Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has written an email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asking them to reinstate him as a commentator for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.
Manjrekar was removed from the BCCI’s commentary panel after being involved in a verbal battle with Ravindra Jadeja after he called him a ‘bits and pieces’ cricketer on social media before India’s exit from the World Cup last year.
Manjrekar said he was sacked as because “some players had an issue with him as a commentator” which left his “confidence shaken”.
“You are already in receipt of the email I sent to explain my position as commentator. With the IPL dates announced, bcci.tv will pick its commentary panel soon. I will be happy to work as per the guidelines laid by you.
“After all, we are working on what is essentially your production. Last time, maybe there was not enough clarity on this issue,” Manjrekar wrote.
“I am not a big fan of bits and pieces players which Jadeja is at this point of his career in 50-over cricket. In Test matches, he is a pure bowler. But in 50-over cricket, I would rather have a batsman and a spinner,” Manjrekar had said. Jadeja had even reacted strongly to Manjrekar’s comments on Twitter.
The issue was that Manjrekar had called India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja a ‘bits and pieces cricketer’ during the World Cup in England.
Manjrekar, though, was quick to accept his mistake on the comment he made on Jadeja and said that the India all-rounder completely ripped him apart with his sheer brilliance on the field.
“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 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.
“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.
“You will see how benign it is when you hear it in right context. 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.
““Please note this comment was not made by me on Twitter or in commentary, it was in an audio interview to a news agency that got blown out of proportion. It was made as a part of a long media interview but unfortunately was made into an eye-catching headline by just one website and the player reacted sharply to it on Twitter.
“This got the issue the traction it did not deserve. ‘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,” Manjrekar wrote.
Manjrekar had also invited a lot of criticism when he had an on-air argument with co-commentator Harsha Bhogle over the visibility of the pink ball during India’s 1st-ever day-night Test.
Manjrekar apologised to Harsha Bhogle during an interaction on ESPNCricinfo and added that 2019 was his ‘worst year’ as a commentator.