India allrounder Hardik Pandya opened up on the controversy that erupted after his appearance in a television chat show 'Koffee with Karan'. The controversy led to Pandya issuing an apology for some of the remarks that were deemed as "misogynistic" on social media. He also had to face suspension from the Indian team.
Speaking in a recent interview, Pandya said that it was a difficult time for him and he pulled through because of the support he received from his family.
"I really didn't know what 'misogynistic' meant. At first, I laughed thinking it was some word being used to make fun of me. Then a friend said, it means "someone who strongly dislikes women", Pandya told Times of India.
"How can I dislike women? Mom, didi (sister), bhabhi (sister-in-law), Natasa - they're all women. I adore them. My home is all about women. We are because they are," he added.
"For the first time, I wasn't in control of my own life. Everything around me started to crumble. I had to lock myself up. If not for my family, I'd have lost a great deal of everything. They were and continue to remain the backbone - the women in my family," he further said.
"Today, it's my turn to be the backbone of my family," Pandya added.
"I grew up in a family where there was absolute freedom. We were taught to make our own decisions. I'll give my son the same freedom.
We were raised in very tough times. Money was always an issue in the family. We struggled. But we were happy. Cricket gave me and my brother something to fight for. Cricket is once again putting my life in perspective," he signed off.