Bollywood super star Anushka Sharma, who is married to Team India captain Virat Kohli, has lashed out at former India wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer, who claimed that she was served tea by selectors during the ICC World Cup 2019 in England.
In a report in the Times of India on Thursday, Engineer, who played 46 Tests and five ODIs between 1961 and 1975, made an outrageous claim on the MSK Prasad-led Indian selection panel.
“I didn’t even know one of the selectors during the World Cup and I asked him ‘who the hell he was’, because he was wearing the India blazer and he said he was one of the selectors. All they were doing was getting Anushka Sharma (Kohli’s wife) cups of tea. I feel people with the stature of Dilip Vengsarkar should be in the selection committee,” he said.
In her statement on Thursday, Anushka recalled all those moments where she chose to be quiet despite being unnecessarily dragged into controversies surrounding Indian team’s poor performance on the field. She said that she never received preferential treatment and has always followed the protocol and has bought her own tickets whenever she went to see a match.
“The latest version of these ill intended lies is that I was being served tea by selectors at matches during the World Cup! I came to one game during the World Cup and sat in the family box and not the selectors box as reported but when has the truth mattered when it’s about convenience!” Anushka wrote in her statement she posted on her social media accounts on Thursday.
“If you want to have a comment on the selection committee and their qualifications please do so as it’s your opinion but don’t drag my name into it to substantiate your claim or sensationalise your opinion. I refuse to allow anyone from using my name in such conversations,” she explained.
Anushka said that she was hesitant in standing with the Indian team for a group photo, but nevertheless, did so because the High Commissioner’s wife asked her to.
“My name was used for false stories to make it look like the board was being bothered for my tickets or security, etc when in reality I bought my own tickets for matches and flights and I still kept quiet.
“I was asked to stand in a group photo by the High Commissioner’s wife despite my hesitation to be in it, and a huge issue was created over this blaming me for intentionally wanting to be part of it and the said event, even though I was invited for it. An official clarification was issued by the board on the same and I still kept quiet.”