Dravid said that while they need to educate cricketers, they could not take responsibility for every individual player’s actions.

Players will make mistakes lets not overreact Dravid on Pandya Koffeegate
news Controversy Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 13:18

After Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul’s episode on celebrity chat show Koffee With Karan stirred controversy earlier this month, several people pointed out the difference between Hardik’s crass comments on women and people like Rahul Dravid, who have long been known as one of the gentlemanly cricketers.

The former Indian captain and current head coach of the Under-19 and A teams has recently called Hardik Pandya’s sexist and racist comments on the show a ‘mistake’ and said that while they need to educate cricketers, they could not take responsibility for every individual player’s actions.

Rahul told Sportstar that it was not as though players did not make mistakes in the past and won’t make mistakes in the future as well. “But let’s not overreact please,” he said.

He added that players come from different teams and should be made aware about their roles and responsibilities. “Issues will always be there and we have to educate and guide then. They should be told they can't abuse the system,” Rahul said.

Rahul said that they had been having “lectures” for the Under-19 players before the previous two World Cups and even brought in psychologists. “We had workshops on building roles of responsibility. These lectures are also part of the National Cricket Academy already,” he said.

However, Rahul said that during his playing days, no one gave him a “lecture” and he learnt by watching and observing his seniors in Karnataka. He also said that the best learning process happens in the dressing room with seniors – though the culture of “locker room talk” among boys and men has come under the scanner of late for the casual sexism and misogyny that are part of those conversations.

Reiterating that we must not overreact, Rahul said that people forget that such incidents have happened in the past as well; though they get highlighted more now. That being said, Rahul agreed there was a need to continue mentoring players because the challenges they face on the field are different and they must fulfil their responsibilities as international cricketers.

“It can't be everything was great earlier and everything is bad today,” he said.

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul had appeared on the show Koffee With Karan, hosted by Bollywood director-producer Karan Johar. Hardik made several problematic comments about women and appropriating black culture. Post the backlash, he posted an apology on Twitter saying that he got carried away on the show and did not intend to hurt anyone.

The BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) is now contemplating a behavioural counselling programme for Indian cricketers. The body had also suspended the cricketers, who were called back from playing in the ODI series against Australia and are likely to be barred from the ODI series against New Zealand as well. Their fate will now be decided by a Supreme Court appointed ombudsman.