The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly finalized the commentary panel for IPL 2020 and the list does not include the name of note commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar. As per Mumbai Mirror, the list includes former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Anjum Chopra, Harsha Bhogle, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Murali Kartik and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. All the commentators, including 71-year-old Gavaskar, will be travelling to UAE and will be commentating from the ground.
Manjrekar’s absence comes as a surprise as he wrote to BCCI twice to reinstate him in the commentary panel for the T20 league. Given Manjrekar’s experience, he was expected to make a return but the board has decided against including him in the panel.
Manjrekar was sacked by BCCI before the final series of the 2019/20 season. Manjrekar had first come under the scanner after he called Ravindra Jadeja a ‘bits and pieces’ player during World Cup. He defended himself by mentioning that he used the term in an interview to an agency and not on the air.
During the historic pink-ball Test against Bangladesh, Manjrekar was heavily criticised after he questioned Bhogle’s credentials on air. The latter didn’t play first-class cricket.
Just four months later, Manjrekar was sacked from the BCCI’s commentary panel. The news was confirmed after he didn’t travel to Dharamsala for the opening ODI against South Africa.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi will host 21 games each while Sharjah will host 14 matches.
The commentators will be further divided into three panels and will be placed in two bubbles at Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively.
Kartik and Dasgupta were scheduled to fly out today for Abu Dhabi, but the local authorities relaxed the quarantine period from 14 to 7 days. As a result, the two will now leave on September 10 with the rest of their colleagues.
The BCCI is likely to make the full schedule of the tournament public today. The tournament will go on till November 10 and the matches will be played across three venues in UAE—Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.