BCCI Ombudsman Justice DK Jain on Saturday slapped a fine of Rs 20 lakh each on cricketers KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya for their certain acts of misconduct on a television show. Both Rahul and Hardik have to “pay a sum of Rs 1 lakh to each of the most deserving widows often constables in para-military forces who lost their lives while on duty, through the medium of Bharat Ke Veer App”. Moreover, they have to “deposit a sum of Rs 10 lakh in the fund created by Cricket Association for the blind for the promotion of the game of cricket for the blind.”
The players have to abide by the decision “within four weeks”. If they fail to do so within the time granted, “The BCCI may deduct the said amount from the match fees payable to the players,” the court order said. It was alleged that on January 6 in an interview with filmmaker Karan Johar, the host of the show — Koffee with Karan, the players made certain comments, which were racist, sexist in nature besides being disrespectful to women.
After the controversy erupted, the Committee of Administrators (COA) immediately suspended the players from participating in any match, function, event or activity that is authorised, organised, recognised or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any state association, until final adjudication of the matter.
Rahul and Hardik were sent back from the tour of Australia and the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri conducted a preliminary inquiry, following which the COA lifted the suspension, pending appointment and adjudication by the Ombudsman, who was appointed on February 21 by the Supreme Court of India.
During the course of action, the players missed out three one-day international matches in Australia and New Zealand and on account of suspension suffered a “total loss of earnings stated to be in the range of Rs 30 lakh”.
Both Rahul and Hardik are competing in the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians, respectively. The players have also been named in India’s 15-man World Cup squad. The marquee event is scheduled to take place in England from May 30 to July 14. India will open its campaign against South Africa on June 5.