IPL 2020: 120-strong commentary panel; uncertainty over Manjrekar

Star Sports will have 120 former cricketers and presenters for the Indian Premier League 2020 LIVE commentary. However, there is no certainty on Sanjay Manjrekar.

The BCCI, according to information available with SportzFront, has cleared the names of 90 commentators. Manjrekar is not on the initial list. He might figure in the second batch of 30. But there is no certainty.

Manjrekar, meanwhile, is also looking for a role with Star Sports for the IPL studio shows.

The former India batsman last month had pleaded to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for his reinstatement in the commentary panel. He had been dumped by the BCCI for calling India and Chennai Super Kings star Ravindra Jadeja a “bits and pieces all-rounder” during the LIVE commentary of the ICC World Cup 2019 in England. He was excluded from the list of commentators for a “breach of the BCCI guidelines”.

The board in the past had also initiated similar action against Harsha Bhogle. The veteran cricket presenter is, however, part of the IPL 2020 commentary panel.

Manjrekar last month has reportedly written an e-mail to the BCCI for his reinstatement in the commentary panel. “I will stick to the guidelines laid out by you (the BCCI),” Manjrekar had stated in the email.

“Respected members of the Apex Council, hope you all keeping well. You are already in receipt of the email I sent to explain my position as a commentator. With the IPL dates announced, bcci.tv will pick its commentary panel soon. I will be happy to work as per the guidelines laid by you. After all, we are working on what is essentially your production. Last time maybe there was not enough clarity on this issue. Thanks very much, Regards,” the email reportedly stated.

Manjrekar, while asking to adhere to guidelines, was never apologetic in his message to the board.

The IPL commentary panel will operate in two batches from India and the UAE. Some of the experts will be rotated between India and the Emirates, while the commentary on the regional networks will be off the tube from India.

“The crew members will have to be kept in the bio bubble during the IPL. It will be difficult to maintain such a huge bubble. It has been decided to split the commentary panel into two,” a person in the know of things told SportzFront on the condition of anonymity.

NO AGE BAR FOR COMMENTATORS

The BCCI was earlier considering to “exclude” the experts above 60-65 years for the IPL 2020 LIVE commentary and shows due to novel coronavirus scare. That would have seen a familiar face like Sunil Gavaskar left out.

The idea is dropped. “All the leading names of Hindi and English commentary will be seen during the league,” it is confirmed.

The IPL 2020 will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from September 19 to November 10.

Admin Sportz Front

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