Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are going through a terrible time after their appearance in the popular TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’ and their trouble doesn’t seem to end anytime soon.
According to a latest PTI report, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji has recommended “suspension till further action” against Pandya and Rahul after the BCCI legal team clarified that their cringe-worthy comments do not fall under the Code of Conduct ambit.
“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.
“Based on legal opinion and final procedure is laid down to address this issue, will recommend that a communication is sent to concerned players and team immediately,” Edulji wrote in response to recommendations from the Board’s legal firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
On Thursday (January 10), CoA chief Vinod Rai proposed the two-match suspension for the duo. Pandya is still uncertain to feature in the ODI series opener against Australia in Sydney.
Meanwhile, the copy of the legal opinion, in possession of PTI, states: “We feel that present matter doesn’t fall under the ambit of Code of Conduct and procedure of Code of Conduct can’t be invoked in present circumstances.”
The legal firm made it clear that the comments in question were neither a criticism of any match or against a player or support staff or match official.
“In any case the procedure set by the BCCI constitution will have primacy over procedure set out under Code of Conduct,” it said.
A senior BCCI official endorsed Edulji’s view and said that there should be suspension pending inquiry.
“It’s not just about Code of Conduct but about bringing the institution to disrepute. Just understand that ICC had given maximum sanction of one Test ban to Steve Smith for ball tampering charges as per its code of conduct,” he said.
If they are suspended pending inquiry, the legal team has suggested the appointment of an ad hoc Ombudsman, which could create even more problems for the duo.
“But Cricket Australia banned them for one year for the disrepute they brought to the game. When you look at their crass comments, look at the larger picture,” the official added.
(With PTI inputs)