‘Where am I being sexist in this?’: Sunil Gavaskar responds after receiving flak for ‘inappropriate’ comments regarding Anushka Sharma
IPL 2020: Sunil Gavaskar expressed his side of the story, explaining how his comments related to Anushka Sharma were ‘twisted’ and taken the wrong way.Updated: Sep 26, 2020, 09:06 IST
Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has clarified that his reference to Virat Kohli’s actor-wife Anushka Sharma during commentary was not to blame her for Kohli’s performance.
At one point during Thursday night’s IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, Gavaskar said: “Aur woh (Virat) chahte hai ki, jitney woh practice kare, ussi se to behtar ban sakte hai, woh jaante hai (He wants…he knows, that the way to get better is to practice more)”. Gavaskar was talking about the lack of opportunities to train during the lockdown. Then he referred, jokingly, to a popular video on social media, a small clip in which Kohli can be seen batting in the driveway of his house with Sharma bowling to him.
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“Ab jo lockdown tha, to sirf Anushka ki bowling ki practice ki unhone, who dikha video main, us se to kuch nahi ban na hai. (during the lockdown, he was practicing only on Anushka’s bowling, that won’t help him).”
His fellow commentator Akash Chopra then bemoaned the fact that the couple has such little privacy (it is not known who shot the video and the clip had not been shared by Sharma or Kohli).
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Soon after that, Kohli got out for one, in a match that RCB lost by a heavy margin.
Later, in an Instagram post, Sharma responded to Gavaskar’s comments during the match: 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? 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 other 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?
“It’s 2020 and things still don’t change for me. When will I stop getting dragged into cricket and stop being used to pass sweeping comments?
“Respected Mr. Gavaskar, you are legend whose name stands tall in this gentleman’s game. Just wanted to tell you what I felt when I heard you say this.”
On Friday, Gavaskar gave an interview to India Today and said, “Aakash (Chopra) and I were talking about very little practice for everybody which has shown in rustiness for Rohit, MS Dhoni, Virat everyone in the first match,” Gavaskar said. “Where am I blaming her? Where am I being sexist? I am only stating what was seen in the video. If somebody has interpreted it (differently), what can I do?”
When Gavaskar’s comments first started doing the rounds of social media, he had indeed been misquoted.
Sharma has often been subject to vicious trolling over Kohli’s performances.