What’s the story?
Former Indian batsman and noted commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has clarified his controversial remarks on Mumbai Indians all-rounder Kieron Pollard. In his Twitter account, the 51-year-old insisted that he did not use the term ‘no brains’ or ‘brainless’ and only enquired if the Trinidadian had the ‘range’ to adjust his game to a different type of situation.
Urging all those who have been mocking him to watch the footage again and review his statements, he also posted a video from the official Indian Premier League (IPL) website containing the discussion under scrutiny.
During an IPL game between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, Manjrekar had raised doubts over Pollard’s ability to come in during the early stages of the innings by declaring that his style of batting might not suit such a situation. However, the hard-hitting batsman took offense to those comments and posted a series of angry tweets on the commentator’s supposed ‘verbal diarrhea‘.
The heart of the matter
In the video posted on IPL’s official Twitter account, the sequence of events was pretty clear. Kevin Pietersen began the conversation by asking Manjrekar whether Pollard could come in earlier in the innings and be given a few overs to settle down before taking on the opposition bowlers.
Affirming that the comparison was quite similar to that of Indian wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni who has preferred to bat down the order, Manjrekar felt that Pollard was the type of batsman who should enter the arena when 'six-seven overs' were left. He only wondered if the Caribbean batsman had the ‘versatility’ to rotate the strike or the ‘range’ to tackle the situation once the boundaries began to dry up.
Said " Does he have the range? " Using terms like 'no brains' or 'brainless' not my style. I can be critical but never insulting.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 15, 2017
I would also encourage all those reacting to the Pollard issue to hear the footage & not just take my word for it.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 15, 2017
Manjrekar’s comments might just have spurred Pollard to rise to the occasion. In the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he came in with the scoreboard reading 7/4 in the third over and turned the game around with a sensible knock of 70 from 47 balls. Mumbai Indians’ next game will be against Gujarat Lions at home on Sunday evening.
After looking at the evidence, it is clear that Manjrekar’s comments have been blown out of proportion. Not once did he use the term ‘no brains’ or ‘brainless’ to trigger a needless controversy.
Harsha Bhogle and Aakash Chopra jumped to Manjrekar’s support over the Pollard comments.
I think decency and journalistic ethics mandate that all those who roasted @sanjaymanjrekar over the "brainless" issue offer a full apology— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 15, 2017