Did BCCI take the right decision in sacking Harsha Bhogle?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sai Ravi Teja Pingali, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Rarely in public life is there an organisation which remains so blatantly smug despite being repeatedly chastised by the court. Harsha Bhogle’s unceremonious sacking from the IPL commentary team has to be seen in this context. Bhogle in a series of tweets just before the IPL started, informed that he was excited to cover the 9th edition of the tournament. He confirmed that he was part of the roster, but was suddenly excluded without being given a due reason. There are two theories which are doing the rounds about Harsha’s sudden exclusion.

One is that he was not ‘patriotic’ enough in the commentary box during India’s match against Bangladesh in the World T20 match. This was a grouse shared by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, and also seconded by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While Bachchan tweeted about Indian commentators in general, it was inferred that his ire was directed at Bhogle. Harsha Bhogle even made a long statement trying to clarify his position. But was that explanation good enough is the question. The other theory is that Harsha was involved in an altercationduring World T20 with officials of the Vidarbha Cricket association, the homeground of Shashank Manohar, who is the most powerful man in Indian cricket. This probably proved costly for him.

There has been a tsunami of support on social media supporting Bhogle after his unceremonious ouster. Even celebrities have pitched in, lending their voice to stand behind the person who has earned the moniker of ‘voice of India’s cricket’. Harsha in a way is a common man’s representative in the commentary box, trying to declutter the jargon by asking relevant questions which might strike viewers while watching the match. To sack him arbitrarily is symptomatic of the mediocrity BCCI has sunk into. It is extremely unlikely that BCCI will also respond or react to the requests from fans about reconsidering their decision. Earlier too, excessive ads etc. had irked the fans, but BCCI took no action to redress them. Armed with laws, by-laws and deep pockets, BCCI has turned Indian cricket into an eternal fiasco, where keeping your boss in good humour looks to be the primary condition for retaining your job.

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