IPL 2016 loses another familiar name: Harsha Bhogle's contract terminated without explanation from BCCI - Firstpost

IPL 2016 loses another familiar name: Harsha Bhogle's contract terminated without explanation from BCCI

Apart from loved teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, suspended as a result of spot-fixing and betting scandals, the new season of the Indian Premier League will also not feature the voice of Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Bhogle's contract for the IPL has been terminated and the commentator, who has been involved with the IPL since its inception, was told about his exclusion only a week ago and wasn't even provided with an explanation.

“No one told me anything. I have not been formally told of the reason even now. All I have been told is ‘it is a BCCI management decision’,” the report quoted Bhogle as saying.

In fact Bhogle was looking forward to taking part in his "favourite tournament".

Harsha Bhogle was part of the commentary team during the recently concluded ICC World T20. It is speculated that incidents in the same tournament lead to his ouster from the IPL.

Following India's match against Bangladesh, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan had accused certain commentators focusing more on overseas players than on the Indian players.

Bachchan's sentiments were cryptically echoed by none other than the Indian limited overs captain MS Dhoni himself.

Following speculations that it was Bhogle being referred in the Bollywood star's tweet, the commentator had issued a clarification on Facebook in his defence, saying that English commentators needed to stay objective as the feed went out to different countries and it would be unfair to fans of other nations if only India was praised during the course of a game.

However, Express also mentioned an "angry exchange" between Bhogle and a Nagpur-based cricket official following a game at the VCA stadium in Nagpur during the World T20, where Bhogle had apparently expressed displeasure over him having to run down and climb stairs repeatedly to switch between English and Hindi commentary boxes, instead of being provided VIP room access from where he could directly reach the Hindi commentary box.

Bhogle's sudden termination from the IPL is even more surprising considering he had even conducted the IPL 9 draft auction. Although, Sony has rights for broadcast for the IPL, but the Board of Control in Cricket in India (BCCI) has say over the production and hence the commentary roster, the report in Indian Express added.

Bhogle even clarified to his followers on Twitter that his termination had nothing to do with a "rival channel" and "star sports".

The BCCI has refused to comment on the matter, however, it would not be the first time a commentator was set aside by the governing body for cricket in India, which sets strict rules for commentating. Earlier, Sanjay Manjerekar and Arun Lal, familiar Indian commentators, too have been meted out the same treatment.

The new season of the IPL will miss quite a few familiar names for it's ninth edition.

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