After Yuzvendra Chahal opened up about a disturbing instance of physical harassment around the time he made his debut in the Indian Premier League, former India head coach and cricket commentator Ravi Shastri said such incidents are unacceptable.
In a recent video released by his current IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals on social media, the ace leg-spinner disclosed the incident in 2013, during which he was playing for the Mumbai Indians and a player reportedly dangled him from a 15th-floor hotel balcony after “getting drunk.”
Chahal revealed in the video, “We had a match in Bengaluru and there was a get-together after that. So there was a player who was very drunk - I won’t take his name - he was very drunk, he called me aside, and took me outside and he hung me out from the balcony.”
“I was holding on to him, with my arms around his neck. If I had lost my grip, we were on the 15th floor… Suddenly many people who were there came and handled the situation. I kind of fainted, and they gave me water.”
“Then I realised how responsible we need to be when we go anywhere. So that was one incident where I made a narrow escape. Had there been a small mistake there, I would have fallen down.”
In a chat with ESPN Cricinfo, Shastri said, “It’s no laughing matter at all. The way he (Chahal) said that the person involved - I don’t know who the person is - was not in a conscious state of mind... If that’s the case, it’s a big worry as it is someone’s life at risk.
“People might think it’s funny but for me, it’s not funny at all. It just shows that the person who’s trying to do it is in a state that’s not appropriate. When you’re in that kind of state and trying to do something, chances of mistakes are even more in a situation like this. It’s not acceptable at all,” he continued.
When host Raunak Kapoor asked about whether incidents like these are a common sight in cricket culture, Shastri said, “It’s the first time I’m hearing something as drastic as this and it’s not funny.”
“If it happens today, life ban for that person involved. As simple as that. Send him to the rehab centre. As quickly as possible. Let him not come to a cricket field again.”