If some one were to wake me up at 2 am in the mid night and ask me to name one commentator, with out slightest of hesitation, Harsha would be the first name that will come out of my mouth. Some of the other names that would come while one talks about commentators (but not at mid night) would be Sunny Gavaskar, Shaz- Ravi Shastri, Wilko- Allan Wilkins, Waaz-Wasim Akram , Ian Chappel, Tony Greig and mums favorite boy Geoff Boycott.
Harsha A. Bhogle was born in Hyderabad, 19th July 1961 in Maharashtrian Konkanastha Brahmin family. Advertising was his first love. He graduated from IIM-Ahmedabad in 1985. His first commentary stint was a Ranji Trophy Match played between Hyderabad and Kerala, when he was just 19!!
Any guesses on his international debut as a commentator? It was way back in 1992, he was invited by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation during India’s Australian Tour. Incidentally it was our Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s first tour of Australia. Since 1998, he has been presenting live cricket from all around the world for ESPN-Star Sports. He has covered more than 50 test matches and almost 300 ODIs.
He has been hosting shows like Harsha Online and Harsha Unplugged.
In any wild stretch of imagination one can’t imagine that he is Indian Cricket’s first non player celebrity. One peculiar style I have noticed about him and that’s what makes me wonder whether he is a left hander.Whenever he speaks his left hands does lot of movements and his fingers keep on moving as if he were writing in air. His face is all smiles and always wears a stretched smile on his face all the while and he doe not have any qualms about scarcity of hair on his head.
Anil Kumble would be a proud person to know the fact that he is Harsha’s all time favorite player. Anil is a big heart, very tough and extremely understated soft spoken person. He likes the players who let their performance speak for themselves which includes Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. He likes Ganguly for his aggression. As a child his cricketing idols were Sunil Gavaskar and BS Chandrasekhar and he used to copy their style more often than not. His personal favorite test match is the one India beat England at Leeds in 2002.According to him, India took bold decisions, batted brilliantly in bowler friendly conditions and the spinners won the game on the last day.
One thing I remember is that in one of the matches, there was some discussion going on about the coaches using too much of technology, they use laptops etc. So the fellow commentator asked him if he uses a laptop, to which he quietly replied that
“I am still working on my desktop to earn a laptop”
Harsha clearly sets an example of how a person can be extremely witty yet have his feet on the ground!!