The dislike towards Manjrekar has in fact led Indian cricket fans to start a petition to sack him from the World Cup panel.

RJ Balaji takes dig at Manjrekar over Star Sports Tamil cricket viewership increase
Cricket WC 2019 CWC 2019 Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 14:38

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is nearing its most exciting phase, with the knockouts happening in a few days’ time. While Indian cricket fans have largely differed in their opinions about the team composition in each match and the performances of their favourite stars, they are all seemingly united when it comes to commentary – and their discontentment against former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.

The united dislike against the former national cricketer was acknowledged by Star Sports Tamil on Tuesday as India was playing against Bangladesh. RJ Balaji, one of the Tamil commentators for the channel took a dig at Sanjay Manjrekar during the 25th over of the Bangladesh innings.

Mentioning that the number of subscribers for Star Sports Tamil has increased substantially since the Cricket World Cup started, Balaji said that it was only due to Sanjay Manjrekar. “.. Suddenly I get a bundle of cash at my house… (Sadagopan) Ramesh and Nani (Sathyanarayanan) sir also got it, it seems. The reason that we were told was that there is a substantial increase in the number of Star sports viewers, especially in Tamil. It is all because of (Sanjay) Manjrekar. Thank you so much,” he joked. Continuing his onslaught against Sanjay, Balaji went on to add that the reason why he is able to financially afford a new blazer, watch and other accessories was because of Manjrekar’s commentary.  

“It is because of your commentary that people switched to watch Tamil commentary. If Star Sports Tamil subscription is higher in Gujarat, it is because of you, Manjrekar. Thank you so much…,” he added with a wide smile on his face.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s commentary has been at the receiving end of severe criticism from fans due to his obvious favouritism towards some players in the squad and his derision towards some others. This dislike came to the fore on Sunday, during India’s match against England when he expressed doubts over MS Dhoni’s batting skills. His tweets after the match, again casting doubts over MS Dhoni’s intent and batting, made things worse. Fans even started a petition to get ICC to remove Manjrekar from the panel of commentators. 

However, Tamil commentary in Star Sports has not been free from criticism either. Kris Srikkanth, one of Star Sports Tamil's commentators, was criticised by fans last week for certain disrespectful comments about players.

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