On Saturday, the acting BCCI President CK Khanna has suggested the Committee of Administrators (CoA) lifting the suspension on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their sexist comments on the TV show, Koffee With Karan. Khanna also refused to convene a Special General Meeting on the matter. He said calling the SGM to appoint an ombudsman to investigate the two players’ conduct, as demanded by Board officials, wouldn’t be right as the Supreme Court is due to address the issue next week.
Pandya and Rahul have handed suspensions pending an inquiry for their sexist comments on a TV chat show. In his letter to CoA, Khanna wrote, “They made a mistake, and they have already been suspended and called back from the series against Australia. They have also submitted an unconditional apology. I suggest that pending inquiry we reinstate both the cricketers into the Indian squad immediately and allow them to join the team in New Zealand at the earliest.”
The CoA wants the Supreme Court to appoint an ombudsman to decide the fate of the two cricketers, who have already missed the ODI series against Australia and are also been excluded from the tour of New Zealand. They have also been thoroughly lambasted for their comments on hooking up with multiple women and joking about it on the show.
Around 14 state boards, mainly former BCCI president N Srinivasan’s loyalists, had requested Khanna to conduct an emergent SGM, which needs to be called in 10 days. BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry also wrote to Khanna requesting for an early SGM, so that board members can take a call on the appointment of an ombudsman.
Replying to Chaudhary, Khanna said, “As per constitution of the BCCI, an ombudsman can be appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). And moreover, the matter (appointment of ombudsman) is already sub-judice.”
Khanna also sought BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary’s view. Talking to PTI, a BCCI official said, “Why would Khanna or Amitabh sign the notice for convening Special General Meeting when the matter is in Supreme Court. As per protocol, Mr. Rai sought Diana’s suggestion but he could easily overrule her view of getting a legal opinion, which started this mess. What Mr. Hardik Pandya said and Mr. K.L. Rahul acted as a bystander to is inappropriate and absolutely wrong, but in my personal opinion, to treat them like lawbreakers is wrong too. We should give these growing cricketers chance to correct themselves morally.”