ODI ban recommended for Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul over controversial comments

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul during the chat show Koffee with Karan

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul during the chat show Koffee with Karan

In his official statement, he said, "I made an appearance on the chat show where I have made certain statements without realising that these could be disrespectful and offend sensitivities of viewers for which I am sincerely regretful I would like to assure you that there was no malice or any sort of ill-intent on my part to offend anyone or portray any section of the society in bad light".

Pandya is now with the Indian team in Australia where they recently registered a historic 2-1 Test series win, the first in India's cricketing history Down Under.

News ahency PTI quoted Rai as saying that he was "not convinced with Hardik's explanation" adding that he had recommended a two-match ban for both players.

Rahul, the more restrained of the two during the interview by film-maker Karan Johar, has not yet reacted to the social media storm. "However, the final decision will be taken once Diana gives her to go ahead".

Pandya also boasted about not knowing women's names at parties and telling his parents the day he lost his virginity.

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Meanwhile, Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI's acting secretary, said that both players should be suspended "immediately"*. "Legally, the inquiry can be conducted only in accordance with the provisions of the registered constitution and not sought to be done by an "independent committee", Choudhury said in his e-mail to the CoA.

BCCI acting president CK Khanna also demanded "strict action" against Pandya and Rahul, conforming with the rules and regulations but was non-committal about the quantum of punishment. "As far as I am concerned, the comments were crass, in bad taste and unacceptable", Rai said. He also took a dig at BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who was cleared of sexual harassment charges but advised to undergo gender sensitisation by an inquiry committee.

Chaudhry raised concerns about the permissions taken by the players before appearing on the show, the disrepute it brought to other Indian cricketers and about how these comments leave them open to honeytraps that players are trained to avoid in ICC ACSU briefings.

According to a latest report in Hindustan Times, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has said that the apology from Pandya is insincere and he has requested for the entire team to go through a sensitization process. "If so, by whom?" he asked in his response to Edulji.

From revealing that his parents ask him "acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai (who is your interest here?) to conceding he likes observing the way women move, Hardik has received severe backlash for his comments".

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