The controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul’s comments on a popular TV show escalated on Thursday after Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai recommended a two-ODI ban on both the players. CoA chief Vinod Rai, in an e-mail to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, called the comments by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul “very crass.”
He wrote, “I have seen the remarks made by these two players on the show in print today. Very crass. No apology can cover it. I had asked Diana (CoA member Diana Edulji) to suggest penalty because I had not seen the clip. I think we need to give both of them a two-match suspension. If Diana agrees, Rahul please draft an appropriate instruction and issue today as their explanations have come in. Separately, please prepare an advisory to all BCCI contracted players and support staff.”
Pandya’s comments on the ‘Koffee With Karan’ show drew flak from all quarters and were termed as misogynistic and sexist. Pandya, in reply to the notice, regretted his behavior. But the response has not gone down well with CoA chief Vinod Rai.
“I am not convinced with Hardik’s explanation and I have recommended a two-match ban for both players. However the final decision will be taken once Diana gives her go ahead,” Rai told.
Board secretary Amitabh Choudhary said: “Suspension must happen immediately.” BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna wrote: “Comments are crass and highly irresponsible. I suggest strict action.” Board treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry too wrote a lengthy email, recalling how Cricket Australia acted with a sense of urgency in the case of Steven Smith and David Warner. He added that agents of players need to be regulated and as far as the punishment is concerned, “a two-match suspension seems to be only a stop-gap arrangement.”