With the Indian Premier League scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 8, former India cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has written to the BCCI requesting to be reinstated in the commentary panel for the League.
Reportedly, Manjrekar, who was sacked from the BCCI commentary panel earlier this year addressed the mail to board president Sourav Ganguly and other members of the Apex Council explaining his position and offering to apologise.
In March, Manjrekar confirmed had that he was indeed been let go as a commentator by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
During the abandoned India ODI series against South Africa,, there were speculations over Manjrekar's role in the commentary panel after reports emerged that the board was not happy with the former cricketer's work.
Breaking his silence on the matter, Manjrekar tweeted: "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".
Jadeja also went on to say that Manjrekar was suffering from verbal-diarrhoea.
This was not the end of troubles for Manjrekar, as he then had an on-air spat with another commentator Harsha Bhogle.
During India's inaugural day-night Test against Bangladesh, Manjrekar went on to say that Bhogle does not have enough knowledge about the pink-ball as he never played professional cricket.
However, Manjrekar apologised on both occasions.
The Indian Express reportedly claimed to have access to the email sent by Manjrekar.
Dear esteemed members of the Apex Council,
In February 2020, completely out of the blue, I was told by Dev Shriyan, the head of production, BCCI Tv, that I was being removed from the commentary panel.
I have publicly maintained that — “the BCCI are my employers and they have every right to either have me or not, in their commentary panel. I have never considered being on a commentary panel an entitlement.”
But here, amongst a small circle of important stakeholders of Indian cricket, friends and colleagues, please allow me to open my heart.
I was greatly hurt! Especially because this came as a real shock!
I did my job with great pride and a 100 percent commitment and suddenly not found to be good enough to be in the panel was a big jolt.
Later I was told on phone by a senior office bearer that some players had an issue with me as a commentator . Now here is where our job gets a bit tricky.
If we are not seen praising the iconic players all the time, the fans of those players tend to assume that we are antagonistic towards the players they worship. That’s the professional hazard we have to live with doing our job. Anyone who has followed my career as a commentator would know that I have no malicious agenda against anyone and that my opinions come from a very pure place that I hold sacred. It’s cricket we are talking about, a sport that’s given me and my father so much.
My comments and opinions could be wrong, but they are never personal, derogatory or borne out of prejudice or cunning design, I am only biased towards excellence in performances, whether it’s a team or a player.
Now, let’s take the ‘ bits and pieces’ comment that got blown out of proportion during the last World Cup.
‘Bits and pieces’ is a cricketing term commonly used for cricketers who are non-specialists. It is regularly used by commentators to describe certain players and it’s never considered to be demeaning.
The player concerned obviously misunderstood this or was perhaps misinformed. By the way, the player and I have since privately made peace over this issue.
So, really, this sacking for whatever reason, has shaken my confidence as a professional. If unwittingly, I have offended anyone I would be happy to apologise to the concerned party.