New Delhi: Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were Friday suspended pending an inquiry into their outrage-evoking comments on women during a TV show, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai said here Friday. In another twist to the development, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said the Indian team do not stand by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for making ‘inappropriate’ comments, but insisted that the controversy won’t affect the dressing room morale
The cricketers, who have been in the eye of a storm following their sexist remarks on ‘Koffee with Karan’, will be returning from Australia where they were to compete in an ODI series starting Saturday. The two had been omitted from the line-up for the opening match in Sydney.
“Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,” Rai said.
The decision comes after Rai’s CoA colleague Diana Edulji Friday recommended suspension till further action against the two after the BCCI legal team refused to declare their comments a violation of the ‘Code of Conduct’.
Edulji had initially suggested a two-match suspension for the duo but referred the matter to the legal cell after Vinod Rai agreed with her and recommended the same.
“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,” read Edulji’s response to the legal opinion which is in possession of this agency.
Kohli meanwhile said that cricketers should be restrained while making comments on touchy issues.
“From the Indian cricket team’s point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support…and that has been communicated (to the two players),” said Kohli.
“…We definitely don’t align with those views and those are purely individual views. The two concerned players (have) felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what’s happened,” added the Indian captain.
When asked if the suspension will have an impact on the dressing room, Kohli said it won’t. “Whatever has happened is unfortunate but there are certain things that are out of your control,” informed Kohli.
“You just need to sit back and wait and watch them unfold. From the combination and team balance point of view, yes when something like that happens you will have to think of what is the combination you need to go in with now. It does nothing to the spirit that we’ve been able to create within the change room,” added Kohli.