'Both Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,' the Committee of Administrators (COA) chairman Vinod Rai said on Friday. Both the players are currently in Australia with the Indian team for a three-match ODI series that starts on Saturday
New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday suspended all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opening batsman KL Rahul pending an inquiry for their controversial comments on a TV talk show recently.
"Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry," the Committee of Administrators (COA) chairman Vinod Rai told PTI.
"Whether it will be an internal committee of the BCCI or an ad hoc ombudsman who will conduct an inquiry, is yet to be ascertained," a BCCI source said.
"The Indian team management will take a call on whether they would want to keep the two with the team or send them back. There is a school of thought that they be kept with the team as the backlash back home could be severe but majority in the BCCI brass is against the decision," he added.
Both Pandya and Rahul are currently in Australia with the Indian team for a three-match ODI series. The first game is on Saturday in Sydney. The duo was issued show cause notices by the BCCI and Pandya had apologised on his Twitter accout but so far Rahul has not spoke about the incident.
According to reports, the pair is likely to be issued show cause notices again. Earlier, Pandya had told BCCI that he was "sincerely regretful" for his comments.
"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," Pandya wrote to BCCI in response to the show cause notice.
The 25-year-old Pandya had made sexist and misogynistic comments on "Koffee with Karan", hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar. Rahul had also featured on the show with his teammate. Now, Hotstar has pulled down the controversial episode.
"Certain remarks/comments made by the guests on the episode 12 of the show may have hurt the sentiment of our users/viewers. As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from our platform with immediate effect," Hotstar said. “As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from Hotstar with immediate effect.”
On Friday, captain Virat Kohli was asked about the comments made by Pandya. Kohli said the team doesn’t support his views.
"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...and that has been communicated (to the two players)," said Kohli on the eve of the ODI series opener against Australia.
"...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."
Kohli admitted the two players have been hit hard by the controversy.
"...they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right. We are still waiting for a decision to be made," he said.
Harbhajan slams Pandya, Rahul
Meanwhile, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has blasted Pandya and Rahul for their comments.
"We don't talk about all this even with our friends and they were talking on public television. Now people might think was Harbhajan Singh like this, was Anil Kumble like this and was Sachin Tendulkar..." Harbhajan told India Today.
On the show, Pandya had boasted about hooking up with multiple women and being open about it with his parents. Rahul was, however, a little more restrained in his responses on relationships and women.
When asked by the host Johar if they had "done it in teammates' rooms," both Pandya and Rahul responded in the positive.
"Pandya has been in the team for how long to talk of the team culture in the manner he did."
"I think this is the way to go," he responded when asked about the suspension.
For the first time ever, India’s dapper Cricket stars grace the Koffee couch and share their stories beyond the field. Watch @hardikpandya7 and @klrahul11 on the latest episode of #KoffeeWithKaran on Hotstar: https://t.co/7dK8Dp7cbx @karanjohar pic.twitter.com/xkyxoYESO5— Hotstar (@hotstartweets) January 5, 2019
Last Updated 8:11 PM IST