Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul suspended for sexist comments on ‘Koffee With Karan’

New Delhi: After Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji on Friday recommended “suspension till further action” against cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for outrage-evoking comments on women during a TV show, CoA chairmanVinod Rai said the two have been suspended pending an inquiry.

The cricketers, who have been in the eye of a storm following their sexist remarks on Koffee with Karan, will be returning from Australia where they were to compete in an ODI series starting Saturday. The two had been omitted from the line-up for the opening match in Sydney.

“Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry,” Rai said.

The decision comes after Rai’s CoA colleague Diana Edulji on Friday recommended suspension till further action against the two after the BCCI legal team refused to declare their comments a violation of the code of conduct.

Edulji had initially suggested a two-match suspension for the duo but referred the matter to the legal cell after Vinod Rai agreed with her and recommended the same.

“It is imperative that players be put under suspension till further course of action is decided for this misconduct as was done in case of (BCCI) CEO (Rahul Johri) when he was sent on leave on sexual harassment matter,” read Edulji’s response to the legal opinion which is in possession of PTI.

Their remarks on the show were also condemned by India captain Virat Kohli, who called them inappropriate.

“We played in India against the West Indies with a finger spinner and a wrist spinner. So it’s good that we have someone like Jadeja who can do the all-rounder’s role if a scenario like that occurs,” Kohli said on the eve of the first ODI against Australia.

“So we are not too stressed as a team (about the Pandya situation) because you’ll always have things that you can do in terms of creating that balance for the side. And hence, we keep players who can provide balance with bat and ball as a backup anyway,” he added.

Kohli has distanced the team from the controversy by saying that the side does not stand by the duo on the issue.

Pandya had boasted about hooking up with multiple women and being open about it with his parents during the interview. Rahul was, however, a shade more restrained in his responses on relationships.

Hotstar removes ‘controversial’ episode

The Koffee With Karan episode featuring Pandya and Rahul has been taken down by Hotstar after it attracted widespread criticism for Pandya’s misogynistic and sexist comments.

The 25-year-old all-rounder had boasted about hooking up with multiple women on the Sunday episode of the Karan Johar-hosted show.

“Certain remarks/comments made by the guests on the episode 12 of Koffee with Karan may hurt the sentiments of our users/viewers. As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from Hotstar with immediate effect,” Hotstar tweeted on Friday.

Pandya has apologised for his remarks, saying he got “carried away by the nature” of the show.

“After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way. Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments. Respect,” he had said in his apology.

Both Pandya and Rahul have been reprimanded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is mulling a ban on the cricketers.

Johar is yet to address the controversy.

(With PTI inputs)