While the Indian cricket team has been enjoying immense success in Australia lately, the past few months have not really been kind to the likes of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. While Pandya has been out of the fold due to his injury in September last year, Rahul has faced the wrath of fans and pundits alike for his dismal form Down Under.
Following India's historic Test series win, on one hand, where Pandya must have been raring to go in the ODI series after his recovery, Rahul, too, would have been looking to prove his detractors wrong with a fine showing. But, all of those things seemed possible until last Sunday when the duo stirred up a massive controversy with their comments on popular chat show 'Koffee With Karan'.
While Rahul was, somewhat, cautious in his choice of words, Pandya boasted of 'conquests' and possessions like a Desperado, with little respect to women. Following a massive uproar on the social media, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was forced into issuing a showcause notice to the duo, expecting a clarification on their conduct within 24 hours.
After a tame apology on the social media, Pandya issued another statement where the Baroda cricketer reiterated that he will not repeat the mistake again and will be more cautious in future. But, no one was impressed. Not even the BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA).
And, to make matters worse for the two cricketers, the CoA chief Vinod Rai has now recommended a two-ODI ban on the duo. Calling the comments by Pandya and Rahul "very crass", the CoA chief wrote an email to CEO Rahul Johri. "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," Rai claimed in the email.
"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 PTI. On the other hand, Edulji has also referred the matter to the BCCI's legal cell. "Diana has sought legal opinion whether the duo can be banned. So, obviously a decision will be taken once she gives her nod. As far as I am concerned, the comments were crass, in bad taste and unacceptable," Rai said.
"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," he said. "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," he added.
While the ban is yet to be sanctioned by the BCCI, it has already got the social media buzzing with all sorts of reactions from the cricket fans across the country.
Ban them for life and give them tv ðº rights because that's what they are good at,our cricketers use fame to trick ladies and think they are models rather than sports man ,as I said before in England you do not see any sport personalities on tvs or on social media's— Harry (@HarryJethw) January 10, 2019
statements damaging to the game . its important to counsel ,sensitise them before allowing them to wear India colours.— Dr chavez (@Ramesh16276338) January 10, 2019
Minimum 5 match ban.. Pandya wasn't going to play anyway so what sort of lesson he will learn?— Rahul Sharma (@OneRahul_Sharma) January 10, 2019
One person who goes scot free and laughing is @karanjohor. The lads were stupid to fall prey to enticement. Lot to learn from Sachin and Dravid.— Ajit Coelho (@ajitcoelho) January 10, 2019
When Too much money comes your way in too little time and you ain't got enough maturity to deal with it, this is the shit that happens. Both should be banned for IPL 2019 tabhi gosh thikane aayega. And Karan Johan's mindless show should be taken off air forthwith— Anand Broto Bose (@andyboser) January 10, 2019
Net net, both will enjoy an extended vacation in Australia and return, I would vote for a year long ban, that way they would reflect on what they said and what it means to be a role model!— Srikanth Sundararaja (@SundarSrik) January 10, 2019 January 10, 2019
#HardikPandya can sleep with as many women as he wants as long as its consensual
Having said that he needs to learn respect and let go of this male chauvinism.
As for KL Rahul, if he does not call out such behaviour he too is a part of the problem.
But a ban? Nope.
@karanjohar got what he wanted, trp! It's not like this was a live show, kjo would have known how the responses will harm and offend..Def his reputation managers warned him... Obviously he knew it's great noise creator! Why wasn't this reshot? #HardikPandya #KoffeeWithCricketers— Reshma (@reshmabudhia) January 10, 2019
The controversy created by #HardikPandya and #KLRahul clearly asserts the importance of basic education no matter what field one pursues their career in. @BCCI and other councils should probably include a soft skills training and public courtesy course compulsory for all players.— Varun Kulkarni (@vk130795) January 10, 2019