Backlash erupts as Harbhajan Singh makes sexist comments during ODI World Cup 2023 final

ODI World Cup 2023, Cricket News: Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh's sexist remarks on Anushka Sharma and Athiya Shetty during the final of ODI World Cup 2023 stirred outrage and criticism

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Sarah Andrew
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Harbhajan Singh, Anushka Sharma, Athiya Shetty ( Source: Twitter)

Australia emerged victorious in the ODI World Cup 2023 final, defeating India by 6 wickets, sparking jubilant celebrations in the Australian camp. However, the moment of triumph was marred by controversy as former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh's sexist remarks during the match stirred outrage and criticism.

Harbhajan Singh, who was in the commentary box during the final, made a controversial comment directed at Bollywood actors Anushka Sharma and Athiya Shetty, wives of Indian cricketers Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, respectively. Singh observed the two actresses engaged in conversation in the stands and suggested that they might be discussing films, implying a lack of cricket knowledge on their part. This comment was met with widespread condemnation for being disrespectful and insensitive.

Fans and members of the cricket fraternity took to social media to express their displeasure, condemning Harbhajan Singh's remarks as regressive and inappropriate. Many criticized him for perpetuating gender stereotypes and undermining the achievements and knowledge of successful women.

Controversial commentary: Harbhajan Singh's sexist remarks during ODI World Cup Final

During the match, the camera zoomed in on Anushka Sharma and Athiya Shetty, leading to the commentators discussing family superstitions. While one commentator highlighted the family members' traditions, Harbhajan Singh said," Yahi main soch raha tha ki baat cricket ki ho rahi hogi ya phir films ki..kyunki cricket ke baare mein toh main jaanta nahi kitni samajh hogi."

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Several fans pointed out the irony of Harbhajan Singh's comments, considering his marriage to Bollywood actress Geeta Basra. Singh, who tied the knot with Basra in 2015, has two children with her. Fans questioned the double standard in Singh's remarks, emphasizing the need for equal respect for women, irrespective of their profession.

Both Anushka Sharma and Athiya Shetty are prominent figures in the Indian film industry and have been supportive partners to their cricketer husbands. Anushka Sharma married Virat Kohli in 2017, and the couple welcomed their daughter, Vamika, in January 2021. Athiya Shetty, who married KL Rahul in January 2023, has been a constant presence in the stands, cheering for her husband and the Indian team.

As Australia basks in the glory of their ODI World Cup triumph, the controversy sparked by Harbhajan Singh's sexist remarks serves as a reminder of the importance of promoting gender equality and discouraging stereotypical attitudes. The incident has prompted discussions about the need for respectful and inclusive commentary in the world of cricket, urging everyone involved to recognize and appreciate the achievements of women in sports and beyond.

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