The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators has lifted the bans on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul with immediate effect. The bans were imposed after the two faced criticism for their comments about women in the TV chat show Koffee with Karan. “The Committee of Administrators (“CoA”) had, by emails dated 11.01.2019, and in exercise of Rule 41(6) of the Constitution of BCCI, suspended Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in view of the allegations of misconduct against them, pending adjudication of the allegations under Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution,” the CoA said in a release.
Pandya and Rahul were sent home from the tour of Australia due to their sexist comments on the TV show. India concluded the tour Down Under with their first-ever Test series win, ODI bilateral series win and 1-1 draw in the three-match T20 International series.
The CoA, after consulting new amicus curiae PS 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, PS 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.