Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Monday (January 14) opened up about the recent controversy involving Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, saying that the duo will learn from their mistakes. Although Laxman empathised with Pandya and Rahul, he supported BCCI’s decision to suspend them pending an inquiry.
Pandya and Rahul appeared on the TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’ where the former created storm by making "misogynistic" and "sexist" comments. He opened up about things like not asking the names of women at parties, sending the same text to multiple women and watching them move on the dance among others.
Consequently, BCCI called Pandya and Rahul back from Australia, barring them from participating in the ongoing ODI series Down Under.
''With each experience, you have to learn. Being a cricketer in India is tough. How many of us are recognised at the tender age of 18? Not only are they given a demi-god status, they have everything at their disposal," Laxman quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“Rahul and Pandya have made a mistake and I'm sure they are regretting it. What can we and the board learn from this is the question. It's also about giving them the right guidance. It's important to teach them how to conduct themselves. The responsibility lies with the BCCI and the management firms. Players should realise that people are watching you and learning from you. You need to conduct yourself,” he added.
When asked how he handled the stardom during his rise in international cricket, Laxman explained: “I learnt from the first four years of my career. Especially the background I came from, in the first year. There is a lot of challenge for any cricketer. It's easy to handle failures, tough to handle success. The role of a psychologist is very important. In India it (concept of a psychologist) is still young, abroad they are doing this already."
Laxman also highlighted the impact of Indian Premier League for bringing the teenage cricketers into the limelight.
'"You look at talents like Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill... They are sought after cricketers today, thanks partly to IPL. They are given stardom at the age of 19, 20,” Laxman said.
"What they (Rahul and Pandya) did is wrong but they will learn from it. They have been rightfully punished. We should show some empathy to them. They are young, it's a challenge for such young minds to be mature,” he concluded.