Friday, June 18, 2021
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Commentator’s controversy

Even though we try to hush up many matters concerning cricket in the field of play some bold and purposeful comments open up Pandora’s Box. In the late 1960s, when Srinivasan Venkatraghavan was given wrongly out, Devraj Puri father of Narottam Puri described it as “I think it is not out” and that comment infuriated the crowd and the Brabourne stadium was set on fire against a touring Australian side. This time round it was the turn of Harsha Bhogle to turn heat and the players made complaints about the best of the best commentator and he was instantly removed from the team of commentators.

Harsha Bhogle is an Indian cricket commentator and journalist. He was born in a Marathi speaking family in Hyderabad. Bhogle has recently become a freelance TV presenter. Indian Premier League 9 (IPL) telecast will be devoid of the familiar voice of commentator Harsha Bhogle. The 54-year-old, whose association with Indian cricket goes back to the mid-80s and who has been describing IPL action since the 2008 opening season, was informed about the termination of his IPL contract few days back. The decision has come as a surprise for the voice of Indian cricket since he had conducted the Season 9 draft auction, featured in the league’s promotional videos, was in the commentators’ 51-day-long duty roster, and even had his flight booked by the production house.

Though, a reputed media channel holds IPL’s telecast rights, it is the BCCI that controls the tournament’s production. BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla refused to comment on Bhogle’s sudden ouster. But it was reliably learnt that the players complained about the commentator and the BCCI followed suit to remove him. In the past, Sunil Gavaskar was warned by BCCI for expressing his opinion about the captain and his players. Sunny is a powerful personality in the Indian cricket whereas Harsha Bhogle does not have a Godfather to back him up and give him a second lease of life.

Amitabh Bachchan’s tweet had proved tormentor for Bhogle. When his followers speculated about who he was referring to, Bachchan tweeted that he was not referring to Sunil Gavaskar or Sanjay Manjrekar. Mumbai connection cleared the air for the ex-players from the city whereas Bhogle became the scapegoat. When there is a smoke there is fire also. For Harsha the door was not open to present his picture whereas the erring commentators from Mecca of cricket escape severe punishment in the past. To remain in the good books of the high officials, the likes of commentators, scorers and umpires should remain silent and needs to be yes man of the board all the time. This is a lesson for remaining good in cricketing ethics and the eyewitness clear the controversy in the commentator’s ouster. Even a hero from the Bollywood can turn as a villain in the career of a commentator.

 

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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