Cricket all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his team buddy KL Rahul, more known for their exploits on the field, are now drawing infamy off it. And where is Karan Johar who started all this? Since this was not a live one , he  could have surely edited them?. The questions were heavily sexist, making it mandatory for those replying, to answer in the same vein. But entertainment being the leitmotif of the idiot box, both cricketers and Bollywood stars now come in the same bracket.

 Hardik Pandya’s comments were crude. As role models, cricketers need to be far more respectful. But while Hardik is being punished for it, the question is how can we ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. For young athletes, dealing with stardom isn’t easy. Money, glamour and fame aren’t easy to handle and there are many who aren’t ready to deal with it all. Hardik is a classic example. In the course of the last two years, he has become a multi-millionaire with an incredible number of fans looking up to him as a role model. People seek him out for autographs, want to pose for pictures with him and share the same social space with him. He is an Indian national team cricketer, which almost literally is one in a billion. It is a heady world.

 Our cricketers need to be mentored. They need to be taught how to deal with the media and conduct themselves in public, even on TV shows. They need to understand where to draw the line. For some, like Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid, things came naturally. For others, like Hardik, we need to make them more sensitive to people’s sentiments.

 - J Akshobya, Secunderabad

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