God-complex of BCCI behind termination of Harsha Bhogle?
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle whose IPL contract was terminated out of the blue by the BCCI, has always had an admirable reputation when it came to his vocation. Considered a man of statue in his role as cricket commentator, he has been covering matches since since he was 19-years-old. However, the decision to axe his services at the IPL taken by the BCCI has come under flak from several quarters.
No official reason for the abrupt action was stated by the high-handed cricket body of India, neither to Mr.Bhogle nor to the public. While the step taken by the BCCI has evoked consternation among the public, the board seems to have overlooked the fact that cricket, more than being just a game, is also a sensitive ecosystem in a country of over a billions fans.
As the reasons still remain unclear, there are three theories that have surfaced regarding the BCCI’s stand against Bhogle.
An almost incredulous, yet probable theory is that Bhogle fell from grace when he irked the Big B of Indian cinema, actor Amitabh Bachchan. Senior Bachchan, who has recently grown into a Indian cricket ‘national’, has been quite vociferous in voicing his views. He took to Twiiter to air his opinion, and seemed to be unhappy about how ‘certain’ commentators took to praising the opposition, rather than rally around the home team.
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
Indian captain M.S Dhoni too seconded the views of the superstar, possibly adding steam to a controversy that was all set to brew:
Nothing to add https://t.co/8rBel3vw4o
— Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) March 23, 2016
Another theory is that Bhogle had a verbal altercation with a Vidarbha Cricket Association official during a World T20 match at Nagpur – the reason being a shut door of the VIP area that got in his way of shuttling between the Hindi and English commentary boxes, and left him panting on air.
And third reason is (unsurprisingly) touted to be ‘senior’ players pulling strings to get rid of Bhogle.
Of late players increasingly seem to be developing the demi-god complex – so much so that Virat Kohli, following the test series victory against South Africa lashed out against criticism from the press — “someone who hasn’t played for the country has no right to comment on an international cricketer anyway.”
It was also not so long ago that Australian sports journalist Sam Ferris was publicly mocked by skipper MS Dhoni for a question on his retirement plans. “Come let us have some fun,” said Dhoni inviting the journalist to the podium.
In another incident, following the narrow victory during the T20 world cup against Bangladesh – the supposed underdogs in International cricket, Dhoni confronted an Indian journalist who asked him whether he was content with the one-run victory. “I know you aren’t happy that India won today,” an angry Dhoni was heard replying to him.
In the days that followed, Ashwin and Raina too followed the captain’s style of addressing the press when ‘uncomfortable’ questions were raised.
The recent turn of events coupled with Bhogle’s termination clearly point to the cricket board’s incontestable stand and ‘larger than life’ posits.
Harsha Bhogle himself wrote in a Facebook post that “there is a need to make sure journalists and experts ‘remain the teller of the story, not the story itself,” suggesting that there is inevitable need to promote a culture of asking questions to the much pampered cricketers and the high-handed BCCI.
I must confess I am a little uncomfortable with all the attention I have been getting recently. I am just a cricket…
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