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World Cup's War of Words: Fans vs Sanjay Manjrekar's Commentary

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 • Tamil Sport News Comments

It looks like whether the match is talked about or not, Sanjay Manjrekar’s commentary will definitely be the talk of the town after every India match. Following the match between India and Bangladesh, the former cricketer has become the topic of discussion once again. Fans have been accusing him for some time now of commentary that is one-sided, biased and condescending. 

Yesterday Manjrekar took to Twitter to post the following: “Here’s something interesting about  Dhoni -. 41 off 87 balls v spin this WC. But in the warm up games 69 off 56 balls v spin. That tells me it’s mental too. He does not put his wicket on the line as much in the big games.#ICCCWC2019.” He went on to say: “And enough on Dhoni. Let’s now shift the spotlight on Lokesh Rahul. He now has the most enviable position in international cricket - Opening the innings in 50 overs cricket. Must do more than he has. #INDVBAN.” This is not the first time he has spoken about the former Indian Captain. His choice of words is not being appreciated by fans who have been pointing out that his playing record doesn’t allow him to make such comments. 

Things are worsening for the commentator as he continues with his tweets and criticisms on air. There was an online petition asking for him to be removed from the panel. In addition, a fan even wrote a letter to the ICC saying that: “I find him utterly biased and very unprofessional, behind the mic. He also sounds full of himself.” We wonder if all this is making a difference to him. Recently, he even responded to a tweet in which a user had spoken of the “criticism and unwarranted abuse” he was receiving by saying: “Criticism, abuse? What are you saying Raunak? I see only love for me on Twitter. ??.” 

Similar issues were present during the IPL as well, especially in the final game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Manjrekar seemed to be supporting Mumbai blatantly and this angered CSK fans. Many pointed out his eagerness to say that Dhoni was out when the other commentators with him were saying otherwise. Several comments over games seem to have made many fans arrive at the conclusion that they don’t want to hear Manjrekar on air. 

Now, even the celebs have had enough and they have started talking too. Anirudh took to Twitter to post a GIF of his reaction to Manjrekar. Actor Siddarth and politician J. Anbazhagan also voiced their displeasure. Dhoni fans have been upset as they feel that Manjrekar has been targeting their Thala with this criticism. Fans have even taken to muting the channel when he is commentating. Manjrekar is not the only one who fans are unhappy with. Some brought to notice Aakash Chopra and Nikhil Chopra for their “horrible” commentary as well. 

Is there another side to the story, however? I don’t know, you tell me. Manjrekar recently spoke about Dhoni in an interview saying: “It is really unfair that the focus is only on Dhoni because, if, at this stage of his career also, there aren’t other batsmen around who can help India win matches, then it is not healthy (sign) for Indian cricket.” While this is true, is he himself adding to the same? 

Manjrekar also said: “Focus shouldn’t be so much on Dhoni and it’s more a media thing, to talk about Dhoni. If I am a well-wisher of Indian cricket, I will start putting pressure on Lokesh Rahul and others to start delivering and take the load away from people like Dhoni.” Again one can’t be sure if he is practicing what he preaches. While on one side he does seem to be making some objectionable statements during matches, he can also be heard appreciating MSD’s shots in the match against Bangladesh. 

Whether Manjrekar is biased, is overstepping his boundaries or is facing unwarranted criticism, you decide. But one thing is clear, there is a large number of fans out there, and many are not happy. And while it's only natural to voice that, it's also important to remember, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." 

 

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