India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar on Sunday said that the cricketers on the field are sensitive and hence are unable to ignore the criticism made by the commentators. Speaking in an Instagram Live chat with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his ‘Reminisence with Ash’ show, Manjrekar said that he, too, felt upset about comments made against him by Dilip Vengasarkar during his playing days. “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.
Manjrekar had earlier run into trouble with India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after referring to him as a ‘bits and pieces’ cricketer in an interview.
While speaking to Ashwin, the former Indian batsman further said: “When Sachin Tendulkar reacted to a column I had written as well, I kept quiet.”
He further went on to add that players should not consider commentators as important, and focus on their performances. “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.
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?.” In reply, the former India batsman said: “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,” he added.