"Was Scared To Step Out," KL Rahul Opens Up On Trauma After Public Backlash Over Talk Show
KL Rahul found himself in the eye of a storm over "misogynistic" comments made on a talk show earlier this year.
KL Rahul, who along with India colleague Hardik Pandya found himself in the eye of a storm after comments they made on a talk show earlier this year, elicited a public backlash, has opened up on what he went through in the immediate aftermath of the controversy. "It was hard as I am not used to people disliking me. For the first one week or 10 days, I couldn't help but doubt myself, doubt my own character. The hardest thing was to know whether actually you are a bad person, when so much has been written about you," Rahul told India Today.
Following the backlash in January, Rahul and Pandya were sent home and banned for a few matches. Their bans were later lifted but the BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) has handed an ongoing inquiry into the matter to the Supreme Court-appointed ombudsman and a decision is still awaited.
Rahul, currently turning out for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2019, said, "I was quite honestly scared to step out as I wasn't ready. If somebody would ask questions, I didn't know what I would answer. I would go for practice, come back home and be on my PlayStation as I wasn't simply ready to face people."
Rahul admitted that the glamour and razzmatazz that surrounds the Indian team has briefly left him disconnected with his roots and his well-wishers.
"When you start playing for the country, you are so distracted, you are always on the move, forget who your true friends are or how important family is. I have been on the road for a long time and I haven't had a break.
“So, you kind of have a disconnect with family or friends. You kind of drift away, don't make time for friends," he said.
One of the three Indian players who have international hundreds across all formats, Rahul said there was a point he felt that those who are physically there with him are his real friends.
"You share a lot with them but you forget that there are people back home, who have seen your struggles, seen you when you were nothing. They have helped you because they liked the real you. You rediscover your relationships with a lot of people," he said.
However, he was thankful to the Indian team members and the support staff who were there during his trying times. "Even when I had to leave Australia and go back home, there were a lot of people who came up to me and put an arm around the shoulder and told me that they have all made mistakes and had to face punishments."
(With PTI inputs)