Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has issued an extraordinary clarification after former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer revealed that he saw one selector serve her team during this year’s cricket World Cup. In a hard-hitting rebuttal, Anushka said that she was determined to not remain silent on allegations hurl at her linking to the Indian cricket team.
“I have stayed quiet through all the times I was blamed for the performance of my then boyfriend, now husband Virat and continue to take the blame for the most baseless things involving Indian cricket. I kept quiet then. My name has been used in fabricated stories
claiming that I am part of close-door team meetings and influenced selection processes and I have kept silent. My name has been wrongfully used to say how I have been given preferential treatment or how I have overstayed my authorised time with my husband on
foreign tours which if anyone really cared about finding facts from the board, would know that I have always and always followed protocol but yet, I kept quiet,” Anushka said in a statement.
The Bollywood actress added that she had ‘always been of the opinion that maintaining silence on false & fabricated news and stories against one is the best way to deal with your detractors.’ This is how I have handled my career for 11 years now. I always saw dignity & truth embedded in the shadow of my silence,” she added.
“They say, say a lie so many times repeatedly that it starts to look like the truth and I am afraid this is what has been happening with me. My silence has made the lies spitted (sic) against me seem true but that ends today,” Anushka continued.
Her reaction came after Engineer, now settled in England, was quoted by Times of India as saying, “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.”
Explaining that she drank coffee, Anushka wrote, “It’s not like this last piece of ‘news’ has upset me more and that’s why I have decided to break my silence. They have all been as regressive and horrible and malicious and vicious So, don’t take this letter as my retort to this ‘news Today, I have decided to speak up because someone’s silence cannot be taken as their weakness. I am not and will not be a pawn to be used by anyone’s thoughts or beliefs or agendas and next time you want to use my name to discredit someone or the board or even my husband, do it with facts and proof & leave me OUT of it. I have led my life, built my own career with utmost dignity and I am not going to compromise that for anything. Maybe, it’s hard for some to believe that. because, I am a self-made, independent woman who only happens to be the wife of a cricketer.”
Anushka had also courted controversy during India’s World Cup campaign in England when she featured in the group photo of the Indian cricket team at the Indian High Commission in London. Recaaling that controversy, she wrote, “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.
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) October 31, 2019
“An official clarification was issued by the board on the same and I still kept quiet. And 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! 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.”
India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final to get knocked out of the World Cup. Hosts England later defeated New Zealand in a thrilling encounter to lift their first-ever World Cup.