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Harsha Bhogle - Who Said What And What Happened
The news took the cricket world by storm as was apparent from the wars that were subsequently fought on social media over why Harsha Bhogle should not be removed, who was behind the decision, fans coming up with alternatives who should be removed and top cricketers and celebrities coming out with opinions. With the IPL season in full swing, let us take a deeper look at what happened, who said what and why.
The Sunday Times was the first to reveal the last minute decision of the BCCI to remove Harsha Bhogle from the commentary box in IPL9. The decision was made in the last minutes and Bhogle said –
“No one told me anything. I have not been formally told of the reason even now. All I have been told is ‘it is a BCCI management decision’,”
Before the revelation, the 54 year old veteran sports media personality could be seen hosting the draft season of the IPL, in the promotional videos that were released before the season started and his flights were booked by the production house. It came as a surprise for not just Bhogle, but the cricketing world at large. He has been associated with the sports for over 30 years.
“When deciding the commentators, we take feedback from everyone. We monitor social media reactions on commentators, and also take inputs from players,” a senior BCCI official told The Sunday Express.
Social media – who said what
Amitabh Bachchan commented on Indian commentators criticizing them for not supporting the men in blue which was supported by Dhoni after which Sr. Bachchan clarified, that he was not referring to Gavaskar or Manjrekar.
Bhogle thinking that it was he who the criticism was directed at took to Facebook to explain the different requirements that English and Hindi commentary requires.
Other the other hand, several stars took to twitter to show their love and support for Bhogle, and tell BCCI how mistaken they are in their decision to remove Bhogle. Rishi Kapoor asked BCCI to rethink their decision while Ayushmann Khurrana praised his support for him during IP3.
Some fans came up with alternatives on who should be removed instead and one prominent that came up in the discussion was Siddhu. Ramesh Srivats commented that removing Siddhu will increase value and reduce volume.
The argument in the box
Harsha Bhogle had an exchange of few heated words with a VCA (Vidharbha Cricket Association) official during the Nagpur match. Due to the VIP box that separated the Hindi and English commentary box, Bhogle complained that he was panting due to all the running up and down the floors as the door was shut. He wanted it to stay open which to an ugly argument.
“Working on a tight deadline, because of running around, I was at times panting as I went on air. This was because of that shut door. Even if it was the Nagpur incident, no one heard my part of the story,” said Bhogle.
Some sources on the closer side of the board are of the opinion that the decision was based on that argument. BCCI also said that they monitor what transpires on social media which though not directed at Bhogle directly, did hit him and his fans hard.
A lot of fans were pleasantly surprised to see Ravi Shashtri back in the box with the mic in hand. Is it a sign that BCCI has moved on and found a replacement?
There is only one Sachin, no one can replace the legendary Bradman while Warne will always be Warne. In the same way, BCCI may find alternatives but they can never find another Harsha Bhogle and the media genius that he is.
Harsha Bhogle was severely criticized for talking too much in favor of the Indian team when India won the match against Bangladesh, now he is being criticized for talking too much in favor of the opposition.
We need to remember that as a commentator, his job is to appreciate good cricket no matter where it is seen or displayed. If a team is making a mistake, it’s the commentator's job to point it out for the uninitiated. Commentary is an art and it should be free from bias. Let us for once hear for cricket as sports rather than people as personalities and their differences! Your thoughts?