Latest update: Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul could face suspension
What's the story?
Under fire for his crass comments on a popular television talk show, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya could face immediate suspension alongside opener KL Rahul. BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has called for a harsher penalty than the two-match suspension initially proposed by CoA member Vinod Rai.
According to a letter which is doing the rounds, Chaudhry wrote, "As far as the quantum of the punishment is concerned if the players are found guilty as per the procedures laid down in the Rules and Regulations, keeping in view the above factors and discussions, a two-match suspension seems to be merely a stop-gap arrangement especially considering that the CoA had banned Mr. Smith and Mr. Warner for a season."
He added, "The players must be immediately suspended pending a proper inquiry and must be allowed to join the team (if selected) only once they have gone through a proper sensitisation in addition to serving a ban, if imposed upon them. In any case, the entire team and support staff must go through a sensitisation process. The CEO may join them in the sensitisation as well as recommended by Ms. Veena Gowda, Advocate."
In a television talk show named "Koffee with Karan", Hardik Pandya generated massive backlash for his 'racist', 'sexist' and 'misogynist' comments on women. KL Rahul, who also attended the show, found himself under scrutiny for his teammate's antics.
Although Pandya issued an apology on Twitter, the BCCI served up a show-cause notice to the all-rounder as well as Rahul while seeking an explanation for those controversial comments. In his reply, the right-arm seamer termed the incident as 'regretful'.
The heart of the matter
With numerous esteemed former cricketers expressing their anger and disappointment over Pandya's comments, the BCCI are mulling a strong penalty for the two players in a bid to serve as deterrents. According to various reports, the board remain unanimous regarding their stance but the quantum of punishments are yet to be worked out.
CoA member Vinod Rai has proposed a two-match suspension for both Pandya and Rahul. Fellow CoA member and former Indian women's captain Diana Edulji has sought legal opinion on the issue before deciding on the punishments.
However, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has come down heavily on Pandya and Rahul for bringing the game into disrepute. Citing the Indian board's decision to ban Steve Smith and David Warner from the 2018 IPL as a result of the ball-tampering scandal, he pointed to precedence and urged both players to undergo a sensitisation process in addition to a suspension.
With CoA member Diana Edulji seeking legal opinion before weighing in on the issue, it remains unclear what the quantum of punishments will be.
Both Pandya and Rahul are in India's ODI squad for the three-match series in Australia. The first ODI is set to take place at the SCG on Saturday.