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BCCI rapped for not involving Indian commentators in IPL play-offs

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials’ move to restrict the number of Indian commentators to only two – Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar - for the IPL play-off games hasn’t gone down well with former players.

A few senior former players have raised the issue with the BCCI bigwigs especially after a board official apparently claimed at a private gathering of the official broadcaster that the Indians weren’t as good as the foreigners. This comment has irked a lot of cricketers.

The BCCI, which was using at least four commentators in the last 10 years for the play-off games, could not justify as to why the board took a different route by clubbing more foreigners than Indians. “The board all of sudden is finding that the Indian commentators aren’t good at speaking in English. Does BCCI have problem with the Indian accent?” a source asked.

However, with the officials focusing on regional commentators and thereby making room for former state players to speak in their mother tongue, BCCI had engaged more foreigners than Indians in the commentary team. 

Apart from Gavaskar and Manjrekar, the likes of Simon Doull, Graeme Smith, Michael Slater, Mathew Hayden and Michael Clarke were a few of the names which TOI was the first to report.


When TOI spoke to the authorities concerned, they declined to comment on the issue. But sources confirmed that BCCI has indeed got a complaint for involving only two commentators for this year’s IPL. Even TOI received phone calls from former captains, who were disturbed with the development. “This is our Indian Premier League and the priority should be given to the Indians first. This has been the norm for last 10 years, why is it changing right now?” a former captain, who didn’t wish to be named, said.

Meanwhile, the BCCI shortlisted five commentators for the inaugural India-Afghanistan Test match starting from June 12 in Bengaluru. The team has Gavaskar, Manjerekar, Harsha Bhogle, Sivaramakrishnan and Murali Karthik. It is believed that two to three more foreigners would be involved before the one-off Test begins.


Ironically, there is no hard and fast rule when the Hindi commentators are picked. Sources said that when the official broadcaster engaged former cricketers like VVS Laxman, whose Hindi isn't as good as his English, there is no bar on that. "No one says anything when some of the south zone players make mistakes on air while doing Hindi commentary. This isn't the right approach," another TV broadcasting source added.

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Indian commies dont have any banter.... or sense of humour for that matter. As IPL is being targeted to the non asian countries too, the viewers need something familiar in terms of jokes and banter from foreign commentators which frankly ex indian players suck at.


Lets not chest thump without reason. Are you telling me Manju would last 5 secs in Sky Commentary with Nas, Atherton, Gower, Holding and Bumble? He'll probably take an hour and an english dictionary to try understand Bumble's yorkshire accent.

Edited by LordPrabhzy

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