Sunil Gavaskar: I have not been sexist, never blamed Anushka Sharma
Sunil Gavaskar insists his comments on RCB skipper Kohli and actor wife have been misinterpreted.
Sunil Gavaskar on Friday found himself in the midst of a controversy for a comment on India skipper Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma but the legendary batsman asserted that his remarks, construed as sexist, were misinterpreted. Kohli had a bad day in the office on Thursday when he led Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kings XI Punjab. He dropped KL Rahul twice and managed only a run off five balls in RCB's chase. While Kohli was still at crease, Gavaskar said, "he hasn't had the chance to do the practice you need. He always wants… he knows that the more he practises the better he will be. And during the lockdown, he has only practised against the bowling of Anushka as seen in that video. That is not going to be enough."
Gavaskar was speaking in Hindi when he made the comment.
Fans lash out at Sunny
However, the comment did not go down well with Kohli and Anushka's fans and some even demanded his sacking from the commentary panel, lashing out at him on social media. Reacting to it, Anushka also issued a statement on her Instagram page and said that Gavaskar's message was "distasteful." She was livid that her name was unnecessarily mentioned by a respected personality like him.
She wrote, "That, Mr Gavaskar, your message is distasteful is a fact but I would love for you to explain why you thought of making such a sweeping statement on a wife accusing her for her husband's game?
Anushka hits back
"I am sure over the years you have respected the private lives of every cricketer while commentating on the game. Don't you think you should have equal amount of respect for me and us? "I am sure you can have many words and sentences in your mind to use to comment on my husband's performance from last night or are your words only relevant if you use my name in the process? "...Respected Mr Gavaskar, you are a legend whose name stands tall in this gentleman's game. Just wanted to tell you what I felt when I heard you say this."
Gavaskar though said his comments were not understood in right context. The remark according to Gavaskar was in reference to a video clip where Kohli and Anushka were seen enjoying some tennis ball cricket in their compound. "Firstly, I would like to say, where am I blaming her, I'm not blaming her. I am only saying that the video showed she was bowling to Virat. He has only played that much bowling in this lockdown period," Gavaskar told India Today.
"It is a tennis ball fun game that people have to pass time during the lockdown, so that's all, so where am I blaming her for Virat's failures?" Gavaskar also rubbished social media allegations of him making a sexist comment. "I'm the one who has always batted for wives going with husbands on tours," he said. He also spoke of his fellow commentator. "As you can hear from the commentary, Aakash [Chopra] was talking about the fact there has been very little chance for any proper practice in the lockdown, for everybody.
'Some players are rusty'
"That has actually shown in rustiness of some of the players in their first matches. Rohit [Sharma] didn't strike the ball well, now in the second match he has got runs, MSD [Mahendra Singh Dhoni] didn't strike the ball well in the first match." "...Anushka was bowling to him, so that's what I said, that's the only bowling, I have not used any other word. She was bowling to him, that's all, where am I blaming her, where I am being sexist in this?
"...I have not been sexist, if somebody has interpreted it, what can I do," Gavaskar asked.
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