India is ready to play 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.
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.
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.”
To this, Rai replied at 11.26 am and said: “Only within 24 hours.”
At 11.29 am, Edulji replied to both stating (verbatim): “Strict action should be taken against both as they can’t speak about women in such a manner. They should be banned for a match or two to show we respect women and won’t allow players to be disrespectful.”
To this, Rai replied an hour later, insisting notices should be sent, and said: “Send the notice. We can decide the action today.”
Pandya then went on to tweet an apology before drafting his reply to the showcause notice. Rahul sent a separate e-mail.
Soon after receiving the replies, Rai wrote to Edulji and Johri, saying: “The apology has obviously been drafted by the agency. Doesn’t appear sincere. I am inclined to suggest a penalty. But since I have not seen the clip, maybe Diana would like to suggest some penalty. There should be a penalty? What do you feel? Could be different for both players depending upon what they have said in the show.”