Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 13:
Celebrated cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle was at his talkative, witty best here today as he regaled a large gathering at a function to mark the 30th anniversary of Sambad, the leading vernacular newspaper in Odisha.
Speaking extempore, though with the help of a few slides, on the topic “The Winning Ways” at Hotel Swosti Premium this afternoon, Bhogle divided his presentation into 11 neat sections, each propounding a ‘mantra’ for success. The number of ‘mantras’ was chosen in tune with the number of players in a team in most popular games, including the one he has commentated on for so long, he explained helpfully.
The biggest of his 11 mantras was: “The fear of losing is the biggest hurdle to winning.”
“Even a four-year old in our country is made to understand what failure is while seeking admission to a nursery school,” Bhogle said.
Expounding on his point, the popular Star Sports anchor asked the audience whether it was better to lose a limited over game by 20 runs without really trying to win than losing it by 60 runs in trying to win.
He recalled a column written by former Australian captain Steve Waugh shortly after Michael Clarke was dropped from the team describing it as the ‘best thing’ that could have happened to his ambition of leading the Aussie side some day.
“More often than not, winning is not about doing the spectacular, but doing the small things well,” Bhogle said illustrating his point by conjuring up a cricketing scenario where a batsman is forced to play a rash shot after four of his shots are stopped by close in fielders and perishing in the process.
Complacency is the biggest enemy of long term success, Bhogle said. “It has to be constant striving to better yourself. You can be good and safe or take a shot at greatness. If you are not better today than you were yesterday, you are finished,” he said.
Emphasising the need to constantly reinvent oneself, the only non-cricketer in the cricket commentary box these days said; “If you don’t adapt yourself for the new ways of playing the game, you soon become obsolete.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of Eastern Media Limited (EML) and Editor of ‘Sambad’ Soumya Ranjan Patnaik christened Bhogle as the ‘high priest’ of Indian cricket.
“If cricket is religion and Sachin Tendulkar is the God, then Harshsa Bhogle is the high priest of Indian cricket,” Patnaik said emphasising the point that he was a ‘cricket star’ without ever playing the game.
The course that Bhogle had chosen for himself should be an eye opener for parents in the state who push their children to get into the IIT or the IIM and the youth who seldom think beyond their pay packets, Patnaik said.
“With his degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad, he could have risen to the top in the corporate sector. But he chose to follow his heart and made a success in the new career he opted for,” the Sambad Editor said.
Rajya Sabha member and IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal, in contrast, described Bhogle as the ‘voice’ of Indian cricket.
Curiously, Bhogle described himself as the ‘Sanjaya’, faithfully reporting what he saw in the Mahabharat that is Indian cricket.
Earlier, Ms Monica Nayar Patnaik, the joint managing director (JMD) of EML, introduced the guests.
Employees of Sambad, who have completed 30 years with the newspaper, were felicitated on the occasion.