The former Indian player Sanjay Manjrekar has been dismissed from the commentary panel recently. Sanjay Manjrekar was part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) commentary panel for many major ICC events ever since he took up the commentary gig post his retirement in 1996. While Manjrekar is one of the most experienced commentators in the world, the former Mumbai captain has been involved in quite a few controversies over the years.
Meanwhile, apart from a statement, no particular reason has been released by any official stating as to why Sanjay Manjrekar was dropped. He has covered World Cups and many other ICC tournaments and is a mainstay in the commentary teams covering multi-nation cricket tournaments.
Sanjay Manjrekar’s reply
Regards the decision of BCCI board, Sanjay Manjrekar takes to twitter to reply to that action.
“I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement,” Sanjay’s tweet read.
“It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that. Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional,” he added.
I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement. It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that. Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 15, 2020
Three possible reasons for his dismissal
Manjrekar on Dhoni’s run out decision in last year IPL
Sanjay Manjrekar is a proud Mumbaikar and there is nothing wrong with that. That does however, become a problem when you hold a position where you’re expected to play the part of the neutral with perfection. Manjrekar however, made no bones about his favouritism. In fact, during the IPL, he made it abundantly clear, where his heart lay.
During last year’s IPL final, Manjrekar bluntly blurted his desire to see the third umpire rule MS Dhoni out in a controversial run-out decision. He did get his wish but also received a lot of flak and was called a Mumbai Indians cheerleader.
Verbal abuse on Jadeja
One of the biggest talking points from last year’s Cricket World Cup was Ravindra Jadeja’s levelling of Sanjay Manjrekar after the commentator called him a bits and pieces cricketer and expressed that he wasn’t a fan of cricketers like him.
Jadeja shot him down by claiming that he had heard enough of his verbal diarrhoea before putting on an all-round clinic in the semi-final vs New Zealand. Manjrekar later admitted that he was off the mark with his unsavoury comments but the damage was already done.
Brawl with Harsha Bhogle
Sanjay Manjrekar had a commentary brawl with Harsha Bhogle during the pink ball test match between India and Bangladesh. The whole transcript of the conversation between the two follows..
Harsha Bhogle: When there’s a post-mortem done on this game, and there should be a post-mortem done on this game, visibility of that ball will be factor against the white sightscreen.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Don’t think so. Because when you see the slip catchers, the way they have taken catches, I don’t think visibility is an issue at all. The texture of the ball is the issue.
Harsha Bhogle: Definitely ask batsmen on both sides.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Do you think Virat Kohli wasn’t seeing the ball properly?
Harsha Bhogle: Or Ajinkya Rahane, or Cheteshwar Pujara. Ask all of them, just ask them, ‘what do you think?’”. Because if pink-ball cricket is going to be a regular feature, then you want to make sure everything’s working.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Don’t we get an indication watching from the outside whether the batsman is seeing the ball properly or not?
Harsha Bhogle: Doesn’t cost anything to ask. Always good to know everything around you. If I was doing a post-mortem, I’d ask everything because I want to know everything about the pink-ball game. To see, if everything’s working, why are so many batsmen getting hit.
Sanjay Manjrekar: You need to ask, Harsha. For us, who have played the game, we get a fair idea of what’s happening out there. Have been watching two-and-a-half days, three days of cricket, I don’t think visibility is an issue. We’ve seen some terrific catches taken in the slips, on the boundary as well.
Harsha Bhogle: When you have played the game, you get a very good idea of what’s happening, what the conditions are. But it cannot be a limitation to learning. If you’d never asked players, you’d never have got T20 cricket, you’d never have got day-night cricket. So sometimes it’s best to ask everybody what they think and justify your hypothesis rather than rolling it out before asking. That’s the only point I’m making.
Sanjay Manjrekar: Point taken, but don’t agree.
Manjrekar later apologised for his actions but by then he had already burned a bridge with his listeners and from the looks of it, possibly his employers as well.