The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could soon sever ties with Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar as a commentator.
According to a report in The Times of India, Gavaskar's long-standing contract as a member of BCCI's internal production house, which hires its own commentators on a full-time basis, could come to an end any time in the months of April-May and the board is not exactly interested in renewing his contract.
The chief reason for the board's latest stance is believed to be the "astronomical" amount that Gavaskar charges for commentating for the BCCI, which is believed to be about eight times the normal rate.
"Sunny gets Rs 10 lakh per match day while Sanjay gets around Rs 3 to 4 lakh. Do your math," a source was quoted as saying according to the report on The Times of India.
A report on Mumbai Mirror on 1 April had stated that Gavaskar and former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan's contracts would not be renewed.
"It is the BCCI's prerogative to offer contracts, so the question (whether to offer contract or not) should be addressed to them," Gavaskar was quoted as saying according to the report on Mumbai Mirror, which further added that both Gavaskar and Sivaramakrishnan would be commentating in the upcoming Indian Premier League 9.
Another crucial, but debatable point, is that of the cricketer-turned-commentator not toeing BCCI's line. Gavaskar and fellow Indian commentator and former team-mate Ravi Shastri are known to be fierce proponents of the Indian board's idealogy, especially on controversial issues such as the Decision Review System as well as pitches prepared in India.
According to the Times of India report, Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar is the most likely candidate to get promoted alongside Harsha Bhogle in Gavaskar's place.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Shastri's contract is renewed by the BCCI or not. Shastri's tenure as the Team India director also came to an end following the semi-final loss to West Indies in the recently-concluded ICC World T20, with his future in the position currently on hold after the board approached Rahul Dravid for the role of the Indian head coach.