Harsha Bhogle Profile
Harsha Bhogle Profile: Indian cricket’s voice and face, the person who contributed in bringing the game of cricket to our homes when we could not reach the fields to enjoy it, the person whose descriptive power painted the game in front of us as if we are watching it live. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest sports commentators India has ever had. He is a legendary sports journalist in a country that does not have mainstream sports journalists. He makes sports mainstream, he makes us realise the importance of sports and explain the game analytically with a dash of humor.
He started when it was next to impossible for Indian broadcasters to make their mark in the overseas market. He was a catalyst in removing prejudices against India when he was honored as the possessor of the “sexiest voice on the radio” in 1992 in Australia. He was also rated as a number one commentator in 1999 in a poll on an independent website.
Personal Life of Harsha Bhogle
Harsha was on 19 July 1961 to a Marathi family in Hyderabad. Both his parents were in academics. His father Prof A.D. Bhogle was a French Professor and his mother Prof. Shalini Bhogle, a Psychology Professor. He spent his childhood and college life in Hyderabad and pursued B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University’s College of Technology in Hyderabad. He was an extremely bright student and managed to get admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and pursued PGDM. He worked in an advertising agency for two years followed by a two-year stint at a sports management company and the world of sports caught him and there was no looking back.
Well, let’s put it this way: sports didn’t catch him, it was always in him and he just realised its importance and followed it. Harsha married his IIM-A classmate, Anita and have two children named Chinmay and Satchit. The couple runs a sport-based communication consultancy called Prosearch Consultants. Bhogle has played cricket for Osmania University alongside future India captain Mohammad Azharuddin and several other state-level cricketers. He has also played alongside off-spinner Arshad Ayub.
Career of Harsha Bhogle
Harsha has always had a special connection with cricket. He was a cricket player for the APCA and started commentating with All India Radio at a young age of 19. At the age of 30, in 1991-92, he was invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India’s cricket series before the 1992 World Cup. He has worked for ABC Radio Grandstand and for the BBC in 1996 and 1999 Cricket World Cups.
He has been presenting live cricket from all around the world for ESPN STAR Sports since 1995and was part of the “Few Good Men” commentary team that included Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Alan Wilkins along with Geoff Boycott and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Solely for ABC Radio, he has covered the 2011-12 series in Australia. He has also been actively involved in covering Indian Premier League since 2009. He has also been a host of several programs like “Harsha Online”, “Harsha Unplugged” and “School Quiz Olympiad” for ESPN and Star Sports.
He is such a sensation in the country that a reality TV show was made in an attempt to search more broadcasting talent in India. The show was named: “Harsha ki Khoj”.
He has also been a host of BBC’s Travel India, Business Today’s Acumen Business Quiz and debate competitions. Cricinfo even voted him the favourite TV cricket commentator based on a worldwide poll.
He is honoured for his knowledge in cricket that he also served as the advisor to the Mumbai Indians for the 2008 IPL. Ian Bishop gave him a seat in 2013 in the commentary to conduct the final interviews at Sachin Tendulkar’s final test match.
He is an active user of Twitter and previously contributed to ESPN Cricinfo and now on starsports.com.
Currently, Harsha is a host of a weekly show called “This Week’s Special” aired on Star Sports.
The show is based on the concept of taking back the viewers in time to make them relive past cricketing memories. The first episode was aired from 1 October 2015.
Also, he has been a part of Times Group subsidiary Cricbuzz since 2016, and now writes articles along with video analysis.
Currently, he is one of the Board of Governors of IIM Udaipur.
Struggles and Challenges
The road to success and fame is never easy and it wasn’t easy for Bhogle as well. He had to prove himself at every step. Obstacles came but he managed to cross them all.
After he quit his corporate job, he worked with Professional Management Group (a sports syndication company), before deciding to go on his own.
Depending on his wife’s income unlike the patriarchal Indian society (which is now changing) he could have the courage to follow his dreams.
His trip to Australia in 1991 was an unpaid opportunity.
It wasn’t easy to fund his trip. He used to write articles in the lunch break for the Afternoon Despatch and Courier and for Indian Express at the close of play while doing commentary all day long.
He went to South Africa in 1993 along with Suresh Saraiya to do commentary for AIR, he covered up his costs by delivering brief reports to BBC World Service.
He had once said: “Whenever the BBC World Service would come up, Suresh Saraiya would do commentary and I would pop out, do my BBC World Service report and come because they would be paying almost 50 percent of my entire cost.”
The fact that he is not a cricketer has come up as an obstacle several times in his career.
But he says: “A lot of people think cricket commentary is about technique, and they are partly correct. A lot of people think cricket commentary is about stats, and they are partly correct. Very few people think that cricket is about emotions. Eventually, all sport is about emotions of winning and losing, of joys and disappointments, about the aspirations that are dashed. It’s about unexpected things that happen to you, and it happens through the process of scoring runs and taking wickets.”
BCCI sacked Bhogle from the commentary in April 2016 based on alleged criticism from Indian cricket players. It was a complete surprise or rather a shock for him as he had already conducted the Season 9 draft auction, had featured in the league’s promotional videos, was in the commentators’ 51-day-long duty roster, and even had his flight booked by the production house.
According to the BCCI speculations, Mr Bhogle got in an argument with some cricket official at the event as he wanted him to open the door. The announcement came after this information had reached Nagpur –based BBCI president Shashank Manohar.
Being a bilingual commentator, he had to continually switch between Hindi commentary box and English Commentary box, which was separated by the President’s VIP enclosure box. What’s the big deal? Well, the VIP box was kept shut by the officials making it difficult for the commentators to make quick transitions. Bhogle had also said that because of the tight deadlines, he was at times panting, as he went on air.
Bhogle opened up about the incident ahead of the 10th edition of the IPL.
In an interview to a national paper, Bhogle said: “No one told me what the matter was. If someone had said ‘You’re not good enough’, that would’ve been fine. Some big players have been told that. Suppose I was told I violated broadcasting ethics, even that would have been fine. But nobody could look me in the face and tell me, ‘This is the reason’.”
Several reports said that some senior players in the Indian cricket team were not happy about Bhogle’s remarks in the ICC World T20.
About this, Mr Bhogle had said: “I do miss the generation that’s gone. Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), Anil (Kumble), Sourav (Ganguly), Srinath, (VVS) Laxman… It was a beautiful generation, where I never had to worry about what I’m saying. When Sachin was struggling, I once said, ‘Here’s an emperor walking the streets like a common man’. I did not hear back from anyone that, ‘Sachin did not like that’.”
He, however, made his return to commentary box during India’s West Indies tour for a full fixture series.
The talented Harsha Bhogle is known not just for his voice but also for the power of his pen. He has published and authored several books. He is the author of Mohammad Azharuddin’s biography and has a collection of columns in the Indian Express’s Out of the Box – Watching the Game We Love.
He is also the author of “Hitting Hard” column in the Chennai based “The Sportstar” a subsidiary of The Hindu group of Publications.
The multi-talented man along with his wife has also co-authored a book titled “The Winning Way” which is based on business knowledge drawn from the sporting world. Ten years of sports based communication work and experienced yielded this book. The book has received well over 400 invitations and is a certified national bestseller.
Harsha Bhogle Net Worth
It’s not just the cricketers who enjoy a remarkably good income. Cricket commentators are no less when it comes to a handsome pay. According to several sources, the estimated net worth of Harsha Bhogle is approximately $100k-1M.
Harsha Bhogle Quotes
Mr Bhogle is known for his witty quotes on several occasions during cricket commentary. Examples of such quotes are a lot but let’s present you with five of his best quotes.
*When Clarke was waiting for the Umpire decision: I think he is waiting for tomorrow’s newspaper to declare him out.
*When Sachin got out to a part-time bowler: Oh what a shame. It was reminiscent of a soldier who survived the war when all the bullets were flying by his nose and then got run over by a bicycle in his native town.
*On Shakib Al Hasan’s slow bowling: Even the shadow would go faster than the ball.
*On Ravindra Jadeja’s funny haircut: It seems Jadeja was having a haircut and realised just after it started, it wasn’t good, so left midway.
*A way to look at things: If I cannot be Tendulkar then Tendulkar can also not be me.
Awards and Recognition
Let’s recap this great man’s achievements for you.
*Won Hero Honda‘s Indian Television Academy award twice and the Ceat Cricket Ratings award as the best television commentator and presenter
*ITA awarded him the Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2008
*Rajiv Gandhi Award for outstanding work in the media
*Voted the best commentator across radio and television on an internet poll in Australia in 2003-04
*The Hindustan Times called him “the greatest icon of cricket commentary” and in a reader poll, he was voted the most popular commentator
*Voted as the most favourite cricket commentator in a worldwide internet poll on the popular cricket portal Cricinfo
*Rated as the possessor of the “sexiest voice on the radio” in Australia in 1992
*Voted by Gentleman Magazine as one of “50 men you want to know better”
*He has covered over 100 test matches and 400 one-day internationals. He has also hosted first two T20 World Championships and football World Cup 2006.
*Voted by Outlook as one of eight people who have changed the way their profession is perceived.
*He has been ranked at no. 35 on power list of sports illustrated in 2010 and among top 35 Social media influencer on Pinstorm
*He has also been featured by BBC World in their series “Face to Face” on Young Achievers in January 2001.
Bhogle’s fresh perspective on sports makes watching the sport all the more interesting and fun. Accepted across all cultures, this man has become a role model for many.
This TV presenter definitely serves as a source of great inspiration for those who are scared to take the less taken path; who want to do only what their educational qualifications allow them. No one is asking you to leave your jobs but if you feel you have a passion for something, now is the time to take that plunge you have been waiting for.