Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has broken his silence on the controversy over sexist remarks made by cricketers KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya on a television show. Speaking to mediapersons ahead of the commencement of the One Day International series against Australia, Kohli said that “as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers, we do not align with those views”.
According to Kohli, the remarks made by Pandya and Rahul were their “personal opinions”. The skipper said, “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, however, added that the controversy would not dent the “spirit” of the team “change the beliefs” in the dressing room.
“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 been able to create,” said Kohli, adding that a decision on their inclusion in the team would be taken once a decision is taken on them by their authorities.
The remark by Kohli comes a day after Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai recommended a ban for two ODIs on Pandya and Rahul. Another CoA member, Diana Edulji. Referred the matter to the legal cell of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
After Pandya faced severe backlash over alleged misogynistic and sexist remarks on the television show, the CoA had issued a showcause notice to both Pandya and Rahul. Responding to it, Pandya had said that he was sincerely regretful for making those comments and would not repeat the behaviour.
Pandya had tweeted that he 'got a bit carried away with the nature of the show' but his intention was not to disrespect anyone.
"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. 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," Pandya wrote on microblogging site Twitter.