Former India batsman and renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels the year 2019 has been his worst as an analyst. Earlier this year, Manjrekar stirred controversy not once, but twice on air, making remarks at India allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and taking a pot shot against fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle. As a result of it, Manjrekar even faced flak from fans and certain members of the cricketing fraternity.
“I started this profession in 1997-1998, so it’s been about 20-21 years. It’s been the worst year for me as analyst and a commentator,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
During the World Cup 2019, Manjrekar called Jadeja a “bits-and-pieces players”, a term used to address items. Manjrekar made the remark after India decided to leave Jadeja out of their Playing XI and include him in just two matches.
The allrounder later retaliated with a vicious tweet calling Manjrekar’s commentary verbal diarrhoea, and even though Manjrekar praised Jadeja for his half-century knock during the semifinal against New Zealand, the former India batsman says he doesn’t regret using the phrase since it’s one that is commonly used for commentary.
Once the Jadeja controversy cooled off, Manjrekar ran into trouble once again when during the Day-Night Test between India and Bangladesh, he was involved in a small on-air spat with Bhogle. With reference to visibility of the pink ball, Bhogle had advised that the ball undergo a post-mortem asking players if they had problems spotting the ball. To that, Manjrekar responded: “only you need to ask, Harsha, not us, who have played a fair bit of the game.”
“I want to get very serious about this,” he said. “See, one thing I pride myself on is being professional and with that particular comment, it was me losing control and I was unprofessional, I was wrong and something that I regret… it was wrong of me. That is what really bothers me that I let my emotions get the better of me. Mostly being unprofessional and to an extent indecent as well.
“It was wrong and I say that because it was unprofessional and the first thing that I did was I had apologised to the producer that I was working for that it was wrong.”