Until very recently, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar had been a constant fixture on most commentary teams. He had made a name for himself in the studio with his effective communication skills and incisive knowledge of the game.
However, Manjrekar has now been eased out of the commentary team by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). What went wrong? Why did the BCCI chuck Manjrekar out of its team?
Is it because he was critical of a few Indian cricketers? Is it because he undermined his fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle on air over the latter's supposed lack of technical knowledge? Or it is because he had differences with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly?
Most people believe it was Manjrekar's high-handed behavior that led to his ouster. But there seems to be more than what meets the eye.
Sportskeeda spoke to several sources about this. And while none of them could give the exact reason behind Manjrekar’s ouster, there were murmurs that Manjrekar didn't toe the line of the BCCI bigwigs.
One source hinted that Manjrekar was quite vocal last year when Ganguly was engulfed in the conflict of interest controversy. Back then the former Indian skipper had been holding multiple posts - including that of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president and mentor of the Delhi Capitals team.
Ganguly didn't make any public statement about Manjrekar's unceremonious exit from the commentary team, but apparently he did have a say in it. At the same time, Sportskeeda's sources have refuted the claim that Ganguly has been on a witch-hunt since becoming the BCCI boss, or that he has been pushing his detractors out of the board.
Moreover, it is evident that several BCCI officials didn’t like the way Manjrekar was commenting on the game and on individuals. "Even when he was left out for the South African series, none of the commentators supported Manjrekar," a source pointed out.
Is this the end of the road for Manjrekar as a commentator? The BCCI of course has multiple choices to replace Manjrekar, but it might be too early to say that his career is over.
Even Bhogle was kept on the sidelines for a while after he apparently 'misspoke' during a match in Nagpur, but he eventually made a comeback. In the same vein, Manjrekar's sacking could also be a form of shock treatment.
The man has always been known to call a spade a spade. But if he mends his ways and starts being more careful with his words, he could well return to the commentary box in the future.