are successful. Having $10 Million in your bank account, a huge mansion and an expensive car are useless if you don’t have inner peace. I would rather have $1000 in my bank account and be stress-free and appreciate life. The day I don’t have anything to stress about and I can truly appreciate life and look forward to the next day with a positive attitude, I will consider myself successful. 

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