We've time and again seen wives and girlfriends facing strong criticism if their partners lose a match or fail to lift their game, especially in cricket. Slamming this orthodox mindset, Tennis star Sania Mirza hit out at people who see wives of players as a distraction.
Recently, Sania attended India Economic Summit in Mumbai where she said, "Such attitude stems from a deeper problem which says that a woman is a distraction she cannot be a strength."
"What does that mean? What is it that the women are doing that is going to distract the men so much?" Mirza asked.
The tennis-pole bearer, who is also the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, took up Indian Cricket Team skipper Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma's example and said, "Anushka is blamed if Virat makes a zero, like what does that have anything to do with anything. It makes no sense."
Well, this reminds us of Anushka's statement back in 2015, when she was constantly trolled and blamed for Virat getting out for a duck. Anushka had said, "I don’t want to take credit for his (Kohli’s) performance nor be blamed for his poor performance. My relationship with the person has nothing to do with my profession or the person’s profession."
"I don’t like the term 'distraction.' Why is it that person being viewed as a distraction? Why can’t the person be strength to somebody, a supporter, a morale booster. Why is it a distraction? Because you are attaching a physical relationship? I find it extremely primitive," added Anushka.
Not just once, Anushka had to face the backlash multiple times for her husband's performance in the game.
Here are a few other instances when wives faced the criticism for a missed catch or a wicket:
India's loss against New Zealand this year in the semi-final was not an easy one for all of us, but Rakhi Sawant took the entire situation to another level. She blamed the wives of each and every Indian cricketer for their poor performance against the kiwis. She even pulled a satire by calling the tournament a "Honeymoon Cup" and "not World Cup". You got to be kidding me, Rakhi!
It was on June 16, 2019, when India defeated Pakistan in the World Cup Tournament, owing to the quite evident poor performance by the Pakistanis. But trolls and even politicians from Pakistan gave some amusing reasons for the defeat. They called Sania Mirza (tennis star and former Pak Cricket team captain Shoiab Malik's wife) an irresponsible wife and schooled her instead for not asking her husband to rest and not party till 2 in the morning, a day ahead of the crucial India-Pak faceoff.
In April this year, hit three massive sixes and two fours when Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) locked horns with Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an Indian Premier League match. But, this wasn't enough for Rajasthan Royals to seal a victory against Kings XI Punjab. Stuart's wife, Mayanti Langer faced became a target for trolls on social media for his performance. This wasn't the first time for Mayanti as well. Reacting to a similar controversy around Mayanti Langer in 2016, cricket commentator Mandira Bedi had said, "Blaming a partner for performance failure is both baseless as well as silly."
When Sangeeta Bijlani attended the 1996 World Cup semi-final, she was accused of "distracting" her then-boyfriend and Indian Cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin after India lost the match.
Sharmila Tagore was constantly criticised anytime the then captain Nawab Masur Ali Khan Pataudi failed to perform as expected. "I never accompanied my husband even during overseas tournaments, no matter how much I wanted to, because somehow I was always held responsible for his poor performance".
Even now, many other cricketers' wives and girlfriends whether it is Ritika Sharma (Rohit Sharma's wife) or Sakshi Dhoni, all of them draw flak for the same reasons.
As time passes, we can only hope for a change. It is impossible to acknowledge this 'Einstein level' reasoning! If you know what I mean!
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