Amitabh Bachchan should apologise to Harsha Bhogle
Does a cricket commentator today also need to wear his nationalism on his sleeve?
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By now, it's amply clear superstar Amitabh Bachchan's tweet has played a major role in getting one of India's best cricket commentators, Harsha Bhogle, shown the door.
T 2184 - With all due respects, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time.— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 23, 2016
Big B has certainly erred. His simple tweet has serious implications. In his defence, Harsha had made it clear that he was only doing his job for Star Sports 1. Thus by not praising Bangladesh or any other team involved for their great feat as a commentator would have been a grave injustice to fans and true lovers of the gentlemen's game.
Let's be clear, he was not doing commentary for India alone. The cricket match was being watched by millions across countries.
So what if he is an Indian commentator? Why should that prevent Harsha from praising worthy players from other countries? Does a cricket commentator today also need to wear his nationalism on his sleeve? Does he need to sing "Bharat Mata ki jai" before every over?If Amitabh Bachchan is considered a "god of acting", Harsha Bhogle is, for some, the same for cricket commentary.
The India-Bangladesh match was a superb one. Bangladesh had almost defeated India. Or, to put it in another way, India had almost lost to the Tigers, but managed to win by one run. Bangladesh players deserved all the praise for taking the contest to a nail-biting end.
If Amitabh Bachchan is considered a "god of acting", Harsha Bhogle is, for some, the same for cricket commentary. The only difference is: Harsha has to explain every ball before the next one is delivered. Bachchan, on the other hand, has more chances delivering his lines because no one is counting the takes and the edits it takes for a scene in a film to reach its conclusion.
Moreover, people watch Harsha live. Big B's performances are staged. There's a world of difference of art between what the two do.
Big-hearted Big B should be ashamed. He must apologise to Harsha publicly as he may have played a hand in his ouster from the IPL panel for his ignorance.
He may not have blatantly named Harsha, but his big enough hint that he did not intend Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar as those who were "harsh on Indian players" is a dead giveaway. As far as cricketers and fans of the sports are concerned, they need to take criticism sportingly. That's the whole point of sports, is it not?
Cricket commentators are no cheerleaders. They must be respected for being impartial and honest. What would Big B know of these traits?