Cricket

Vinod Rai recommends two ODI ban on Hardik Pandya, K.L. Rahul for 'crass' comments on women on Koffee with Karan

No laughing matter: As it turned out, the Koffee eventually tasted bitter for Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul. Twitter

No laughing matter: As it turned out, the Koffee eventually tasted bitter for Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul. Twitter  

However, fellow CoA member Diana Edulji has referred the matter to the BCCI’s legal cell.

The disciplinary action proposed by Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai — a two-match ban for Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul — in the aftermath of the unpleasant episode involving the two India cricketers on the television celebrity show ‘Koffee With Karan’ has not been accepted by the second CoA member Diana Edulji.

The former India women’s team captain and a retired senior sports administrator from the Indian Railways, Edulji, chose to consult the BCCI’s legal department and also copied correspondence from Rai and Hardik to the Board’s office-bearers, C.K. Khanna (acting president), Amitabh Choudhary (acting secretary) and Anirudh Chaudhry (treasurer).

Having felt persecuted by conclusions drawn by Rai on the sexual harrassment report — involving the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri — submitted by an independent committee and thereafter in the appointment of an ad-hoc committee that selected W.V. Raman as head coach of the Indian women’s team, Edulji did not respond to Rai’s mail asking for her thoughts on the behaviour of Hardik and Rahul, and his idea of imposing a two-match suspension on both the players. India is scheduled to play Australia in a three-match ODI series, the first of which will be played in Sydney on Saturday.

Was it appropriate?

Responding to the communication from Edulji, Choudhary has asked if it was appropriate to distance the BCCI office-bearers from the process to initiate action against the erring players and also if the show cause notice should have been signed by a tainted person (BCCI, CEO Rahul Johri).

Choudhary has marked his response to Edulji, Rai, to the other BCCI officer-bearers, Johri and to the BCCI legal cell.

Rai, who had not seen the video footage, said in his mail to Johri: “I have seen the remarks made by these two players on the show in print today. Very crass. No apology can cover it. I think we need to give both of them a two-match suspension. If Diana agrees, please draft an appropriate instruction and issue today as their explanations have come in. Separately please prepare an advisory to all BCCI-contracted players and support staff.”

In another mail to Edulji and Johri, Rai said: “The apology [from Hardik] 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 on the show.”

The acting treasurer Chaudhry has responded to Edulji’s mail: “I agree with Mr. Rai that the comments are very crass and also that the apology appears insincere. I appreciate the step by Ms. Diana Edulji to seek the views of the legal team as it is absolutely essential that the correct procedure is followed in dealing with this situation...”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 12:07:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/vinod-rai-recommends-2-odi-ban-for-hardik-pandya-kl-rahul-for-tv-show-comments/article25958686.ece

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