Almost a year after his objectionable remarks against women during a Koffee with Karan episode were criticised by one and all, Hardik Pandya has said that “the ball was not in my court”.
“We as cricketers did not know what was going to happen. The ball was not in my court, it was in someone else’s court where they had to take the shot and that’s a very vulnerable place, you don’t want to be (in it),” Pandya told India Today’s show ‘Inspiration’.
The two were called back from an ongoing series against Australia at that time and captain Virat Kohli too was openly critical of their comments. Kohli had said that the Indian cricket team did not align with those views.
Both Pandya and Rahul eventually came back after explaining themselves and apologising to the inquiry committee of the BCCI. While Rahul is currently playing in the T20 series against Sri Lanka, Pandya is recovering from a back injury.
In an interview with Huffpost India’s Ankur Pathak, Karan Johar said he had been feeling a lot of guilt over the criticism faced by the two cricketers.
Johar said, “I did not see this coming. I feel immense guilt and helplessness. The show’s nature is frivolous and fun and since the past few seasons, it has some kind of sexual energy going in it. The questions I asked Hardik and KL Rahul are the same that I’ve asked to other men and women. I am a liberal feminist at heart, and if I have offended the sensibilities of women as a result of those questions, I really do apologise because that was not my intent.”
He further added, “I can’t comment on the answers of others because that’s not my place to. But the questions are what I am accountable for. And yes, I take due responsibility for whatever the repercussions and ramifications are. The feeling is of immense guilt at this moment because for me, this is one of the many things I do but for them it’s their job. They play cricket and they are good at what they do.”
(With PTI inputs)