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Did Nagpur pitch-slamming cause Harsha Bhogle's IPL-9 commentary ouster?

Celebrated commentator Harsha Bhogle, who found himself out of favour for a place in the Indian Premier League-9 commentary team, received massive support on social media yesterday.

Harsha Bhogle
Harsha Bhogle

The Indian Express reported on Sunday that Bhogle was informed of his termination by the BCCI a week ago. While the BCCI big wigs did not offer an explanation for dropping Bhogle, an unnamed BCCI official told the paper, “when deciding the commentators, we take feedback from everyone. We monitor social media reactions on commentators, and also take inputs from players.”

“Ugly attack on FoE by Republic of BCCI/IPL as @bhogleharsha our best prof commentator, given out: ct Dhoni, bowled Big-B. Hope fans protest,” tweeted journalist Shekhar Gupta, following it up with another: “His class is never to be doubted and unfortunately so is BCCI’s dictatorial pettiness. Fans have to demand better.”

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor tweeted: “Being an avid cricket fan, will surely miss @bhogleharsha not on the Mike. BCCI think again! He is a star commentator and knowledgeable too.” mid-day learns that the BCCI and a few influential figures in the Indian team were upset over what Bhogle wrote in his weekly column for The Indian Express about the deplorable Nagpur pitch on which India beat South Africa last year.

‘Dire Nagpur’
“Mohali was disappointing and Nagpur has been dire. I remember the outrage we felt at the trampoline in Durban in 1996 and the lawns in New Zealand in 2002. We in India were convinced those were unacceptable, and we were right. By the same argument these pitches, especially this one in Nagpur, should be frowned upon too. They are not good for cricket and they are certainly not good for Indian cricket,” Bhogle wrote.

Match referee Jeff Crowe deemed the pitch poor in his report to the International Cricket Council.

Bhogle was grateful for the support. “Thank you very much. I am deeply moved and overwhelmed,” he tweeted.

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2 Comments

  • Kishore11-Apr-2016

    While I do agree that the action to terminate should not have been based on an honest view about the deplorable Nagpur wicket, I do feel Indian commentators, Harsha Bhogale included, do need a reality check on the quality of commentary. First of all they talk too much - far in excess of what is needed considering that the medium they deal with is a visual one. They digress often to either over analysing or to matters outside of the game at hand. Very distracting, both.

  • Bond11-Apr-2016

    Don't agree here. Bhogle was over the top. He may be sweet but far from tactical knowledge in cricket. In the game against Bangladesh both he and Gavaskar talked about Mahmuddullah so many times as if Mahmud had called them home for lunch.

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