Times have been hard for all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is under suspension for his controversial remarks on chat show Koffee with Karan, along with teammate KL Rahul. Pandya and Rahul were part of the Indian team for the last two Tests and for the limited overs team for Australia and New Zealand. But both Rahul and Pandya were called back from the tour to face an inquiry.
Though Rahul and Pandya have rendered unconditional apologies, BCCI and CoA are sitting on their inquiry issue as Supreme Court is yet to decide on the matter.
Now former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who won the ICC World Cup in 2015, has said that someone as talented as Pandya, and someone who brings balance to the Indian team, should be part of 2019 World Cup squad.
"A talented player like Hardik is very necessary for the balance of the side. He can win games alone with his batting and I am confident he will be in that World Cup squad," Clarke told PTI.
He added: "How much money you have earned is irrelevant because most important thing is to earn and give respect. I think it all starts with how you have been brought up. Respecting every individual is very important. It starts with respecting elders regardless of profession.”
The CoA notably had requested the Supreme Court to appoint an ombudsman to decide the fate of Pandya and Rahul during a hearing earlier this week.
However, acting BCCI President, CK Khanna has requested CoA to let Pandya and Rahul play cricket until their punishment is finalized.
"I urge for a meeting/discussion between Committee of Administrators and the office bearers to resolve this issue on priority. What Mr. Hardik Pandya said and Mr. K.L. Rahul acted as a by-stander to is inappropriate and absolutely wrong, but in my personal opinion, to treat them like lawbreakers is wrong too," 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. For the interest of the Indian cricket in mind, the deplorable off ground activity of the players requires immediate corrective action but we must not keep their careers in limbo," Khanna requested in a letter to CoA members Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai.
(inputs from PTI)