Inappropriate comments have cast a shadow over India’s Test celebrations and ODI preparations, with Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul facing suspension amid a sexism scandal.
Virat Kohli is waiting to hear from India’s board whether Pandya, a gun allrounder who is normally an automatic selection in India’s one-day team, is free to play Saturday’s SCG series opener.
Pandya and Rahul’s recent appearance on Indian talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’, during which the former detailed how he bragged to his parents about losing his virginity, has created a storm in their homeland.
Kohli moved to distance the Indian cricket team from the controversy on Friday, saying the comments made on the show were “individual opinions”.
“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 told reporters at the SCG.
“From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support.
“This changes nothing in our beliefs in the change room, it does nothing to the spirit we have been able to create.”
Pandya said he “got a bit carried away” as he explained his bragging about his prowess with women on the show that aired Sunday.
“After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way,” Pandya said on Twitter.
“Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments. Respect,” he added.
The show, hosted by Bollywood producer and director Karan Johar, encourages guests to open up on personal matters.
Pandya, who was in the squad that beat Australia for the first time in an away Test series, boasted about his success with multiple women.
“You are just watching and observing how they move as I said I am a little from the black side (influenced by West Indies culture) so I have to see how they (women) move first,” he said.
He was quickly slammed for his views on women.
“#KoffeeWithCricketers was just the worst episode. What’s up with all the #misogyny. Tired of this boys will be boys attitude,” Ekta Chauhan, a Twitter user, wrote.
“To say the least #HardikPandya is horrendous a misogynist,” added another user who called for Indian cricket authorities to take action against the “obnoxious” comments.
Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul’s comments on #KoffeeWithKaran were quite shocking!
Completely brought to light the very behavior / stories that the cricketing fraternity has been trying to hide for all these years.
They were considered as rumours / tall stories once upon a time!
— Ameya Kamath (@AmeyaKamath) January 9, 2019
I condemn the irresponsible behaviour of these tweets cricketers and they need to receive suitable reprimand for their appalling comments. I seriously condemn the comments of Pandya’s Father condoning his son’s offensive comments and statin that they were “innocent”.
— Ramesh Kumar (@rk_mel) January 9, 2019
Hardik Pandya for 'misogynistic & sexist' comments on #KoffeeWithKaran
@imVkohli The Indian cricket team needs sensitivity and gender training how ti behave with women! Big Shame!@AnushkaSharma what is your thinking on it?
They should be banned from cricket all time. pic.twitter.com/03CEUXd208
— Abhishek Pandey sankrityan (@Sankrityanabhis) January 9, 2019
Pandya's apology says he "got carried away because of the nature of the show". That's not an apology, that's an excuse. A real apology would be to say – "Sorry for being an outright jerk." #koffeewithkaran https://t.co/gPL8LUn2Mz
— Sohini (@Mittermaniac) January 9, 2019
How Pandya got 'carried away', comments that led to storm and show cause
Big shame @BCCI should sack them!Are they role models for our youth?Proud about their womanising,targeting women,treating them as objects! @imVkohli Virat pl drop them https://t.co/0JqIAIcZyl
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) January 9, 2019