On the international cricket commentary scene, the meaning of the phrase ‘you truly value something only when you have lost it’ has has been understood only in the past year. Harsha Bhogle – Indian by origin, international by love and an icon by global acceptance, has been selected as part of the commentary team for India’s tour of West Indies.
His return is as surprising as his unceremonious exit after the 2016 World T20, where he was given no reason for his non selection. It left fans devastated and lovers of the finer aspects of the game in disenchantment, as they missed his magical voice, beautiful descriptions of the game and acerbic wit on the commentary box.
While Cricbuzz used the opportunity to its hilt to make him their poster boy, watching cricket without him in commentary was definitely not the same. It also needs to be said that the Indian commentary scene is not particularly gasp worthy either, thus making his absence all the more evident. A lot of former Indian players who have been commentators longer than players continue to be on the scene, but some of their statements on air are often ridiculous, obvious and as monotonous as the world is round. The new age of commentators, lead by a former swashbuckling opener is the other extreme- who consider commentary to be a stand up comedy show, and more so, a very poor one at that. The aforementioned gentleman in fact, was severely reprimanded and scolded on air by a fellow commentator, a former Indian captain and left handed batsman.
Harsha Bhogle provides a perspective that is unique, thought provoking, and makes you further cherish the game this country loves so much, and his addition will also perhaps compensate for the lack of interest in an India- West Indies series, owing to the fact that the latter team is now a pale imitation of its former self in its hay day.
In a world with a lot of great people, Harsha Bhogle is not just great but a genuinely nice person – a fast disappearing trait in today’s dog eat dog world. It restores ones faith in justice, the simplicity of life and the value of being virtuous, to see the return of a man the international cricket scene has sorely missed. Out go the clichés, in comes in the context.