'Gags on commentators are bad' - Ramachandra Guha criticises Sourav Ganguly for sacking Sanjay Manjrekar

‘Gags on commentators are bad’ – Ramachandra Guha criticises Sourav Ganguly for sacking Sanjay Manjrekar

Guha insisted that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's action of gagging the commentator is incorrect.

Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ramachandra Guha, the former member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), has criticised the BCCI for its handling of Sanjay Manjrekar. In March this year, the BCCI had sensationally removed Manjrekar from its commentary panel just before the home series against South Africa. The series was eventually postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Later, Manjrekar had written to the BCCI in order to persuade them to re-hire him for IPL 2020 in the UAE. However, the Indian cricket board stayed firm with its original decision. Manjrekar is now all set to return to the commentary box for India’s upcoming series in Australia. Sony has hired him in its commentary panel for the series Down Under.

There were rumours that the BCCI had sacked Manjrekar for his controversial comments on air. During last year’s World Cup, Manjrekar had landed in hot water for calling Ravindra Jadeja a bits and pieces cricketer. Later in the year, he found himself in the firing line again for his on-air spat with fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle.

Ramachandra Guha on Sanjay Manjrekar-BCCI saga

The historian’s latest book ‘The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind’ was recently published. In his book, he has shared his experience as a cricket administrator. Guha was critical of the conflict of interest issue during his tenure as a CoA member and criticised it once again while speaking on the Sanjay Manjrekar-BCCI saga.

Guha insisted that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s action of gagging the commentator is incorrect. He also stated that Manjrekar finding himself in a spot where he had to ‘beg’ for the job was ‘pathetic’. Guha said that the board having power over commentary is ‘absurd’.

“Conflict of interest is bad. What Ganguly is doing now is incorrect and no other country would allow it. Gags on commentators are bad,” Ramachandra Guha told mid-day.

“That Sanjay Manjrekar has to beg to be readmitted [in the commentary team] is pathetic. Why should the Board have [power over] commentary? It’s absurd. It never happens anywhere in the world. Can you imagine the English Premier League doing this?” he added.