Virat Kohli reacts to Hardik Pandya’s TV show controversy: We don’t align with those views


India captain Virat Kohli on Friday slammed all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener KL Rahul for the sexist and misogynistic comments they made on a TV show.

“We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don’t align with those views, those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made,” Kohli said at a press conference ahead of the first ODI against Australia in Sydney.

The 30-year-old further added that the team management will have to wait on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision on Pandya and Rahul before arriving at a conclusion on their final playing XI for the first match of the three-ODI series.

“From the Indian cricket team’s point of view, this changes nothing in our beliefs in the change room, it does nothing to the spirit we have have been able to create. Combinations will have to be thought of once the decision comes out,” Kohli said.

“Definitely it has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right. From the combination and team balance point of view, yes, you’ll have to think about the combination you’ll need now,” Kohli said.

“You don’t have control over these things so you have to address it the way it unfolds. That’s how we are looking at it, the combinations will have to be looked at when the decision comes out and from there on we’ll see what needs to be done about the whole situation,” he added.

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are facing strict action from the Indian cricket board and the Committee of Administrators after their appearance on Karan Johar’s celebrity talk show, Koffee with Karan, created a massive stir.

Hardik Pandya along with his good friend and India teammate, KL Rahul made a few borderline racist and sexist comments on the show, hosted by popular filmmaker Karan Johar.

Pandya boasted about his dates and hookups with multiple women and also narrated how he informed his parents about losing his virginity.

“When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, ‘Mein karke aaya hai aaj (I had sex today)’.” Pandya had said on the show.

He added: “At a party, my parents asked me acha tera wala [your women] kaun sa hai, so I said yeh, yeh, yeh [pointing out to some women] and they were like ‘waah proud of u beta’.

When asked by Karan Johar why he doesn’t ask women for their names at nightclubs, Pandya replied: “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.”

HARDIK’S FATHER COMES TO HIS DEFENCE

Reacting to the criticism, Pandya’s father Himanshu told mid-day: “I don’t think people should read too much into his comments. It was an entertainment show and his comments were made in a light-hearted manner.

“He was only looking to entertain the audience. So, it [his comments] should not be viewed very seriously or negatively. He is an innocent boy with a very fun-loving nature.”

Pandya conceded that he had gotten carried away by the “nature of the show”, which is notorious for making celebrities open up on their personal lives.

Nonetheless, the BCCI is mulling a two-match ban for both Pandya and Rahul after issuing a show cause notice to both players following the apology issued by Pandya on Twitter and to the board.

The episode stirred up such a massive controversy in the country that Hotstar, the streaming website, seems to have deleted the particular episode with Pandya and Rahul from its site.

The episode was aired this Sunday on Star World and was available on Star’s OTT platform Hotstar. However, currently all the other episodes of Koffee with Karan are available except for one that featured Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.

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