A day after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to dump cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle from making commentary in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016, it has been revealed that Indian players also had a crucial role to play in the entire episode.
Bhogle, an articulate commentator with 20 years of broadcast experience, had apparently earned the ire of the Indian team and its management with his frank comments and observations, reports India Times.
He was critical of Indian team’s policies, particularly with the pitch policy, be it in Tests or the recent World Twenty20, and several players seem to have gone vocal against him to the BCCI bosses.
Bhogle’s critical views, despite being fair and reasonable, were certainly not politically correct in the context of BCCI, as the commentators contracted by them have always maintained that there are a few no-go zones- particularly about the selection policy, pitch policy, captaincy, BCCI politics, etc.
It is, however, not clear at what point Bhogle crossed that line. The fact that he often posts Tweets during commentary also seems to have gone against him, reports India Times.
Two current players of Indian team recently went off the record with Mumbai Mirror and admitted that there were discussions about his commentary in the dressing room. However, they claimed they do not know of any formal complaint being filed against him at any stage.
BCCI would apparently want all to believe that Amitabh Bachchan's none-too flattering tweet about Indian commentators - purportedly aimed at Bhogle - was a reflection of public opinion and the real reason for his ouster.
T 2184 - With all due respects, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time.
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 23, 2016
Big B's March 23 post read: T2184- With all due respects, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni re-tweeted it with: "Nothing to add”- an indication of Team India’s impressions about Bhogle, reports India Times.
Nothing to add https://t.co/8rBel3vw4o
— Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) March 23, 2016
It is unlikely that BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur, who monitors all commentary and umpiring postings for the IPL, was the initiator of the decision to dump Bhogle from IPL 9.
Instead, it looks more like a collective decision of the top bosses of BCCI who have taken into consideration the feedbacks from the current players.
Bhogle has maintained that he does not know why he is dropped from the IPL commentary panel and made no further comments in this regard.