Rob Moody, commonly known as Robelinda2 due to his famous YouTube channel, is kind of an internet celebrity. Fans around the world interact with him on social media and ask for famous cricket footage from the decades of the 80s and 90s.
He spends days and weeks to fulfil people’s requests by diving into the tons game recordings that he has been maintaining since 1982 when he was just in primary school.
It all started when he was living in the outback areas of Australia as his father was in the Army. He had a black and white TV and a little radio.
As a child, he loved recording songs off the radio and once they got a VCR (videocassette recorder), he began recording random things off the television.
“My family purchased a VCR in 1982. It was a cheap and clunky machine but it was fascinating to me as I was able to record things off the TV and watch them later. It was a new concept to the world,” he shared while talking with Bol News.
Then he thought of recording cricket matches as he loved the sport. The first game he archived off the TV was the second Test of 1982-83 Ashes where Kepler Wessels played a brilliant inning of 162 runs on his debut.
It was easy for Moody for the first few years as there was little cricket and the sport was more of a seasonal one, unlike today when there is cricket every day, everywhere.
However, in the next few years, the popularity of the game grew and the number of games played across the globe also increased exponentially, it was where it started to become challenging.
“I had a collection of tapes that was growing, but still manageable until about 4 or 5 years later when it became a bit of a problem when I reached 1,000 tapes and I was still in primary school,” he said.
The 44-year-old musician was merely recording these games just out of his love for cricket, there was nothing else in his mind. In fact, he never even thought of sharing his treasure with the world till about 2009 when one of his friends asked him to show those rare cricket clips.
“I was having a chat with some friends interstate and around 2009, we were discussing Australian domestic cricket from the 1990s and I mentioned I had a large amount of footage I had recorded,” he maintained. “They suggested sharing it once so they could see it, so I did. It started purely as a means to share videos with friends and 13 years later, I have over one million friends on my channel.”
Once his channel started getting traction, hundreds of people started contacting him to have their favourite piece of footage from the 1980s and 1990s. However, it was extremely challenging for him to find the desired clips from a sea of 30,000 DVDs, around 1,000 VHS tapes, about 300TB of footage on drives and 100TB on the cloud.
“Soon [after creating my YouTube channel] I had over 5,000 requests for particular videos and I have been working through that list over the past 13 years. Every day, someone thinks of an old bit of footage and ask me if I have it. I try to fulfil everyone’s requests,” he stated.
It is not only the fans who contact Moody to see their favourite players play. Even the cricketers themselves contact him to get videos of their memorable performances on the cricket field. He has catered hundreds of cricketers over the years and provided them with their desired pieces of action and one of them was the Australian great Dean Jones, who asked for a video just days before his passing away.
“One of the sadder moments was when the late Dean Jones asked me for some footage of his Test hundreds, I gladly shared the footage and only five days later, he passed away,” he shared with a heavy heart.
The Australian maintains his YouTube channel purely to please others and for the passion he has for the sport. Otherwise, he does not earn a penny out of it. He claims that he never had the intention to make some bucks using the precious treasure he has.
In fact, he has to get into numerous legal battles for using videos that are not his own. Cricket boards and broadcasters have come to terms with the man that he will work fine till he is using decade-old clips. He has to adhere to YouTube’s guidelines as well as cricket boards’ obligations.
Still, his channel gets numerous strikes, both legitimate and illegitimate.
“I have had quite a lot of positive and negative interaction with the various cricket boards over the years,” he said. “As it stands now, there is somewhat of an agreement that my uploads must adhere to certain guidelines and that applies to all YouTube channels. The footage must not be recent, so I stick to old footage from 20 or 30 years ago.”
His channel has been terminated thrice. He had to fight the video platform dozens of times to keep his channel up and going. Even after so many years, it has not been easy for him to sustain his channel. Moreover, there are scammers out there who trouble the cricket enthusiast.
“All strikes are different and require specific approaches. Most of the time, the strikes are from scam companies and I can easily beat them,” he maintained. “When it’s a legitimate copyright strike, I try to contact the claimant and try to achieve a peaceful resolution which is always good.”
Moody is also a Pakistan cricket fan and like hundreds and thousands of people who saw Imran Khan play, he loved the legendary all-rounder when he was growing up.
“He was a star on the screen,” he said. “I was lucky enough to see Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup here in Melbourne. Imran was amazing.”
Moreover, he was also in awe of Pakistan’s legendary opening batter Saeed Anwar, especially when he was young and transformed the openers’ approach.
“Saeed Anwar was the first young Pakistan batsman I loved. His sensational batting in the 1989-90 World Series Cup here in Australia was thrilling, big six-hitter and then he turned into a classy batsman in Test cricket,” he added.
However, out of the uncountable stars that Pakistan cricket has produced over the years, Moody’s favourite character has been the former captain Younis Khan. The right-handed batter was unorthodox, yet effective, becoming the highest run-scorer in Test cricket for the country. He was also an amazing leader, steering Pakistan World T20 glory in 2009.
“Younis Khan is my all-time favourite Pakistan batsman, an absolute genius he was!” he maintained.
Though people from around the world request Moody for different videos and are fans of his work, he is still humble and does not think he is doing anything special.
“I’m just a simple person sitting at home watching cricket, just like everyone else, raising my family, working hard and paying the bills,” he said.
On being asked about his most prized possession in all the archives he has, he could not pick one and adored all of his collection.
“I think that would be the entire archive of the footage itself. It is massive and I am proud of the 40 years I have spent creating it,” he exclaimed.