MUMBAI: Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri will not longer be seen or heard on ESPN Star Sports channel. The former India captains have ended their long association with ESS.
Both will be commentating on Sony Max during the Indian Premier League. The recent Australia series is their last major assignment with the channel.
Contrary to popular perception that the two have taken permission to do commentary on on Sony Max during IPL, it is learnt that they have parted ways with the channel on which they have been commentating for a long time.
One reason that is being ascribed to their quitting ESS is insistence of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. “The BCCI wants to utilise their services more,” said a board official. Already they have been holding different posts in the BCCI set-up. Shastri is the chairman of the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy and both he and Gavaskar are on the governing council of the IPL. Both, one learns, could also be seen on Neo Sports which shows India’s international matches at home.
ESS sources confirmed the news that the two have parted ways with the channel. When contacted, Harsha Bhogle, another commentator from the channel, said, “That is true,” adding, “What to do?” without elaborating. Gavaskar and Shastri could not be contacted for comment. ESS sources refused to reveal the reason for their decision to leave. Both had a lucrative contract with the channel.
Recently, IPL chairman Lalit Modi announced their names in the IPL commentary panel. Each will be heading a team of commentators who will do the talking behind the camera during the league. The others involved in the IPL commentary are Greg Chappell, Rameez Raja, L Sivaramakrishnan, Robin Jackman, Amir Sohail, Ian Bishop, Ranjit Fernando, Arun Lal, Danny Morison and Tony Cozier.