New Delhi: Former India cricketer Farokh Engineer on Thursday cleared the air on his statement that all that the BCCI selectors did during the World Cup in England earlier this year was fetch "cups of tea" for actress Anushka Sharma, the wife of India captain Virat Kohli.
Engineer said that the comment was made in jest and that he never intended to demean Anushka.
"I just said it in a jest and it's being made a mountain out of a molehill. Poor Anushka has been dragged into it, she is a lovely girl. Virat Kohli is a brilliant captain and coach Ravi Shastri is extremely good. The entire matter is being blown up unnecessarily. It turned out to be a selector as he was wearing an all India blazer", Engineer told Republic TV.
Controversy erupted after the former India wicketkeeper came down heavily on the senior national selection committee, saying all that the selectors were doing during the World Cup in England earlier this year was getting Anushka Sharma "cups of tea", according to a report in the Times Of India.
"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 cups of tea," Engineer said.
Anushka had posted a long tweet on Thursday, reacting to the claims made by Engineer.
"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 on Twitter.
She also said that her name should not be used by anyone to criticise the selection committee.
"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," Anushka wrote.
Being captain Kohli's wife, Anushka is often seen accompanying him on tours and she is also spotted at stadia during matches. She has been trolled heavily whenever India or Kohli flopped on the field.
In Thursday's tweet, Anushka also denied ever bothering the BCCI for tickets and security. "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," Anushka wrote.