Players are sensitive, commentators should be unimportant: Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar said it is natural for cricketers to react to what commentators say about them because they are sensitive in nature. Saying he had himself once reacted negatively to a newspaper column by Dilip Vengsarkar in his playing days, he said cricketers should treat broadcasters as unimportant.
“Players are sensitive. I used to be sensitive. When Dilip Vengsarkar criticized me in his column, I slipped a note under his door, trying to counter all his observations. So I don’t hold it against players when they react. When Sachin Tendulkar reacted to a column I had written as well, I kept quiet,” Manjrekar said in a chat with Ravichandran Ashwin on Instagram this week.
“The best way for players to deal with people like us is to look at us as garnish. We are unimportant. They are the players, their performances are all that matter. Nobody is going to be dropped because Manjrekar said so,” he added.
In an implicit reference to the player-commentator controversy with Ravindra Jadeja that Manjrekar found himself embroiled in during the 2019 World Cup, Ashwin, Jadeja’s spin bowling partner, asked Manjrekar: “Is there a possibility that you sometimes see cricketers with a critical eye because of what you expected of yourself as a cricketer and you now want to be the Sachin Tendulkar of broadcasting?”
Manjrekar replied, “If I did something wrong, it’s because I tried too hard. I try to stay true, there is no agenda (against any player).”
“I know my boundaries. That’s why I’m still around. Otherwise I would have been finished as a commentator five years ago. But Indian fan following is unique. They love somebody so much that they don’t want someone like me finding flaws with him.”