India on Friday confirmed suspension of cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul and ordered them to leave the tour of Australia amid an investigation into comments made about women on television chat show Koffee with Karan.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India said the pair would be stopped “from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show.”
“The duo will now return to India and an enquiry and proceedings will be made against them for misconduct and indiscipline,” a BCCI press release late on Friday night stated.
The announcement came hours before the start of the first one-day international of a three-match series against Australia in Sydney.
Pandya’s comments about his relationships with women and other remarks perceived as sexist during an Indian celebrity chat show broadcast last Sunday just as India was celebrating its historic first Test series win in Australia.
Rahul was on the show at the same time and watched his teammate’s bragging that sparked outrage on social media.
The 25-year-old Pandya and Rahul apologised for their conduct after the BCCI demanded an explanation but officials unanimously decided to go ahead with an inquiry.
The Indian selectors will soon name their replacements for the ODI series against Australia and the tour to New Zealand, the release said.
In terms of Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter.
The CoA first sent out a notice to both players concerned to which the players responded with an apology. After considering their reply, it was decided that the BCCI would proceed against both for misconduct and indiscipline.
The duo is now called upon to provide an explanation as to why they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution within a period of 7 (seven) days. This is without prejudice to the BCCI’s rights and contentions, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.— Official statement from BCCI
Skipper Virat Kohli distanced himself from the controversy earlier Friday, saying the team does not support any “inappropriate” remarks.
“From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support,” he said.
Kohli added that the two players “have understood the magnitude of what’s happened”.