ICC on Ravi Shastri: We don't pick commentators
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday clarified that it does not select the commentators for the ICC events. They went to state that ICC had played no role in the absence of Ravi Shastri, former Indian captain, from the commentary team for last month’s Champions Trophy held in England.
An Indian newspaper on Saturday morning reported that Shastri was absent from the Champions Trophy at the request of ICC. It is a well-known fact that Shastri is opposed to the Umpire Decision Review System.
But ICC was quick to make the response stating that the report was baseless and factually incorrect and it had no role to play in the selection of commentators.
ICC spokesman said: “To begin with, Fox STAR Sports, the host broadcaster, selects and contracts the commentators. As the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 was a global event, there needed to be a mix of commentators and as such, Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sourav Ganguly and Harsha Bhogle were selected by the host broadcaster as commentators from India for its world feed.”
“Secondly, the ICC neither picks nor has a wish-list of commentators, as claimed by the newspaper. Furthermore, the ICC doesn’t give any guidelines to the commentators who are free to express their views. As has always been the case, the ICC respects the views and comments of all the commentators,” he continued.
The ICC said Shastri is free to express his views on DRS as he has been doing all this while in the meetings of the ICC Cricket Committee, where he is a member.
“Mr. Ravi Shastri is a media representative on the ICC Cricket Committee and shares his views on that forum. The ICC Cricket Committee last met at Lord’s on 28 and 29 May, a week before the start of the event, and Mr Shastri attended the meeting,” said the spokesman.
“Lastly and as regards the Decision Review System, the ICC Board had agreed in 2011 that it will be up to the two boards to use the DRS in a bilateral series, but had also approved that it will be used in all 50-over ICC events,” he concluded.