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Happy Birthday Harsha Bhogle – You make watching cricket fun!

When live broadcasting of cricket matches started, it was often felt that you had to play the game at the highest level to be able to commentate on it. This often led to drab sessions, when not much happened in the game and commentators too did not have the acumen or command over the language to keep us hooked to it. This man changed all that – his educational background, his command of languages (both English and Hindi), his perfect understanding of the game and its historical anecdotes and most importantly his ready wit, endeared him to the masses, who followed the game on television.

Harsha Bhogle, was born to Marathi speaking parents, based in Hyderabad both of them Professors; his father A.D. Bhogle taught French while his mother Shalini Bhogle taught Psychology. After completing his schooling from Begumpet’s Hyderabad Public School, he graduated in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University and went on to complete his PGDM from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. This was followed by couple of years work each in an Advertising Company followed by a Sports Management Company.

As a player, Harsha was restricted to Division A cricket in Hyderabad and had also played the Rohinton Baria Tournament representing Osmania University. Commenting for cricket matches, however, started very early when he did the same for All India Radio at only 19 years of age. The passion and love for the game went on to make him one of the best commentators of the world, in the last 25 years and he continues to reinvent himself, to cater to the tastes of every new generation. Cricket website Cricinfo users, in a worldwide survey, voted him the favorite television commentator for cricket. He has hosted a number of television programs that have been widely popular including Harsha Online, Harsha Unplugged and Harsha Ki Khoj (a show that attempted to identify new commentating talent in India).

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The best quality of Harsha Bhogle is that he is not intimidated by threats of losing benefits and does not deter from speaking the truth. In April 2016, at the behest of some Indian cricketers, whose performances he had criticized, he was dropped from BCCI’s commentary panel. It is said that the decision was actually triggered when he refused to open the door for some pompous cricket official. The richest cricket body in the world, subsequently realised its mistake and reinstated him in the commentary panel. Another ex-cricketer, tried to intimidate him in the commentary box subsequently, pointing out to the fact that he had never played the game at the highest level – severe public criticism to this action resulted in that cricketer being dropped from the commentary panel.

Harsha is married to Anita, his classmate from IIM Ahmedabad, and the two have co-authored a book ‘The Winning Way’, which talks of Business Knowledge derived from the world of sports. They also are owners of a communication consultancy that specializes in sports called Prosearch. The couple reside in Mumbai along with their two sons, Chinmay and Satchit. Harsha also serves in the Board of Directors of IIM Udaipur.

We wish, Harsha Bhogle, born 19th July 1961, a very Happy 59th Birthday. May you continue to entertain, enthrall and enlighten all cricket lovers with your enormous knowledge of the game for years to come.

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