© Getty Images
Virat Kohli (left) and Anushka Sharma have been in the limelight when they were spotted together first during India’s tour of New Zealand early in 2014 © Getty Images

Aug 22, 2014

After returning from India’s Test debacle in England, Indian team manager Sunil Dev has expressed his unhappiness over Anushka Sharma being allowed to accompany Virat Kohli. Dev said that Indian society doesn’t approve of girlfriends travelling with the players on tour. The couple have been grabbing headlines ever since Anushka was first spotted with Kohli during the tour of New Zealand. During the England series, the couple were back in the news when it was reported that the actress was staying in the same hotel as Kohli with permission from the board. Read more on Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma

I would have objected to her presence but I was helpless when I realised the permission was granted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel,” said Dev while speaking to Mid Day. “I doubt whether the secretary even spoke to the interim BCCI President Shivlal Yadav before granting permission. I am sure he would have turned down the request. Anushka stayed with Virat till the third Test. Foreign players do take their girlfriends on tour, but India’s culture is different. Indian society doesn’t allow girlfriends on tour like this,” he added.

They were told there was no reason to worry as the two were planning to get married. And this isn’t the first time such a thing was happening

However, the board’s outlook towards granting the permission was equally surprising. According to a report in India Today, the BCCI had defended it’s decision saying that Virat and Anushka were planning to marry soon. “The team management was slightly taken aback when the BCCI approved Kohli’s plea of letting Anushka stay with him. But they were told there was no reason to worry as the two were planning to get married. And this isn’t the first time such a thing was happening. A captain’s girlfriend had travelled with the team in the past as well,” an official was quoted as saying to Mail Today.

The controversy has snowballed thanks to India’s poor performance in the Test series. Soon the spouses and girlfriends were blamed for the loss terming them as distraction for the players. There were media reports quoting a BCCI official that the board was planning to ban travelling with girlfriends and place restrictions on duration of wives staying with the players. But the board was quick to deny any such restrictions and stated that it had far more important things than to be concerned about this.

Below are screenshots of the report in Mid Day:

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Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014