Sanjay Manjrekar removed as commentator for support to JNU and secularism? Former India batsman breaks silence on BCCI’s decision


Former India captain Sanjay Manjrekar has broken his silence days after the BCCI removed him from its panel of commentators. Manjrekar took to social media to confirm the news of his removal.

Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar tweeted, “I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement. It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that. Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional.”

Earlier, many fans felt that Manjrekar’s removal as a commentator was linked to his outbursts against fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle in November last year and broken down relationship with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly during last summer’s World Cup.

However, fans were quick to remind that Manjrekar was being punished by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, son of Home Minister Amit Shah, for his support to the JNU students and India’s secular values.

On Facebook,one user, Danish Basheer, wrote, “He has been removed because he had supported protest against JNU violence. Harsha incident is mere an excuse.”

Manjrekar had extended his support to JNU students when masked Hindutva goons violently attacked them under the protection of the Delhi Police in January this year. The attack had led to countrywide protests in solidarity of JNU students. One such rally was also held in Mumbai. Reacting to the pro-JNU rally in his home town, Manjrekar had tweeted, “Well done Mumbai!”

In another tweet the same day, Manjrekar had written, “Over the years Indians have given boundless love to their heroes without caring about their religion. That’s why I believe its impossible to shake India’s strong, secular instincts.”

The Delhi Police, which faced global condemnation for its questionable role in the JNU violence, reports to Amit Shah.

Manjrekar had to face the wrath of cricket fans on social media in November for publicly insulting renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle. The incident took place during the India-Bangladesh pink-ball Test match, which the hosts went on to win by an innings and 46 runs.

Manjrekar had questioned the cricketing wisdom of Harsha Bhogle since, according to him, the latter had not played any professional cricket. Several journalists and experts had demanded a ban on Manjrekar for his rude behaviour.

Manjrekar had also courted controversy during last year’s World Cup for questioning the credentials of Ravindra Jadeja by calling him a ‘bits and pieces’ player.’ He had later blocked former England captain Michael Vaughan after he mocked his comment in light of Jadeja’s impressive performance both as a bowler and batsman.

In June, during the World Cup cricket, former India captain Sourav Ganguly (now BCCI President), had called an unnamed ex-cricketer an ‘attention-seeker’ prompting many to conclude that he was targeting Manjrekar.


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