Thursday, April 25

‘No player is going to be dropped because I said so’ – Sanjay Manjrekar believes commentators are unimportant

Sanjay Manjrekar. (Photo by Stu Forster-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has been at the receiving end of criticism on many occasions. Manjrekar’s personal opinions have riled up cricketers many a time. During the 2019 World Cup, Manjrekar stirred up controversy yet again as he termed Ravindra Jadeja ‘bits and pieces cricketer’. The all-rounder hit back at Manjrekar and then performed brilliantly with both bat and bowl in the tournament.

The relationship between players are commentators often gets sour by a few words of criticism. Speaking in an Instagram Live chat with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his ‘Reminiscence with Ash’ show, Manjrekar said that cricketers on the field are sensitive and hence are unable to ignore the criticism made by the commentators. Manjrekar said that he was also upset about comments made against him by Dilip Vengasarkar during his playing days.

“Players are sensitive. I used to be sensitive. When Dilip Vengsarkar criticized me in his column, I slipped a note under his door, trying to counter all his observations. So I don’t hold it against players when they react,” he said. Manjrekar further said: “When Sachin Tendulkar reacted to a column I had written as well, I kept quiet.”

‘I know my boundaries’: Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar also went on to say that players should not consider commentators as important, and focus on their performances. He termed commentators as ‘unimportant’ and said that no player is going to get dropped just because Manjrekar said so.

“The best way for players to deal with people like us is to look at us as garnish. We are unimportant. They are the players, their performances are all that matter. Nobody is going to be dropped because Manjrekar said so,” he further said.

Ashwin also asked Manjrekar: “Is there a possibility that you sometimes see cricketers with a critical eye because of what you expected of yourself as a cricketer and you now want to be the Sachin Tendulkar of broadcasting?”

In reply, Manjrekar revealed that there is no agenda against any player. He added that he knows his boundary that that’s the reason he’s still around in the commentary scene.

“If I did something wrong, it’s because I tried too hard. I try to stay true, there is no agenda (against any player).”

“I know my boundaries. That’s why I’m still around. Otherwise, I would have been finished as a commentator five years ago. But Indian fan following is unique. They love somebody so much that they don’t want someone like me finding flaws with him,” said Manjrekar.

Here’s the video:

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