Mumbai: Hardik Pandya has been facing the heat for his controversial remarks about women on Koffee with Karan that was aired on Sunday. The 25-year-old all-rounder provoked a backlash after the comments he made on the celebrity chat show hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar, in which he appeared with India teammate KL Rahul.
On the show, Pandya boasted about hooking up with multiple women and spoke about how open he is with his parents, saying he had once told them after losing his virginity, "aaj mai kar ke aaya."
When the host of the show asked him why didn't he ask women their name in a club, Pandya responded by saying, "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."
A barrage of instant criticism started coming Pandya's way, prompting the Indian Cricket Board to consider banning players from appearing on such chat shows. The controversy heated up to such an extent that on Friday the duo was excluded from India’s ODI series-opener against Australia after Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji recommended a suspension pending inquiry for their controversial comments on women.
However, Hardik Pandya’s father Himanshu has broke silence on the comments made by the flamboyant cricketer. Responding to the criticism, he said that the public should not make too much of Hardik’s comments as they were made on a lighter note with the intention of entertaining the audience.
"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," he was quoted as saying by Mid Day.
Even Pandya had earlier mentioned he had got carried away by the “nature of the show” while apologising for his comments on social media.
In the pre-match media interaction, India captain Virat Kohli condemned the comments made by Pandya and Rahul, calling them "inappropriate".
"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...and that has been communicated (to the two players)," said Kohli.
"...We definitely don't align with those views and those are purely individual views. The two concerned players (have) felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what's happened."
However, the skipper insisted that the dressing room morale won't be affected by the controversy after the historic high of a maiden Test series triumph in Australia....