The former India coach Ravi Shastri’s much-awaited return to the commentary box has been put off after he was not named in the commentary panel for India’s series against the West Indies, beginning on February 6.
Ex-India boss was expected to make a comeback after completing his tenure as head coach of the Indian Cricket Team for nearly five years, during which time India saw a lot of success, particularly in the longer format of the game, where they were the No.1 ranked team for a majority of Shastri’s term.
His stint with the national team ended after the T20 World Cup in 2021, where India were disappointingly knocked out in the group stages of the competition.
The BCCI has reportedly shortlisted the commentators who will be in action in the series between India and West Indies. The list has seven commentators – Ian Bishop, Deep Dasgupta, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Karthik, Harsha Bhogle, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, and the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.
This means that Shastri will have to wait on the sidelines for at least a couple of months, possibly till the commencement of the Indian Premier League, to make his return into the commentary box.
The 59-year-old is a celebrated commentator and has been the voice behind many iconic moments in his extensive career, including India’s wins in the 2007 T20 World Cup, as well as the 50-over World Cup in 2011.
India are scheduled to play the Windies in a bilateral series, beginning with three ODIs at Ahmedabad, starting February 6. The two sides will then travel to Kolkata to play three T20Is after the IPL 2022 Mega Auction has taken place. The venues and dates of the series were shifted around to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Sources close to Shastri have also revealed that the World Cup-winning cricketer has opted to take a break from commentary and will take a decision regarding the matter ahead of the IPL, which is reportedly set to begin on March 27.
“He has taken a conscious decision not to take up commentary immediately, at least till the IPL. He has a lot on the table and for two more months he will remain busy. He will think over it after that,”sources close to Shastri have told Times of India.
There have also been rumours that the three Mumbai stadiums will host the event in light of controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Shastri is currently in Oman operating as commissioner for the ongoing Legends’ Cricket League.