Actress Anushka Sharma, who is also the wife of Team India’s Cricket captain Virat Kohli, has refuted claims made by former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer that Indian selectors were seen bringing her cups of tea during a World Cup match in England earlier this year.
The actress, who claimed that she was a “self-made, independent woman who only happens to be the wife of a cricketer”, responded to Engineer’s allegations through a statement which she posted on her Instagram page.
Her statement read, “I have always been of the opinion that maintaining silence on false and 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 and truth embedded in the shadow of my silence.
“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 against me seem true but that ends today.
“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.
“My name was used for false stories to make it look like the board was being bothered for my tickets or security, 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 a 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. 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.
“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 and 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.
“…And for the record, I drink coffee.”