One man who made sure of the success of this event by stealing the show was buccaneering Indian batsman, KL Rahul. The man made everyone take notice and watch in awe as he transcended his tag of Test batsman in just his fourth T20I match. Some of the shots were truly mesmerising – an upper cut for a six over deep point, a cover drive for a six over deep cover, a sweep for a six over fine leg and even an intentional slice for a six over third man.
But two and a half years later, nobody is talking about the match in the US or the glittering century. People are not even talking about what happened in Lauderhill during the day of August 27, 2016. In a recent episode of a popular talk show, Rahul said that he was out partying till 5 am on the morning of the match and suddenly everyone is talking about his exploits the previous night.
The appearance of Rahul and teammate Hardik Pandya in Koffee With Karan has turned their lives and careers upside down.
Some of the statements made on the show were genuinely shocking, if not surprising. Rahul's admission that he had "done it in a teammate's room" and "connected with a fan after a game" made the viewers uncomfortable. Pandya's boastful renditions of his encounters with women were even worse. The all-rounder said things like, "aaj karke aaya hai", referring to the time he lost his virginity. He also said that when his parents asked him in a party which of the women present he has been involved with, he responded saying, "ye, ye, ye. Sabke saath kuch na kuch raha hai mera."
The pair has been facing heavy backlash for their comments on the show which have been unanimously deemed to be "sexist" and "misogynistic". BCCI has suspended them from playing the game pending further investigation and the duo has been sent back to India from Australia where they were a part of India's ODI squad.
The cricketers definitely deserve the trial they are facing and will receive apt repercussion for their actions but does Rahul really deserve to be punished in January 2019 for his activities in Miami in August 2016? Reports suggest that he will be questioned for staying till late as he could have been approached by bookies or been honey-trapped.
The concerns are correct but it is perhaps too late to ask certain self-righteous questions. The deed was done in August 2016 and the team management must have surely known about it given how easily Karan Johar had access to the information and how casually Pandya reacted to the mention of the incident. Everyone concerned knew about it yet no action was taken till Rahul publicly mentioned it. So, is the punishment really for the player's actions or is it for making an accepted "team culture" public?
Times have changed and cricketers these days have a different lifestyle than those in Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid's era. While sexism and misogyny need immediate eradication, it is perhaps unwise to judge them with the same moral hygiene as players of the past.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli may have distanced the team from the players' remarks but it was only after the episode aired and the backlash came. Thus, even as the saga draws out, let us not stop ourselves from asking the question – is it really a reprimand for the actions or is it for letting the vermin out?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Business Times, India.