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Sanjay Manjrekar Ready to Apologise for Inappropriate Comments After Sacking by BCCI, Writes Mail Explaining Position

Former India player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has has written to the BCCI after he was removed from the commentary panel, offering to apologise. In a chat with Indian Express, Manjrekar revealed that he was removed from the panel because some player had a problem with him.

Cricketnext Staff |August 1, 2020, 7:47 PM IST
Sanjay Manjrekar Ready to Apologise for Inappropriate Comments After Sacking by BCCI, Writes Mail Explaining Position

Former India player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has has written to the BCCI after he was removed from the commentary panel, offering to apologise. In a chat with Indian Express, Manjrekar revealed that he was removed from the panel because some player had a problem with him.

In a mail to the BCCI, he also mentioned that if reinstated in the commentary panel, he would abide by the rules.

“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,” he wrote.

It is widely speculated that his sacking was a result of him calling Jadeja, a bits and pieces player during the 2019 World Cup.

Then Jadeja had tweeted, “Still, I have played twice the number of matches you have played and I am still playing. Learn to respect ppl who have achieved. I have heard enough of your verbal diarrhea @Sanjaymanjrekar”.

In the mail Majrekar also mentioned of the perils of commentating.

“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. It’s cricket we are talking about, a sport that’s given me and my father so much,” Manjrekar stated. “I was greatly hurt! Especially because this came as a real shock!” he added.

“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.”

He further went on to say that he has made peace with the involved player since then.

“You will see how benign it is when you hear it in right context”. He also wrote, “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.”

“Until this moment I had been the leading commentator on the BCCI panel for many years fulfilling some of the biggest responsibilities there are in live broadcasting: lead commentator, post-match awards presenter, hosting the toss, doing player interviews and yes, impromptu BCCI functions on ground too. I am also one of the first Indian commentators that gets rostered for the World Cups by the ICC. I did my job with great pride and a 100 per cent commitment and suddenly not found to be good enough to be in the panel was a big jolt.”

Excerpts from Manjrekar’s email to BCCI

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.

Regards,

Sanjay

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