By Arré Bench Mar. 16, 2020
Spoiler alert: Nobody cries.
Cricket is India’s favourite pastime, and nothing unites Indian cricket fans like their collective resentment toward Sanjay Manjrekar. As the world struggles to get through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing global economic crisis, netizens managed to find something to be relieved about over the weekend. Twitter caught a whiff of the news of former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar’s drop from BCCI’s commentary team, and for those who’ve gritted their teeth through his many spells in the commentary box, this was some much-needed good news.
Finally some good news on INTERNET!!!!
BCCI throws out Sanjay Manjrekar from its commentary team | Cricket News – Times of India https://t.co/8EaZOSj2pq
— Vamsi Kaka (@vamsikaka) March 14, 2020
According to a BCCI source, as confirmed in a Mumbai Mirror report, Manjrekar has been excluded from India matches and will likely be dropped from the IPL commentary team too. “Maybe he will be left out from the IPL panel too. At this stage, it is not on top of our mind. But the fact is they are not happy with his work,” said the report quoting the source. It’s cruel irony that coronavirus would come along and jeopardise the first chance for an IPL without Manjrekar’s numbing drone taking the edge of the exciting action happening on the field. From stirring a Twitter beef with Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja to getting into a spat on-air with fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle, Manjrekar — who also ended up with his own petition, #SackManjrekar, on Change.org — has walked head-first into a series of controversies this past year.
Back in 2019 Manjrekar unabashedly labelled Jadeja a “bits and pieces player”, to which Jadeja clapped back by dismissing Manjrekar’s words as “verbal diarrhoea”. Following the news of Manjrekar’s BCCI axing, Jadeja’s IPL team, Chennai Super Kings, couldn’t help but slide in with a sly dig at the commentator themselves. The tweet simply read, “Need not hear the audio feed in bits and pieces anymore.” And that, in cricketing terms, is what we call “mauke pe chauka”.
Need not hear the audio feed in bits and pieces anymore. 🦁💛
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 14, 2020
There are fans for whom Manjrekar’s commentary is biased, unprofessional, and sometimes nothing more than headache-inducing white noise — and they have never been happier. For some on social media, movie references were the best way to express their emotions. One Twitter user posted, “Every indian cricket fan right now #sanjaymanjrekar” along with a screengrab from the heartwarming movie, The Pursuit of Happyness.
— Kshitij Saxena (@Humdinger_me) March 14, 2020
Another Twitter user figured memes were superior to tearjerkers starring Will Smith, and tweeted a viral video clip to convey their great joy. Joy received.
— twentytwenty (@ibulletu) March 14, 2020
Sanjay Manjrekar, on the other hand, has maintained a calm demeanour online, accepting the BCCI decision without voicing further opinion about it.
I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement. It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that. Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 15, 2020
To give Manjrekar some credit, maintaining a stoic silence is a feat in itself, given his penchant for talking when so many people don’t wish to listen at all.