Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (Credits:Getty)

Former India allrounder Irfan Pathan has thrown his support behind Sunil Gavaskar who recently faced criticism from Anushka Sharma as well as several cricket fans for his on-air comments. The former India skipper made the comment during Thursday’s match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.

The comment led to a Twitter meltdown with several users calling his comment sexist and also slamming him for getting personal. Things escalated when Anushka herself took to social media and expressed her disappointment with the remarks through a post on Instagram.

“Ab jo lockdown tha toh unhone sirf Anushka ke saath bowling ki practice ki hai, usse toh kuch bhi nahi banna (During the lockdown, he has only practiced against Anushka’s bowling. Nothing was to come out of it.).”

Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Haircut
Virat Kohli with Anushka Sharma (Credits – Twitter)

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Later on Friday, Sunil Gavaskar issued a clarification and stated that his comments  on Anushka and Virat Kohli were taken out of context. And he has now received some much-needed support from his fellow commentator Irfan Pathan. At a time when the social media is flooded with messages criticising the former cricketer, Irfan Pathan took to Twitter to support Gavaskar, writing:

“Always respect #SunilGavaskar sir always”

Sunil Gavaskar’s clarification:

Earlier in the day, Gavaskar stated that his comments were not sexist and that he was referring to the couple playing cricket in their building compound during the lockdown period.

“As you hear from the commentary, Aakash (Chopra) and I were doing commentary for the 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.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. (Credits: Twitter)

“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 said. 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.

“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?,” he added.

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