Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar’s on-air conversation has become the top trending topic on Twitter after Team India won their first pink-ball Test against Bangladesh on Sunday.
The two commentators were talking about the pink ball and its future in Test cricket when Manjrekar seemed to suggest that he was more of an authority in the game because he has more played international cricket.
Manjrekar’s jibe led to an intense backlash on social media. Although Bhogle didn’t respond to that remark on the spot, it turns out that he had addressed a similar issue while speaking at IIM Ahmedabad in 2005. At that seminar, he talked about the superiority complex that cricketers tend to suffer from and how often a person has to face the question of how much cricket he/she has played.
“The one question that has prevented Indian cricket growing into human beings, and therefore into better cricketers, is how much cricket have you played. So everybody, even if you are a surgeon or a lawyer, you are always judged on the scales of just how much cricket have you played,” the 58-year-old had said.
“Earlier, it used to bother me a great deal. And after a while I said, hang on, anybody who says ‘how much cricket have you played’ believes that is the only thing that counts in the world, so I have got a great chance here.”
Harsha Bhogle’s reply to Sanjay Manjrekarpic.twitter.com/cwe78oOtWy
— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) November 25, 2019
He went to further his stance against the snobbishness of cricketers by talking about how cricketers are usually pulled back by their own weight.
“I was able to succeed initially in my profession because I was willing to do what it took. And a lot of people weren’t, because they were cricketers.”
“It’s like bit actresses in serials and movies who have got to carry on this pretense of being stars, and actually can’t afford to be stars. And it’s a bit like that with the cricketers as well, they have got to be seen as cricketers. And so, it helped me enormously,” he had added.
“My first three-four years (in the industry) were entirely because of the arrogance of Indian cricket. So, I keep hoping that Indian cricket stays arrogant because it allows me to do well,” he had concluded.
Known for his erudition, Bhogle had also shown his professionalism on Sunday after Manjrekar had escalated the argument regarding the pink ball.
After Bhogle had suggested that the players should be asked about how the visibility of the ball affected their game, Manjrekar had taken an unexpected jibe at Bhogle’s lack of international experience by saying, “Maybe you need to ask… for those who have played cricket, it’s evident it can be seen well.”
Bhogle, who has played cricket at the university level in Hyderabad, had ignored his tone and had replied subtly, “The only reason you need to ask is, having played cricket should never be a limitation or a ceiling to learning. We would never have had T20 cricket otherwise.”