Much was made of Harsha Bhogle’s ouster from the Indian Premier League broadcast last year.
Having served in the commentary and television show panels for the first eight years, Bhogle was not part of the team in the ninth edition of the tournament.
However, according to reports published by Mumbai Mirror on Tuesday, Bhogle is expected to return to the broadcast team in one of two areas — as a commentator in the field or, the more likely alternative, as an expert panelist for the pre and post shows from the studio.
Bhogle was last seen and heard as a commentator during the World T20s which were held in India in March and April 2016.
However, following a tweet from famed Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan — who tweeted that Bhogle should have been highlighting Indian players more than foreign internationals — the Indian commentator was not signed for the next big tournament, which was the 2016 IPL.
T 2184 - With all due respects, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time.— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 23, 2016
At the time, reports suggested that Bachchan’s tweet, which was shared by India’s then-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the words “Nothing to add”, and preceding tiffs with Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay had caused Bhogle’s ouster.
He wasn’t part of the commentary or broadcast teams for England’s tour of India either.
The indication now is that while Bhogle fell out of favour with the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) last year, the office bearers of the time are no longer in power which may pave the way for his return.
Another factor is the strained relations between India and Pakistan which is expected to keep Ramiz Raja, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar out of the studio for the IPL which begins on April 5 and ends on May 21. Bhogle is seen as an apt replacement on the experts’ panel for the tournament.
The list of commentators for this year’s IPL includes Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, L Sivaramakrishnan and Sanjay Manjrekar.
Reportedly, Bhogle is pining for a role as a commentator rather than just serve as a studio expert.