Harsha Bhogle is being missed.
That’s what tweeting followers and the man himself would have us believe.
It’s true, I guess.
While Bhogle is always entertaining, always suave, always smooth and always different from former players turned microphone wielders, the IPL is not where he has the best impact.
It’s bizarre but while he’s missed, he’s not. There are just too many things to distract television viewers.
The BCCI, in all its wisdom, dropped Bhogle and the other wise man of Indian cricket, Sunny Gavaskar from its list of approved commentators.
While there’s been an uproar about Bhogle’s sacking , there’s been nothing said about Gavaskar’s exit. Probably because the great man was earning more—much more—than any of the other commentators and it could be explained away as a cost-cutting measure.
Bhogle’s absence, however, has the conspiracy theorists out in full force.
Bhogle got on the wrong side of Amitabh Bachchan whose tweet questioning the nationalistic credentials of Indian commentators was enthusiastically endorsed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
And Bhogle’s comments during India games have ired the Indian dressing room.
It’s strange, really.
These speculations would have been more believable had N Srinivasan still been heading the BCCI. Dhoni was purportedly his blue-eyed boy.
But those days are past or aren’t they?
And why is it that the BCCI still decides who should commentate on India games?
Can their ‘employees’ really provide unbiased views about their paymasters? That’s hardly credible much as Ravi Shastri and his ilk might protest otherwise.
It would be best if broadcasters were to select and pay cricket experts themselves.
Why have cricket boards have any say in the matter?
Viewers, too, shouldn’t have to second-guess the experts.
What he said:
“I am nothing more than a mere mortal when it comes to judging Bachchan, even if he was cooking an omelette.”
Former India cricketer and opener Gautam Gambhir professes his unreserved admiration for the great Hindi film thespian Amitabh Bachchan. The baritone-voiced actor sang the Indian national anthem prior to the Indo-Pak World T20 encounter last evening at Eden Gardens in Kolkatta.
“Here he was, at my beloved Eden Gardens, his deep voice in its full youth, loaded with grace and admiration for the national anthem. Only soldiers can sing better that Bachchan did on Saturday.”
What he really meant:
“I’m a huge fan of Hindi film cinema and Amitabh Bachchan in particular. In my eyes, he can do no wrong. He could even boil water and I’d watch with open-mouthed admiration.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I wonder how Shah Rukh Khan would have sung the anthem instead. Perhaps, a duet with Kajol would have baked an Eden cake.”
The late Major Dhyan Chand is in the news once more this time of year. And again it is connected with speculation that he might be one of the recipients of the Bharat Ratna.
When there was a debate about whether sports persons should be awarded the Bharat Ratna , and if so , who first, yours truly along with many others felt that arguably the world’s greatest hockey player was preeminent among all current and past Indian sports persons.
But the Indian government played to the gallery and awarded the country’s most prestigious award to Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of his retirement from the game.
This is not to deny Mr. Sachin Tendulkar his spot in the sun. God knows, he did not need another award. He is the most beloved of all sports stars on the Indian firmament. But surely Dhyan Chand and his descendants were done a disservice.
Sachin is in the news too; this time for his leave of absence from the Upper House of Parliament. ‘Aap la Sachin’ is not the dedicated parliamentarian—neither posting any questions in the house nor spending his quota of allocated funds for his constituents’ betterment. And now, he has decided to go AWL (Absent With Leave) citing personal and professional commitments.
It does make one wonder if Tendulkar considered the Rajya Sabha selection as just yet another award and not a call to service—a thought echoed by Pradeep Magazine in his column for the Hindustan Times.
The man cannot be solely blamed. Politics is a different kettle of fish—a fact that Amitabh Bachchan can attest to.
“I do believe that India have a few, three or four, very good fielders and one or two donkeys in the field still.”
Nasser Hussain’s remark comparing Indian fielders to donkeys has drawn flak from the Indian media,ex-cricketers, BCCI administrators and even Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan.
The Big B tweeted:
“Did not like Nasir Hussain ex cricket Captain of UK, refer to Indian fielders as ‘donkeys’, as he commentated on tour of our team.”
BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said:
Hussain’s comment was totally uncalled for. One should adopt restraint while making observations about players. Commentators should not make such comments. We will definitely look into it .Every player has to be respected irrespective of his performance. I don’t think this comment was appropriate.
Former teammate Michael Vaughan tweeted his support for Hussain:
“Just seen that Nasser said the Indians have a couple of Donkeys in the field… How wrong can he be!!!! I have seen at least 4….”
Vaughan’s re-stoking the ire of Indian fans’ was met with jibes online.
Sample a couple of his responses to Indian fans:
@vivekramindian Very true… I was useless in the field.. But I would be a superstar at cover point in this Indian team.
@kundankumar21: @VaughanCricket corrctly said.. when england also have a DOG like you on field in recent past…” my dog is very fast…
What Hussain really meant:
“When I say donkeys, I mean laden ones. They’re quite quick otherwise.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I hope the SPCA doesn’t take umbrage.”
The glaring error made by television broadcasters while replaying different camera views of a referred Sachin Tendulkar dismissal in the IPL has prompted tournament CEO, Sundar Raman, to propose a unique, innovative solution.
Every time an appeal against the master batsman is referred to the third umpire, the replayed feed will be telecast to television viewers prior to the third umpire.
Viewers will be provided a number to text where they will vote on whether the batsman is out or not.