It is believed that the BCCI have zeroed in on a total of seven commentators, featuring the likes of Harsha Bhogle and Sunil Gavaskar amongst others, for the forthcoming edition of the IPL. The board will reportedly divide the commentators into three panels and put them in two separate bubbles.
While the BCCI, earlier, did discuss the possibility of deploying remote commentators, it is, however, believed that the board are not willing to take any chances and have finalized a plan to fly a select set of people to the UAE. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the board have zeroed in on seven members - Sunil Gavaskar, L Sivaramakrishnan, Murali Kartik, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle and Anjum Chopra - as the commentators for the forthcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held in the UAE.
It is expected that each of the seven members will be flying out to the UAE in the forthcoming days and will be divided into three separate panels. Dasgupta and Karthik are expected to be stationed at Abu Dhabi while the rest are believed to be commentating from Sharjah and Dubai. All commentators, the report states, will be placed in two separate bio-bubbles at Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively.
While it is still unclear on when exactly the panel will reach Dubai, the duo of Karthik and Dasgupta will fly to the UAE on September 10, owing to the country relaxing quarantine restrictions.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any addition to this panel, particularly non-Indian commentators, but the rumoured announcement comes as a major blow for Sanjay Manjrekar, who was sacked by the BCCI in March. Manjrekar, last month, had written to the BCCI to request the board to include him in the commentary panel for the IPL, but, if this report is to be believed, the board might have very well moved on from the veteran cricketer.
There might yet be a place for 'remote commentary', though, as there are high chances that the board might ask regional commentators to function from India. A successful test was run in the 3TC tournament in South Africa where Irfan Pathan and Manjrekar co-ordinated with broadcaster Star Sports and commentated from their own homes.