‘He isn’t against anybody’: Former India wicket-keeper urges BCCI to reconsider Sanjay Manjrekar decision
Former India wicket-keeper Chandrakant Pandit feels Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should reconsider decision to axe former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar from the commentary panel. Manjrekar, who has been a regular feature in the commentary box during India’s home matches for the past couple of years or so, is now expected be excluded from IPL 2020 too, which has been postponed till April 15, from its scheduled start of March 29 because of the global outbreak of coronavirus.
Manjrekar was reportedly not present in Dharamsala during the first ODI between India and South Africa, which was washed out without a ball being bowled. Other BCCI panel commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, and Murali Kartik were, however, present at the venue.
Pandit, who played 5 Tests and 36 ODIs for India, jumped into the defence of Manjrekar and stated he cannot bring any harm to any one and also he just speaks his mind as he sees things.
“I know him since childhood. He is not a man who can bring harm to someone. He is a straightforward person, which is something I always admired about him. A person who tells you the truth on your face is never liked by anybody,” Chandrakant Pandit told The Times of India.
“As a commentator, he has to sometimes say things which may be not be liked by all. He can’t say things that please people, just to keep his job,” Pandit was quoted as saying by TOI.
“Sanjay isn’t against anybody. I don’t want to blame anybody for his removal, but I request the board to have a rethink about its decision. I am saying this because all the commentators give inputs about the game which are beneficial to not only young cricketers but also coaches like us.
Pandit, who was coach of Vidarbha team that won back to back Ranji Trophy titles in 2018 and 2019, also suggested that BCCI and Manjrekar can find a middle ground to still working together.
“He may sound harsh at times, but the BCCI can ask him to tone down his language, but don’t throw him out of the profession,” he added.
“Many people like listening to straightforward views, If a batsman plays a bad shot in a crucial situation, then he has to say that on air. What’s wrong in that?”
After news broke out regarding his axe, Manjrekar took to social media to accept BCCI’s decision and wrote: ““I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement. It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that,” he said.
The former right-handed batsman added: “Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional.”