Harsha Bhogle, the name synonymous with cricket commentary itself, has been dropped from the ongoing IPL 2016. If that is not shocking enough, know that Bhogle’s contract was terminated without his knowledge.
Bhogle has been part of the IPL series since the first season in 2008. Since he was an active part of everything from the draft auction to the promotional campaigns, the decision, which was taken by the BCCI, was a jolt out of the blue for fans of the widely renowned commentator.
BCCI has not commented on the matter.
A report quotes Bhogle stating that he has not yet been formally told of reason even now. “All I have been told is ‘it is a BCCI management decision’,” he says of the decision.
A report claims that Bhogle’s ouster follows a heated exchange he had with an official of the Vidharbha Cricket Association during a recent match at Nagpur. It was over a closed door of a room that separated the English and Hindi commentary boxes forcing the commentators to take a flight of stairs each time they had to switch between them. The enclosure was of BCCI president Shashank Manohar. Some say that this could have triggered his ouster.
Another report claims that some senior players in the current Team India squad may have something to do with Bhogle’s departure from the series.
Although the commentator has not made a direct reference, he reportedly said that Indian cricketing legends such as Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were “too classy and too big in stature to get involved in such petty instances”.
Meanwhile, a furious social media is criticizing the decision and demanding Bhogle’s return.
IPL should get back Harsha Bhogle into the commentary box & drop Sidhu instead.
Value will go up, and more importantly, volume will go down.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) 10 April 2016
Bring back Harsha Bhogle!He is the only commentator who praises a single taken by a newcomer as if he has hit a boundary!Always encouraging!
— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) April 10, 2016
Indeed. Harsha Bhogle is that rarity: an Indian celebrity who is not a self-important douchebag pic.twitter.com/k5dzs1aJfM
— IndiaExplained (@IndiaExplained) April 10, 2016
Harsha Bhogle is the best commentator India has ever had. Sacking him to assuage some social media jingoistic fools is a moronic act
— The Bad Doctor (@DOCTORATLARGE) April 10, 2016
Harsha Bhogle’s ouster from IPL 2016 is such a despicable act. Only idiots and sycophants are managing cricket in India.
— Roflindian (@Roflindian) April 10, 2016
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) April 10, 2016
There are speculations that a tweet by Amitabh Bachchan, which was retweeted by MS Dhoni, might have also played a part in BCCI’s decision.
Bachchan’s tweet was in response to India’s close victory over Bangladesh in their World Cup T20 encounter. Not everyone, however, is buying this theory.
Jingoism of Amitabh Bachchan can’t get Harsha Bhogle the boot. Though if it is endorsed by Team India Captain.. pic.twitter.com/qJEuFr3bMV
— Joy (@Joydas) April 10, 2016
I don’t believe Harsha was sacked for any good reason, but I also find it hard to believe he was sacked because of an Amitabh Bachchan tweet
— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) April 11, 2016
Sad to know that Harsha Bhogle is sidelined. It would not be sane to target Amitabh Bachchan if you don’t know the reasons
— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) April 10, 2016
Bachchan has not commented on the matter.