After the war of words on Twitter by netizens and even actor Anushka Sharma’s reply, the former Indian team skipper finally broke his silence in an interview with a leading daily.
In the report l, Gavaskar questioned where he was blaming Sharma. According to him, he was simply pointing out the fact (which by the way was seen in the now-infamous video), that she was bowling to Kohli. He added that Kohli was seen practising only bowling during the lockdown and that too with a tennis ball.
He also admitted that what Kohli and Sharma were playing was a fun game that people have been doing to pass their time and that was all. Hence in no way was he blaming Sharma for her husband’s failure, he said.
The controversy can be boiled down to the comment that Gavaskar made on Thursday during the ongoing IPL showdown between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore. From the commentary box Gavaskar said, “Ab joh lockdown tha to sirf Anushka ki bowling ki practice ki unhone, wo video dekhi hai (reference to a viral video), usse to kuch nahi hona hai (During the recent lockdown he only practiced to Anushka’s bowling, I saw a video. But that is not going to be enough),” as Virat Kohli started his batting. He was underwhelming with the bat as he managed to score just one run off five balls in the chase for RCB.
This was a reference to a viral video clip that showed Kohli and Sharma playing a merry game of “home-cricket” during the lockdown. Both Sharma and Kohli were seen batting to each other’s balls.
This comment did not settle well with fans of Kohli and Sharma and many even went ahead to urge the BCCI to remove him from the commentary panel. Sharma took to her Instagram to give a balanced response to the “sweeping comment” as it was not the first for her. 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 of her husband’s game?….”
Gavaskar further added that he has always supported wives going with husband on tour. According to him after their working hours, even cricketers have to go back to their wives like every common man, and hence in no way was he shading Sharma for Kohli’s performance.