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Indian Cricket Fans Want to ‘Mute’ World Cup Commentator Sanjay Manjrekar for Being Too Biased

There’s even a petition against him which has got over 9,000 signatures.

by Shamani Joshi
03 July 2019, 1:15pm

Photo: Screen grab of video by ESPNcricinfo on Youtube (left) and Wikimedia Commons (right)

After a spectacular season of the boys in blue surpassing expectations, it looks like the Indian cricket team is finally playing ball at the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) semi-finals, making every Indian cricket fan ecstatic. Except a few fans are now pissed off with Sanjay Manjrekar—a former cricketer turned commentator for Star Sports Network—because they feel he is too biased against certain cricketers and his commentary is "frustrating".

While Manjrekar is a veteran sports broadcaster and even used to play for the Indian cricket team until 1996, fans are demanding he be taken off the panel. This started after some fans tweeted out pictures of them watching the match between India and Bangladesh on July 2 with the mute button pressed during Manjrekar’s commentary. The hate held against him came pouring out pretty quickly after that, with hashtags like #SackManjrekar doing the rounds. This escalated further after Manjrekar took a dig at M.S. Dhoni, one of the most popular players, saying he scored more runs during warm-up matches and couldn’t keep his wicket on the line. That was all fans of the former Indian cricket team captain needed to launch a major social media campaign against the commentator, saying he deserved to be sacked.

Now, there’s even an online petition against him that urges the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove him from the World Cup commentary panel because he “ruins the experience for everybody.'' The petition that has fast gathered over 9,000 signatures at the time of publishing this, states that, “Sanjay Manjrekar is not a quality commentator. He is extremely biased, often contradicts his statements within a single match and honestly infuriates a lot of people with his commentary.”

While it isn’t clear whether the ICC will actually take this petition and online trolling into consideration or what this means for the commentator’s future, this isn’t the first time Manjrekar has gotten into a social media spat. Not only was he criticised when he was misheard as saying Mumbai Indians cricket player Kieron Pollard was “brainless” during the Indian Premier League (IPL), but he also clashed with Sania Mirza in 2016 who went on to accuse him of not having common sense.

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