14 June, 2021

Mike Isn’t A Friend Anymore

Harsha Bhogle’s banishment from the IPL might be due to bloated, brittle player egos goaded by a partisan Big B tweet. But it highlights BCCI’s arrogant, sphinx-like opacity.

Illustration by Saahil
Mike Isn’t A Friend Anymore

As cricket types go, Harsha Bhogle is so saccharine sweet, Maneka Gandhi would have iss­ued a health warning had she been food minister. Grinning ear to ear like a schoolboy who got the toffee he wanted, with a gee-whiz twinkle, he lays it on thick and heavy on air. His adjective-laden newspaper column doesn’t hurt a fly. In person, he is the archetypal Hyderabadi, his ‘tehzeeb’ shining through even after all these years of living in big, bad Bombay. On Twitter, @bhogleharsha uses the word ‘lovely’ once every six-ball over.

Over two decades, the ‘independent’ voice, as opposed to cricketers turned emp­ire-builders, had patted every donkey drop that had come his way—match-fixing, mon­keygate, Lalit Modi, DRS, conflict of interest, N. Srinivasan—with a dead bat even a BCCI apologist would have failed to muster. Yet, what could the harmless babbler have done to irritate India’s cricket administrators or players so much that he is watching the ninth edition of the IPL, whose auction he had conducted two...

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