I must confess I am a little uncomfortable with all the attention I have been getting recently. I am just a cricket commentator. I go to a cricket match, tell the story of what happened, look for joy within it if possible and come back feeling blessed to have had the opportunity. I tell the story, I am not the story,
Harsha Bhogle, a respected voice in the world cricket wrote on his Facebook page.
Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 telecast will not have the familiar voice of commentator Harsha Bhogle. The 54-year-old, whose association with Indian cricket goes back to the mid-80s and who has been describing IPL action since the 2008 opening season, was informed about the termination of his IPL contract just a week back.
The decision has come as a surprise for the voice of Indian cricket since he had conducted the Season 9 draft auction, featured in the league’s promotional videos, was in the commentators’ 51-day-long duty roster, and even had his flight booked by the production house, reported Indian Express.
While BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla didn’t comment on Bhogle’s sudden ouster, a senior BCCI official, on condition of anonymity, told The Sunday Express: “When deciding the commentators, we take feedback from everyone. We monitor social media reactions on commentators, and also take inputs from players.”
It was reported that Bhogle had a heated exchange with a Vidharbha Cricket Association official during World Cup T20 match at Nagpur and this reached the Nagpur-based BCCI president Shashank Manohar. There are predictions that this could be the trigger for his last-minute dismissal.
The another reason could be Amitabh Bachchan’s tweet asking commentators to focus more on Indian cricketers, which also received a retweet from the captain M.S. Dhoni quoting ‘nothing to add’.
“With all due respect, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time,” Mr. Bachchan had tweeted.
“The assumption among some people was that he (Bachchan) was referring to me and while I don’t know if that is true, it did strike me that there seems to be a slight misconception about the role of a commentator in a telecast. I will try and clarify here,” Bhogle wrote later in a Facebook post.
On the Nagpur incident, Bhogle told that the Hindi and English commentary box was separated by the president’s enclosure. With the door of the VIP box shut, the bilingual commentators had to rush down several flights of stairs, and climb up again, after every stint.
“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,”
The question arises that if this is one of the reasons for the last-minute ouster of Harsha Bhogle and this has to be the way to deal with eminent professionals, how will India represent itself on the waving world-class platform of sports?
There needs to be transparency maintained, and if not, then no profession is safe, if the powers are in the hands of the masters who don’t follow the ethics of professionalism, let it be a sport or any.
But, I remain the teller of the story, not the story itself,
he ended the note with it on his Facebook page.