All-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener Lokesh (KL) Rahul could miss India's first ODI game against Australia on Saturday, following controversy about comments the two made on popular Indian TV programme Koffee with Karan. "As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from Hotstar with immediate effect".
A barrage of instant criticism started coming Pandya's way, prompting the Indian Cricket Board to consider banning players from appearing on such chat shows. The incident has subsequently thrown their selection for the upcoming one-day global (ODI) series against Australia into question with the Indian cricketing body, the BCCI, yet to decide on the two-match ban recommended by Vinod Rai, the chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that oversees such matters.
Pandya's comments on the show, which aired on Sunday, were slammed as misogynistic and sexist, and drew a lot of flak from all corners.
The BCCI is yet to take a decision and will announce the verdict on the subject soon, with a 2-match suspension likely for Hardik and possibly just a warning for Rahul being the expected outcomes.
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"At a party, my parents asked me, 'Acha tera wala kaun sa hai [Which women are yours]?"
Facing major backlash on social media, Pandya quickly took to his Twitter account and sent out an apology where he said that he got "a bit carried away" and that he did not "mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments".
On the show, when the host Karan Johar asked the bowler, "Why don't you ask women's names at nightclubs?", he replied, "I like to watch and observe how they move". Declaring that Hardik's apology was not enough, the body served a show cause notice to both Hardik and KL Rahul on Wednesday, giving them 24 hours to respond. He said, "We, definitely, as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated".
Kohli added that the two players "have understood the magnitude of what's happened". Hardik is presently in Australia along with the Indian cricket team where they have won a historic Test series against Australia.