Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul suspended, to miss ODI series against Australia and New Zealand
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry into their comments during a TV show, ruling them out of the ODI series against Australia starting Saturday. The cricketers, who have been in the eye of a storm following their remarks on ‘Koffee with Karan’, were omitted from the line-up for the opening match in Sydney.
"The CoA in accordance with the BCCI has decided to suspend Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show. The duo will now return to India and an enquiry and proceedings will be made against them for misconduct and indiscipline," the CoA said in a statement.
It further stated that in accordance to Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, "the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter."
The players were first sent a notice by the CoA to which they responded with an apology. "After considering their reply, it was decided that the BCCI would proceed against both for misconduct and indiscipline," the statement read. It ended by stating that the selectors will prepare replacements for the two players for the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand.
The duo appeared in the popular TV show Koffee With Karan where their comments, Pandya’s, in particular, were deemed misogynistic and sexist. In the face of the social media storm that kicked off, Pandya tweeted an apology. That did little to stem the tide of criticism.
CoA member Diana Edulji suggested that the players be suspended until a further recourse is decided. "It is imperative that players be put under suspension till further course of action is decided for this misconduct as was done in case of (BCCI) CEO (Rahul Johri) when he was sent on leave on sexual harassment matter," she said in a response to the legal opinion that was given in the matter.
Indian captain Virat Kohli said in Sydney ahead of the first ODI against Australia that the team does not approve of the comments made by Pandya and Rahul. "From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support," Kohli told reporters on Friday ahead of the first one-dayer against Australia.
"The two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude. It has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right. "These are purely inpidual opinions … we definitely, as the Indian cricket team, do not support views like that and that has been communicated."