‘Someone Making Headlines, Don’t Listen’: Gavaskar on Anushka Row
Sunil Gavaskar says ‘someone else is trying to make headlines’ but added that his conscience is clear.
My comments on Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actor and wife of Royal Challengers Bangalore and India captain Virat Kohli, have been misinterpreted, former India captain and commentator Sunil Gavaskar clarified on Friday, 25 September.
Gavaskar faced social media backlash after a comment on Kohli during the match against KXIP, where he mentioned the Indian skipper’s wife and was presumed to be hinting that she was the reason behind Virat’s poor run in the IPL so far.
However, Gavaskar, on the official broadcast of Star Sports on Friday, said ‘my conscience is clear... I didn’t blame anyone or say anything sexist’.
"I want to tell everyone – go back and watch the clip and listen to it and then say whatever you want. Someone is making headlines, don’t listen to them. Use your ears and your eyes and watch it, and then say what you want. My conscience is clear... I didn’t blame anyone or say anything sexist," said Gavaskar on Star Sports.
Earlier, in an interview to India Today, Gavaskar clarified that the conversation during commentary was about players not getting time to practice during the lockdown and in that, Gavaskar mentioned that the only time Kohli had been spotted getting time to play was when he was spotted on the roof of their home, playing a friendly game of cricket.
"As you heard from the commentary, Aakash (Chopra) and I were doing commentary for a Hindi channel. And Aakash was talking about 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," Gavaskar told India Today.
“Rohit (Sharma) didn’t strike the ball well in his first match, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) didn’t strike the ball well, Virat (Kohli) also didn’t strike the ball. Most of the batsmen have because of the lack of practice,” he said.
Gavaskar further explained: "That was the point that was being made. Virat also had no practice and the only practice that they had, was when they were seen them playing in their building compound and Anushka was bowling to him. That's what I said.”
"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 said that the point he was trying to make was that there was "no practice for anybody, including Virat in the lockdown".
“I am not being sexist. If somebody has interpreted it, what can I do?” he said.
"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 (with) during the lockdown. That's all. Where am I blaming her for Virat's failures?"
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