Suspensions on Pandya, Rahul lifted by CoA

The two cricketers had been suspended following their crass remarks against women on a pupular TV chat show Koffee with Karan.

The suspensions on Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul were lifted on Thursday by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), two weeks after they were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments on a TV show.

After the CoA decision, Pandya was included by the BCCI selection committee in the Indian squad currently in New Zealand for the limited-overs series. Rahul has been included in the India A team that is playing a one-day series against the England Lions in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Hardik Pandya will be sent to New Zealand to join the team at the earliest and KL Rahul will join the India A squad to play the last 3 one-day games against England Lions,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said.

Earlier, a statement from CoA explained the reasons for lifting the suspension. “The decision has been taken with the concurrence of the learned Amicus Curiae, Mr P S Narasimha. In view of the above, the suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman,” the statement said.

An inquiry will take place into the matter, for which an ombudsman is to be appointed by the Supreme Court. The apex court has listed the matter tentatively for February 5.

Pandya and Rahul’s crass comments on the show ‘Koffee With Karan’, where they spoke about hooking up with multiple women, were criticised by one and all and led to a social media storm. The CoA said the decision to suspend the two was taken under “Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution”, which covers players’ conduct that can bring the Board into disrepute.

The idea of letting the players get on with the game was first mooted by BCCI acting president CK Khanna. In fact, Khanna refused to convene a Special General Meeting (SGM), which was the demand of at least 14 affiliated units.

“I did not wish this issue to turn into an administrative mess. For me, it was paramount that Hardik and Rahul return to action and inquiry can also simultaneously continue. If Ben Stokes could continue playing while the court case was on, why can’t that be applicable for Pandya and Rahul,” Khanna said.

CoA chief Vinod Rai had initially sought a two-match ban on the duo but it was shot down by the other CoA member Diana Edulji, who sought legal opinion on the matter.

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Suspensions on Pandya, Rahul lifted by CoA

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