Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul's suspension has been provisionally lifted by the Committee of Administrators pending a probe. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) had wanted the Supreme Court to appoint an ombudsman to decide the fate of the two players, who have already missed the ODI series against Australia and also the tour of New Zealand. Pandya is now expected to join the team in New Zealand while Rahul might play in either domestic circuit or show up for India A in an ongoing home series against England Lions. While Diana Edulji wanted the BCCI office-bearers to be involved in deciding the fate of the two cricketers, CoA chief Vinod Rai had dismissed the suggestion as it would have been in violation of the Board constitution. The CoA said the decision to suspend the two players was taken under "Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution", which covers players' conduct that can bring the Board into disrepute.
"The matter and decision has been taken with the concurrence of Amicus Curiae, P.S. Narasimha. In view of the above, the suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman," said one member of the Committee of Administrators.
With the Supreme Court now willing to hear matters related to the BCCI only next week, the wait for the two players had been prolonged. BCCI president CK Khanna had earlier urged the CoA to allow Pandya and Rahul to play while the inquiry is being conducted. Khanna said calling the SGM to appoint an ombudsman to investigate the two players' conduct, as demanded by Board officials, wouldn't be right as the Supreme Court was adjourned for a week.
"They made a mistake, and they have already been suspended and called back from the series against Australia. They have also submitted an unconditional apology. I suggest that pending inquiry we reinstate both the cricketers into the Indian squad immediately and allow them to join the team in New Zealand at the earliest. What Pandya said and Rahul acted as a by-stander to is inappropriate and absolutely wrong, but in my personal opinion, to treat them like lawbreakers is wrong too. Both these cricketers need game time before the World Cup which starts in four months’ time. We should give these growing cricketers chance to correct themselves morally," Khanna wrote in a letter to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the BCCI.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul's comments on Koffee With Karan generated plenty of controversy. (Image credit: Twitter)
Khanna also added, "Pandya and KL Rahul certainly brought disrepute to the board with their inappropriate comments. For that, the BCCI has already suspended them provisionally. However, I am also of the view that the matter needs to be sorted at the earliest," he told PTI.
Following the outrage, Hotstar removed the episode from the web while Pandya's father Himanshu has said that the comments should not be taken seriously as his son was indulging in chatter in a light-hearted manner. The situation came into light with this one conversation when Johar was asking questions about not asking women’s name in a night club and what do men talk about. To this, Pandya replied, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I'm little from the black side so I need to see how they move." Pandya also boasted about how he casually discussed his sex life with his parents. “When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, 'Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)'. At a party my parents asked me 'acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)' and they were like 'waah proud of you beta',” Pandya replied with laughter.