‘When lies are spoken so much...’: Virat Kohli opens up on Anushka Sharma-Farokh Engineer controversy

Farokh Engineer, in an interview to a national daily, had slammed the Indian selection committee and went on to say that he had seen them serve tea to Anushka during 2019 ICC World Cup.
File image: Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli along with his wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma(ANI)
File image: Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli along with his wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma(ANI)
Updated on Nov 30, 2019 07:34 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India skipper Virat Kohli has spoken out on the infamous row involving wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and former cricketer Farokh Engineer. Engineer, in an interview to a national daily, had slammed the Indian selection committee and went on to say that he had seen them serve tea to Anushka during 2019 ICC World Cup. Anushka later took to social media to voice her opinion on her name being dragged into the affairs of Indian cricket. Kohli has now spoken out on the issue for the first time and hit out at the lies spoken about them.

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“The value system that she has and her beliefs and the nature she has, it won’t allow her to go against rules and protocols,” Kohli told India Today. “So I don’t know why people have wanted to sensationalize stories by taking her name because she’s a soft target. We both had been ignoring it for a while.”

“When the lies are spoken so much all around, they start becoming truths. So you need to speak up at some stage and that’s exactly what happened recently.

“She came for one World Cup game against Sri Lanka and the family box and the selector box was different, and there was no selector in that box. She came for 1 game with two friends. As I said, she is known, she’s been successful at a very high level so when people take her name, it gets noticed.

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“You want to mention something about the selectors do that, but why join her name with it. We are not people who would go out and start these debates but you have to put the truth out there - the way things actually are and the way they are perceived and accepted are very different. So you need to put across what is happening because you are in those situations yourself,” the India skipper added.

Engineer in an interview to Times of India had said: “We have got a Mickey Mouse selection committee. How are the selectors qualified? Between them, have they played about 10-12 Test matches. I didn’t even know one of the selectors during the World Cup and I asked him ‘who the hell he was’, because he was wearing the India blazer and he said he was one of the selectors. All they were doing was getting Anushka Sharma (Kohli’s wife) cups of tea.”

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Reacting sharply to this comment, Anushka wrote: “I have always been of the opinion that maintaining silence on false and fabricated news and stories against one if the best way to deal with your detractors. This is how I have handled my career for 11 years now. I always saw dignity and truth embedded in the shadow of my silence. 

Later, Engineer made a U-turn after his comments created huge uproar in the country. In an interview to a news channel, Engineer reportedly said he made those comment in the jest of moment.

“I just said it in a jest and it’s being made a mountain out of a molehill,” Engineer was quoted as saying by Republic TV. “Poor Anushka has been dragged into it, she is a lovely girl. Virat Kohli is a brilliant captain and coach Ravi Shastri is extremely good. The entire matter is being blown up unnecessarily. It turned out to be a selector as he was wearing an all India blazer.”

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“Yes, this incident had indeed happened. But I am not criticizing Anushka. She is such a lovely and charming lady. A wonderful human being. She and Virat Kohli are role models. I am not her detractor at all. If she has felt offended I apologize to her. I am so sorry if she felt bad. My ire was only against the selectors whom I found probably not doing their job. Nothing against Anushka or Virat,” he added.

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