Published On : Mon, Apr 11th, 2016

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

Harsha Bhogle
Nagpur: 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.

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.