Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul set to be suspended

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NEW DELHI-cricbuzz: Barely 24 hours to go before India line-up their playing eleven for the first of the three One-day Internationals against Australia in Sydney, captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are clueless if they can pick all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul in the team.

Reason: BCCI has been forced to seek legal advice on the matter because CoA member Diana Edulji, who first advocated a two-match ban for the cricketers before sending them a showcause notice, has now asked for one.

The matter pertains to Pandya and Rahul’s comments on filmmaker Karan Johar’s show ‘Koffee With Karan’ that was streamed four days ago. The comments have largely been deemed – in the mainstream and social media – as “cringeworthy” and “disgusting”. Insiders say “this is not a legal issue at all. This is about BCCI’s own Code of Conduct for cricketers. This is simply waste of time.” Clause 17 & 18 of the BCCI’s constitution, although, call for either the Apex Council or an ombudsman to intervene in such matters.

Kohli and Shastri, are meanwhile kept waiting. Until a reply comes in writing from BCCI’s legal team, the CoA is in no position to take any action. The board’s inability to take the call stems from a series of e-mails that have been exchanged between members of the CoA and Edulji’s refusal to agree with CoA chairman Vinod Rai on all matters concerning BCCI. Below is a trail of e-mails – in possession of TOI – that present a detailed scenario of what transpired.

On Wednesday, January 9, at 10.38am, hours after Twitter had feasted on Pandya and Rahul’s talk show with Johar, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri wrote an e-mail to Rai and Edulji, stating: “It is been brought to our notice that (Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul) made a few statements which have not been well received in the media. We would suggest that a notice be sent seeking explanation within 24 hours. Please advise.”

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