Unique Indian fans don't like someone like me finding flaws in players: Sanjay Manjrekar
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has always been very opinionated in the commentary box and has also received flak from fans and sometimes from players for making controversial judgments about cricketers.
However, in an Instagram chat with India off-spinner R Ashwin, Majrekar has said that players should not give much importance to the commentators and should look at them as "garnish" because nobody will be dropped because of the comments made by them.
“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 said.
During the World Cup 2019, the cricketer-turned commentator had referred India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as a "bits and pieces" cricketer. His comments were not received well both by the Indian fans and Jadeja himself.
Jadeja replied to Manjrekar saying, he has heard enough of the latter's "verbal diarrhea."
However, Manjrekar said he understands that players are bound to react when criticized because they are sensitive and even he turned upset when Dilip Vengsarkar criticized him.
“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,” he said.
Ashwin further 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?.”
“If I did something wrong, it’s because I tried too hard. I try to stay true, there is no agenda (against any player)," Manjrekar replied.
“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,” he added.