Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul face an uncertain future after Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji said that the duo should be suspended until further course of action is taken. Speaking to ANI, Edulji said, “It will be imperative that the players be put under suspension till a further course of action is decided for this misconduct as was done in the case of CEO (Rahul Johri) when he was sent on leave in the sexual harassment matter,” Edulji said. The former India women’s cricket player had initially suggested a two-match suspension for the duo but referred the matter to the legal cell after CoA chief Vinod Rai agreed with her and recommended the same. According to BCCI sources, Pandya is all set to miss the Sydney game while Rahul was not considered for selection.
The move was taken by BCCI legal team refused to declare their comments on women in the chat show Koffee With Karan a violation of the code of conduct. "We feel that present matter doesn't fall under the ambit of Code of Conduct and procedure of Code of Conduct can't be invoked in present circumstances,” the firm stated. The firm said the behaviour in question was neither a criticism of any match or against a player or support staff or match official. A senior BCCI official said this was not a code of conduct but it was about bringing an organisation to disrepute. The official cited the example of Steve Smith, who was only banned for one Test in the ICC Code of Conduct situation but was banned for one year by Cricket Australia.
If they are suspended pending inquiry, the legal team has recommended the appointment of an ad hoc Ombudsman, which could well mean more trouble for the duo. Virat Kohli also distanced himself from the controversy, stating, “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. We definitely as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated (to the two players). I can definitely say that as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers we definitely don't align with those views and those are purely individual views,” Kohli said.
Pandya's remarks were slammed as ‘misogynistic’, ‘racist’ by many Twitter users and the Board of Control for Cricket in India also jumped him, issuing a showcause notice to the all-rounder along with KL Rahul, the other cricketer present on the show. Pandya had taken to Twitter to apologise for his remarks and apparently, he has also expressed ‘regret’ over the comments when he responded to the showcause notice. The all-rounder has said the mistake will not be repeated in the future.
In a report on PTI, Pandya said. “I made an appearance on the chat show where I have made certain statements without realising that these could be disrespectful and offend sensitivities of viewers for which I am sincerely regretful. I would like to assure you that there was no malice or any sort of ill-intent on my part to offend anyone or portray any section of the society in bad light. I made these statements in the flow of the show and had not comprehended the extent to which my statements would be found offensive.”
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.