Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul will be issued fresh show cause notices before a formal inquiry begins. © Instagram
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry into their outrage-evoking comments on women during a popular TV show, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai confirmed on Friday. "Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry," Rai said. Earlier on Friday, NDTV sources revealed that Pandya and Rahul have been dropped for the first one-day international against Australia to be played in Sydney on Saturday. A source in the BCCI also revealed that the two will be issued fresh show cause notices before a formal inquiry begins.
"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," the official 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 BCCI brass is against the decision," he added.
In case the two are brought back from Australia, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey will be in contention to be their replacements.
"It won't be surprising if two from Vijay Shankar, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey or Rishabh Pant are flown Down Under," the source said.
The decision comes after Rai's CoA colleague Diana Edulji on 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.
Their remarks on the show were also condemned by India captain Virat Kohli, who called them inappropriate.
"We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don't align with those views, those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made," Kohli said at the press conference in Sydney on Friday.
"From the Indian cricket team's point of view, this changes nothing in our beliefs in the change room, it does nothing to the spirit we have have been able to create. Combinations will have to be thought of once the decision comes out," Kohli added.
Hardik Pandya's sexist comments sparked social media outrage and prompted the player to apologise.
Pandya appeared on a popular TV show with teammate K L Rahul, who was a lot more restrained in his responses to questions on women and relationships.
Pandya said he "got a bit carried away" as he explained his bragging about his prowess with women on the show that aired on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Pandya posted his apology on social media.
"After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way," Pandya posted on Twitter.
"Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments. Respect," he added.
Pandya, who was in the squad that beat Australia for the first time in an away Test series, boasted about his success with multiple women.
"You are just watching and observing how they move as I said I am a little from the black side (influenced by West Indies culture) so I have to see how they (women) move first," he said.
Pandya also said he had bragged to his parents after losing his virginity.
He was quickly slammed for his views on women.
Later on Thursday, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry called for an inquiry to find out whether or not the two sought permission from the BCCI to appear on the show, and if yes, Chaudhry wants to know who gave them the permission.
"The provisions of the earlier contracts and the practice in place would have required these contracted players to seek permission to appear on the show. Was such a permission sought? Was such a permission granted? If so, by whom?" he asked.
(With inputs from Rica Roy and PTI)
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