Former Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has been dropped from the commentary panel of the BCCI following the board’s observation that he takes special pleasure in belittling some of the current players, a source said on Saturday. Manjrekar had been a regular member of the BCCI commentary panel for the past few years.
After this decision of the BCCI, Manjrekar may not participate in the IPL either, which is starting from 15 April instead of 29 March due to coronavirus.
According to Mumbai Mirror, it was because of his removal that Manjrekar had not travelled to Dharamshala for the first ODI against South Africa. However, as the match got cancelled due to rain without even a delivery, few noticed Manjrekar was not on the panel. In that abandoned match, his fellow commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Murali Karthik and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan were present.
During the ICC World Cup 2019, the commentator made a controversial comment about Ravindra Jadeja, calling Team India’s star all-rounder a “bits and pieces” player. At that time, the commentator faced a lot of criticism.
But even after this, Manjrekar did not give his foul mouth any rest. He took on fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle in the Pink Ball Day-Night Test match played at the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata for not playing cricket. “Don’t agree,” Manjrekar had told Bhogle on air when the latter suggested that the boards and organisers should take the feedback of players on the visibility of the pink ball.
“You need to ask players, Harsha. For those of us who have played the game, we get a fair idea about what’s happening out there,” Manjrekar had told Harsha on air that evening. Cricket fans who were watching the goings-on slammed Manjrekar for his “insensitive” and “arrogant” remark. Twitter users called him a bully.
Manjrekar later admitted that his act was “unprofessional” and that he regretted it.
The commentator faced a backlash from the fans of India’s World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni. In a tweet, Manjrekar had questioned how seriously Dhoni took important matches. “Here’s something interesting about Dhoni -. 41 off 87 balls v spin this WC. But in the warm-up games 69 off 56 balls v spin. That tells me it’s mental too. He does not put his wicket on the line as much in the big games.#ICCCWC2019,” he had tweeted.
The cricketer, whose career ended much before compatriot Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar because of his slow batting and average scoring, did not spare even Sania Mirza, a sportsperson from a different discipline (tennis). When Mirza declared herself as No. 1, Manjrekar quoted her tweet and wrote, “No 1 doubles player you mean. Congrats!”
Sania did not take it lying down. She had hit back: “Since I don’t play singles anymore isn’t that obvious/common sense? My bad, common sense is not that common after all I guess.”