May 22, 2018, 11:52 am IST
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Commentator Sushil Doshi  as Sanjaya of Mahabharata

Commentator Sushil Doshi  as Sanjaya of Mahabharata

 Feb 13, 2018

After being in the job for 50 years, ace cricket commentator in Hindi Sushil Doshi on Monday described himself in the role of Sanjaya, one of the protagonists in Mahabharata.

Indore-born Doshi, who is India’s first cricket commentator in Hindi, is in New Delhi to do commentary on South Africa versus ODI series.Doshi spoke exclusively to the UNI on completing 50 years this month as a sports commentator.

He said, "A commentator’s success lies in transforming moments from one place to another, much like Sanjaya in Mahabharata. From Sanjaya’s blow by blow account of the war, King Dhritrashtra could visualise whatever was happening in Kurukshetra. That has been my aim in giving ball by ball account of a match.’’ Doshi, 70, is credited with bringing to the job a certain style, flair for the Hindi language, sense of humour, keen sense of observation, lots of literature and use of terminology that is close to people’s heart. 

Over the years he has evolved into being a sports writer and has written two books, 'Khel Patrakarita' in 2003, and 'Cricket Ka Mahabharat' in 2017. He is now in the middle of a campaign to bring back sports commentary in Hindi to its original glory as against the use of `Hinglish’, which, he says, is an insult to the grammar of Hindi language.

"We wanted to make Hindi commentary a culture. Today we are fighting to save that culture. They are committing hara kiri with expressions like 'cricket kheli (not khela) jaa rahi hai or wicket geela hai (not geeli hai). Once when a player got injured and was limping, someone said, `khiladi ka chaal-chalan kharab ho gaya hai.’ This is a joke with Hindi language. What are we teaching to the young generation?’’ he asked.

Charging the BCCI with ignoring the tinkering with Hindi language commentary, Doshi said, "I have this complaint with BCCI also. They are selling Indian contracts to foreigners, okay, but nobody has given them the right to sell the country’s language. Why have you sold desh ki bhasha? This is my charge.’’

It was his passion for the art of commentary that brought Doshi as a young schoolboy in 1968 to the Indore All-India Radio when word had got around that they were looking for a cricket commentator in Hindi. At the time he was turned back, but when the match (Ranji Trophy between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) actually was to begin and nobody was in sight, Station Director Nagrekar decided to give him a chance. That began a journey which has completed 50 years and is still going strong. He was awarded the Padmashri in 2017.

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