'I did my job with great pride and a 100 percent commitment and suddenly not found to be good enough to be in the panel was a big jolt.'
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has written to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and other members of the BCCI Apex Council pleading to be reinstated as a commentator for this year's Indian Premier League.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be held in UAE from September 19 to November 8, after being postponed following the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
According to a report in the Indian Express on Saturday, Manjrekar said the sacking 'came as a real shock' and he is ready 'to apologise to the concerned party' if he has offended anyone.
"I will be happy to work as per the guidelines laid by you. After all, we are working on what is essentially your production," Manjrekar said in his letter to BCCI.
"So, really, this sacking for whatever reason, has shaken my confidence as a professional. If unwittingly, I have offended anyone I would be happy to apologise to the concerned party."
Manjrekar, one of the most accomplished voices among Indian experts, was axed from BCCI's commentary panel in March this year.
The 54-year-old former Mumbai batsman, who played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India, had courted controversy during last year's World Cup when he termed Ravindra Jadeja a "bits and pieces cricketer", something that didn't go well with the Saurashtra all-rounder, who questioned the Mumbaikar's cricketing credentials.
Manjrekar later admitted that he was off the mark with his unsavoury analysis of Jadeja's cricketing prowess.
He was also panned on social media for his on-air comment about fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle during the pink ball Test match against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year when he questioned the latter's credibility since he hasn't played at the highest level. Manjrekar had to apologise for that also.
In the letter to BCCI, Manjrekar claimed that some players had an issue with him, which was revealed to him by a senior office bearer of the Board.
"I did my job with great pride and a 100 percent commitment and suddenly not found to be good enough to be in the panel was a big jolt.
Later I was told on phone by a senior office bearer that some players had an issue with me as a commentator. Now here is where our job gets a bit tricky.
If we are not seen praising the iconic players all the time, the fans of those players tend to assume that we are antagonistic towards the players they worship. That’s the professional hazard we have to live with doing our job. Anyone who has followed my career as a commentator would know that I have no malicious agenda against anyone and that my opinions come from a very pure place that I hold sacred. It’s cricket we are talking about, a sport that’s given me and my father so much.
My comments and opinions could be wrong, but they are never personal, derogatory or borne out of prejudice or cunning design, I am only biased towards excellence in performances, whether it’s a team or a player."