Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Manjrekar. (TOI Photo)
MUMBAI: Former India batsman-turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who was removed by the BCCI from its commentary panel in March this year just before the India-South Africa ODI series which was eventually cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19, has requested the Board to take him back for the forthcoming edition of the IPL in UAE, which will run from September 19 to November 8.
In a short e-mail (a copy is with TOI) to the Apex Council members of the BCCI (it’s his second e-mail in this regard) recently, the former Mumbai captain has assured the Board mandarins that he would “stick to the guidelines laid out” by the BCCI.
“Respected members of the Apex Council, hope you all keeping well. You are already in receipt of the email I sent to explain my position as commentator. With the IPL dates announced, bcci.tv will pick its commentary panel soon. “I will be happy to work as per the guidelines laid by you. After all, we are working on what is essentially your production. Last time may be there was not enough clarity on this issue. Thanks very much, Regards,” Manjrekar has written.
TOI tried to contact Manjrekar, but he wasn’t available for comment.
According to sources, Manjrekar was sacked from the BCCI commentary panel after a few players in Team India complained to the Board about his controversial “bits and pieces” comment on all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja during the World Cup in England last year.
“We should close this chapter now and forgive Manjrekar. He has already apologised for his comments on Jadeja and sorted it out with the player concerned. He has promised us that he’ll stick to the ‘code of conduct’ for TV commentators. After all, he’s a fine commentator with massive cricketing knowledge,” said a Board official. The final call on this issue will rest with BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.
Gavaskar to travel to UAE for commentary
Meanwhile, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar is set to travel to the UAE for his TV commentary duties the IPL. It was being speculated that Gavaskar, now 71, may be asked by broadcaster to do “virtually commentary” from Mumbai in the light of health risks posed by Covid-19, but TOI can confirm that the opening great will go to the UAE for commentary in the T20 tournament.