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World Cup 2019: Manjrekar-Jadeja spat brings alive the ugly episode of 2003 WC; both sides need to maintain a balance

World Cup 2019: Manjrekar-Jadeja spat brings alive the ugly episode of 2003 WC; both sides need to maintain a balance

Bengaluru, July 4: Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar faces it again. The 53-year-old, who now does commentary and analysis, has been blasted by India spinner-all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for expressing his own viewpoints that have not gone down well with many.

The left-arm cricketer was terribly upset with Manjrekar for calling him a "bits and pieces" cricketer when asked about the latter's possible inclusion in the Indian playing XI after their loss to England last Sunday.

CWC 2019 Special Site | Points Table | Stats

Jadeja took to Twitter to slam Manjrekar saying he still played twice the number of games than the former batsman and is still playing. He advised Manjrekar "to respect" achievers and said he had enough of his "verbal diarrhoea". He even faced the fans' ire for saying that Dhoni's ordinary batting against the spinners in the World Cup. According to Manjrekar, Dhoni "does not put his wicket on the line as much in the big games".

He also had his opinions on the performance of KL Rahul, who has so far failed to convert any of his promising innings into a century, and Mohammed Shami for his expensive death-over bowling against England and Bangladesh.

This is not the first time that Team India cricketers have had issues with commentators, especially in big tournaments. During the T20 World Cup in India in 2016, Harsha Bhogle came under criticism for allegedly not praising the Indian players enough but speaking more on the opponent players. He was even ousted from the commentary team of the Indian Premier League that year and it was being said that some former captain was behind his removal.

In 2003, Ganguly & Co. were livid with commentators' relentless taunting

Also far ahead of that, in 2003, some of the Indian commentators found themselves at odds with Team Under led by Sourav Ganguly. The Indian team was brutally attacked after their poor beginning in the tournament, especially the loss against Australia early on which had even seen attacks on cricketers' houses back home. Ganguly was so upset with things that he had even called some of the commentators "joke". Even Javagal Srinath, an otherwise cool customer, was not happy with the extreme criticism that were being put on air and felt their limitless criticism was inciting the emotional fans.

Hence, the Manjrekar issue is a small one compared to what had happened in 2003 when the entire commentary team was under a counter attack.

The best way forward is for both parties to maintain a balance. Commentators are certainly entitled to their own viewpoints and opinions but they need to ensure that this freedom is not abused and the players are not unduly criticised for they are all trying to give their best.

On the players' half, they also need to ensure that not much is attached to the viewpoints of one person. It is his personal opinion and doesn't really make any difference on the ground.

Sometimes, bashings bring out the best in players

However, as it was in 2003, the taunting from off the ground makes the players even more committed to do well. That year, India went on to win eight consecutive matches to make the final after the strong backlash they faced. This year, Pakistan too somewhat similar experience.

That's the way of life in these parts. One can't really change it.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 4, 2019, 16:38 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 4, 2019
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