Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik was forced to apologise after he fielded a volley of criticism for a sexist remark comparing cricket bats to a “neighbour’s wife” during on-air commentary for the second England-Sri Lanka One-Day International (ODI) match.
The 36-year-old cricketer, who recently debuted as a commentator, was trying to explain that most batsmen do not like their own bats, or find playing gears of teammates better than their own when he came up with the analogy.
“Batsmen and not liking bats, they go hand in hand. Most of the batters don’t seem to like their bats. They either like another person’s bat. Bats are like a neighbour’s wife. They always feel better,” he said in his on-air remarks that went viral.
The right-handed batter faced a torrent of criticism on social media, with users slamming him for his “disgusting” comments and calling him out for “toxic masculinity.”
“Yo Dinesh Karthik, we’re always excited to hear your voice in the background of good games and your analysis has been on point but you gotta do better than that misogynistic joke. Perpetuates the same toxic masculinity that doesn’t need to exist in sport. A joke in poor taste!” a user said.
Several cricket fans demanded an apology from Karthik.
“Dinesh Karthik that was disgusting. Will you apologise?” said another.
The cricketer-turned-commentator issued an apology on Sunday while opening the third ODI between England and Sri Lanka. He said it was definitely not the right thing to say and he got a “stick from my wife and my mum” for his comments.
"I want to apologise for what happened last game. It’s not really what I intended. I just got it all wrong. I apologise to everybody," Karthik said.
"I am really sorry that it shouldn’t happen again. I got a lot of stick from my wife and my mum for saying that," he added.
Karthik forayed into commentating for matches with the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl. He impressed fans with his commentating skills and gave regular weather updates from Southampton.
But this is the second time the Chennai-born star has had to apologise in his short stint as a commentator. Previously he ended up taking a swipe at iconic co-commentator Nasser Hussain.
Hussain praised cricketer Rohit Sharma saying he is a “great puller of the short ball and uses his feet well against spin,” when Karthik quipped, “yes, exactly the opposite of you”.
England secured the victory over the series against Sri Lanka with 2-0 after the third Royal England ODI in Bristol was washed out by rains. The host dismissed the Sri Lankan team all out for 166 in 41.1 overs before rain ruined the match, sparing them a 3-0 washout.