Veteran cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar on Friday drew controversy for making an unsavoury comment against Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma after the Indian captain's forgettable outing in the IPL.
After dropping two catches, Kohli, undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to chases, failed with the bat, managing just a run off five balls against Kings XI Punjab here on Thursday night.
In the commentary box, Gavaskar came up with a comment involving Kohli's actor wife Anushka.
Gavaskar reportedly said, “Lockdown mein sirf Anushka ki bowling ki practice kii inhone."
The remark was in bad taste and did not go down well with the RCB skipper's fans, with some of them urging the BCCI to remove Gavaskar from the commentary panel for his 'sexist' statement.
Slamming Gavaskar, Anushka penned down a post in her Instagram stories.
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 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 precess?
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 statements? Respected Mr Gavaskar, you are a legend whose names stands tall in this gentleman’s game. Just wanted to tell you what I felt when I heard you say this."
Gavaskar clarified that he was not being sexist in an interview with India Today. "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?"
The Free Press Journal asked Twitter if Gavaskar's remarks on Anushka Sharma were 'sexist'. And 67.4% of the voters think that his remarks weren't sexist. 28.1% of voters believe it was sexist while 4.5% remain unsure.
Fans across social media slammed Gavaskar for his choice of words. But there were some who spoke in his defence and pointed out that his ‘joke’ was in reference to the friendly match the couple played outside their Mumbai residence amid lockdown.
While Gavaskar did face the wrath of fans across social media for his remark and dragging Anushka over nothing, there were some who stood in support of him and defended his literal quote.