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In Anodyne World Of Tutored Commentary, Harsha Bhogle Stands Out

Harsha Bhogle drew praise recently for making Mahendra Singh Dhoni feel so much at home in the post-match interview that he opened his mind on impending retirement. The popular commentator is a rare one from the amateur world of early radio days to make it big in the professional world of TV cricket commentary of today. In an anodyne world of tutored speaking that is largely controlled by BCCI, which virtually owns world cricket and hates contrary ideas and words, Bhogle survives in a rat race of former players looking to don the mike and making a buck after retirement. Cricket jobs are virtually monopolised by ex-players who rarely let any competition in. But there are exceptions in this controlled world of opinionated speakers like Sanjay Manjrekar who sprouts independent opinions, not always good. He is one of the few who speaks his mind, however poorish the diction may be and however misplaced his low opinion of performers who prove him wrong so often. Ravi Shastri had blazed a trail of airing his opinions freely in a professional manner before becoming an Establishment figure in his coaching days. There are too many others who fit the bland stereotypical, obedient, middle-of-the-road ‘gobs on sticks’ in the commentary box. There are very few on the IPL scene who match Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain in informed, entertaining comment on what goes on in the middle