Former Indian cricketer and renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has offered to apologise, writing that he would be happy to work within the guidelines laid by the BCCI. Manjrekar was removed from the commentary panel in February 2020.
In a letter which was accessed by national newspaper Indian Express, Manjrekar wrote that "some players had issues" with him as a commentator.
Manjrekar also went on to mention his 'bits-and-pieces' comment on all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, which created controversy during the 2019 World Cup. The Indian all-rounder took to Twitter to launch a direct attack on Manjrekar for his comments.
In his letter to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and the members of the Apex Council, Manjrekar explained his position. He wrote that he does not have "malicious agenda against anyone," adding that fans often assume that a commentator is "antagonistic" towards a player.
“If we are not seen praising the iconic players all the time, the fans of those players tend to assume that we are antagonistic towards the players they worship," wrote Manjrekar.
"Anyone who has followed my career as a commentator would know that I have no malicious agenda against anyone and that my opinions come from a very pure place that I hold sacred. It’s cricket we are talking about, a sport that’s given me and my father so much,” Manjrekar stated. “I was greatly hurt! Especially because this came as a real shock!” he added."
Explaining his 'bits-and-pieces' comment on Ravindra Jadeja, Manjrekar wrote, "‘Bits and pieces’ is a cricketing term commonly used for cricketers who are non-specialists. It is regularly used by commentators to describe certain players and it’s never considered to be demeaning.
"The player concerned obviously misunderstood this or was perhaps misinformed. By the way, the player and I have since privately made peace over this issue."
He further wrote that the comment was made to an audio interview to a news agency and not during a commentary stint.
"Please note this comment was not made by me on Twitter or in commentary, it was in an audio interview to a news agency… that got blown out of proportion. It was made as a part of a long media interview but unfortunately was made into an eye-catching headline by just one website and the player reacted sharply to it on Twitter. This got the issue the traction it did not deserve," wrote Manjrekar.
Offering his willingness to apologise, Manjrekar said that if he has "unwittingly" offended anyone, he "would be happy to apologise to the concerned party."