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Virat Kohli’s wife slams Sunil Gavaskar for “distasteful” commentary

Anushka Sharma, India captain Virat Kohli’s wife, has criticised former India captain Sunil Gavaskar for his “distasteful” commentary on Thursday and “accusing a wife for her husband’s game”. In an Instagram story posted the day after Kohli’s team, Royal Challengers Bangalore, lost an IPL match comprehensively, Sharma took objection to a bit of commentary where Gavaskar was discussing Kohli’s lack of practice with co-commentator Aakash Chopra.

In a 34-second clip doing the rounds on social media, Gavaskar is heard saying on air, in Hindi: “He [Kohli] wants to… he knows the more he practises the better he will become. Now there was a lockdown [in India because of the Covid-19 pandemic], and he has practised only against Anushka’s bowling. That is not going to help him a lot.” The comments were made while Kohli was batting.

Gavaskar was possibly referring to a clip circulated on social media during the lockdown where a neighbour had shot Kohli facing throwdowns from Sharma on the terrace of their house. Chopra then goes on to rue the lack of privacy for the couple.

In her post, Sharma says: “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’m sure over the years you have respected the private life of every cricketer while commentating on the game. Don’t you think you should have equal amount of respect for me and us?

“I’m 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 process?

“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 name stands tall in this gentleman’s game. Just wanted to tell you what I felt when I heard you say this.”

On the night, Kohli dropped two catches of opposition captain KL Rahul, who went on to take the game away from Royal Challengers, and then scored one off five balls in a tall chase.

It is also worth mentioning here that when Gavaskar’s comments first went viral on social media, he was misquoted. The initial quote that went around accused Gavaskar of saying, in Hindi, that during lockdown Kohli had practised only with Anushka’s “balls”, and not “bowling” as Gavaskar had originally said.

ESPNcricinfo has reached out to Gavaskar’s team. A comment is awaited.

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