Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday clarified on what he actually meant by the comments he made on Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma during Match 6 of IPL 2020 between Royal Challengers Bangalore’s match against Kings XI Punjab.
Controversy erupted when Gavaskar said, “ab jo lockdown tha toh unhone sirf Anushka ke saath bowling ki practice ki hai, usse toh kuch bhi nahi banna”. But the comment didn’t go down well with Kohli and Anushka’s fans who immediately started to troll the legendary cricketer on social media.
Virat Kohli’s wife, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, was also miffed with Gavaskar’s comments on air and came up with a reply of her own on social media.
But Gavaskar clarified that people completely misunderstood and misquoted him which had led to this controversy.
Gavaskar said that whenever Kohli scores a century nobody gives credit to Anushka Sharma for it and that he is one of the first to raise this issue whenever it crops up. He further added that he was always in favour of wives and girlfriends (WAGs) be allowed on tours with the players because cricket is also a profession for us just like everybody else.
He then went on to explain that his words were being twisted and what he merely meant was that players couldn’t practice properly during the lockdown and gave the example of the video of Kohli playing tennis-ball cricket with Anushka Sharma inside the complex of their housing society in Mumbai which went viral on social media.
“As you hear from the commentary, Aakash and I were doing commentary for the Hindi channel. And Aakash was talking abot the fact that there has been very little chance for proper practice for everybody. That has actually shown in the rustiness of some of the players in their first matches.
“Rohit didn’t strike the ball well in his first match, MSD didn’t strike the ball well, Virat also didn’t strike the ball. Most of the batsmen have because of the lack of practice.
“That was the point that was being made. Virat also had no practice and the only practice that they had when they were seen them playing in their building compund and Anushka was bowling to him. That’s what I saidd. 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 am I being sexist in this? I am just stating what was seen in the video which was maybe recorded by somebody in the neighbouring buildings and then put up. That’s the only thing I am doing,” Gavaskar told India Today
“The point I am trying to make is that there was no practice for anybody, including Virat in the lockdwon. I am not being sexist. If somebody, has interpreted it, what can I do?.
“I would like to say it again. Where am I blaming her? I am not blaming her. I am only saying that the video said that she was bowling to Virat. Virat has played only that bowling during the lockdown period. It’s a tennis ball, a fun game that people have to pass time during the lockdown. That’s all. Where am I blaming her for Virat’s failures?
You know me, I am the one who has always batted for wives going with husbands on tour. I am the one that a normal guy going to the office for a 9-5 job, when he comes back home, he comes back to his wife. Similarly, cricketers, when they go out for a tour or even when they are playing at home, why can’t they have their wives with them?
Because after their working hours are over, they have to get back to their wives like every other common man does. So I am not blamming her,” Gavaskar added further.