The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has lifted the interim ban on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul on Thursday. The Indian cricket team’s duo were suspended for their sexist remarks on a TV show.
The Supreme Court has listed the matter for hearing on February 5th.
The suspensions on Indian cricketers was lifted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), two weeks after they were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments.
The CoA, after consulting new amicus curiae P S Narsimha, decided to lift the suspension pending an inquiry, for which an ombudsman is to be appointed by the Supreme Court. The apex court has listed the matter tentatively for February 5.
“The above matter and 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,” read a statement of CoA, issued by the BCCI.
Pandya is now expected to join the team in New Zealand while Rahul might play in either domestic circuit or show up for India A in an ongoing home series against England Lions. While Diana Edulji wanted the BCCI office-bearers to be involved in deciding the fate of the two cricketers, CoA chief Vinod Rai had dismissed the suggestion as it would have been in violation of the Board constitution.
The CoA said the decision to suspend the two players 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, who wanted the suspensions to be lifted pending inquiry. 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.
Earlier, Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli also made it clear that controversial comments of the nature made by Pandya and Rahul are not acceptable and their personal opinions are not the view of the Indian team.
“We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don’t align with those views, those were individual opinions,” Kohli said at a press conference ahead of the first ODI against Australia in Sydney.
The Indian cricket team will now take on New Zealand in the second ODI on 26th January.