Suspended Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul to be sent home on first available flight from Australia

XtraTime Web Desk: India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul are in further trouble as they will be sent back to India on first available flight from Australia after BCCI suspended both of them on Friday because of their nasty comments on women. Earlier during the pre-match press conference India skipper Virat Kohli too expressed his unhappiness as well on the matter.

Both the players have been suspended from the side until the enquiry ends on their sexist comments on a TV show, ruling them out of the three-match ODI series against Australia beginning Saturday in Sydney.

“Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,” the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai told PTI.

A few hours later it was confirmed that a decision has been taken to send them home from Australia.

“It’s confirmed. The duo are being sent back. If they can book tickets then tomorrow they will be leaving (for India) or latest by day after,” a senior BCCI official said.

He added that at this point their chances of making the squad for the New Zealand tour is also “bleak”.

The ‘Koffee with Karan’ episode featuring the cricketers has since been taken down by the channel’s online platform.

On the show, Pandya had boasted about hooking up with multiple women and being open about it with his parents. Rahul was, however, a shade more restrained in his responses on relationships and women.

Here is the rule by which the CoA has suspended both the cricketers.

“In terms of Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter,” the rule stated.

“The CoA first sent out a notice to both players concerned to which the players responded with an apology. After considering their reply, it was decided that the BCCI would proceed against both for misconduct and indiscipline.

The duo is now called upon to provide an explanation as to why they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution within a period of 7 (seven) days. This is without prejudice to the BCCI’s rights and contentions, all of which are hereby expressly reserved,” it further states.

A source in the BCCI said the two will be issued fresh show cause notices before a formal enquiry 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.

Pandya has regretted his comments twice since the show went on air on Sunday — first on his official Twitter page and then in response to the BCCI show cause notice on Wednesday.

Rahul, on the other hand, is yet to react to the controversy.

The decision to hand them suspensions came after Rai’s CoA colleague Diana Edulji recommended the same till further action against the two. This was after the BCCI’s legal team refused to declare the comments a violation of the code of conduct.

The copy of the legal opinion, in possession of PTI, stated: “We feel that present matter doesn’t fall under the ambit of Code of Conduct and procedure of Code of Conduct can’t be invoked in present circumstances.”

Edulji had initially suggested a two-match suspension for the duo but referred the matter to the legal cell after 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.

In Sydney, on the eve of the ODI series, captain Kohli condemned the two for what he termed “inappropriate” comments but said he was not too stressed about the possibility of a ban on the all-rounder.

“…it’s good that we have someone like (Ravindra) Jadeja who can do the all-rounder’s role if a scenario like that occurs,” Kohli said.

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