Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman KL Rahul are currently out of action after the BCCI suspended them pending an inquiry.
It is not yet known what punishment would be handed to the two cricketers. Recently, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) requested the Supreme Court of India to appoint an ombudsman for the further inquiry in the case. Therefore, it is not clear for how long Pandya and Rahul will be out of action.
Amidst the bizarre state of affairs, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has said that the team badly needs the services of Pandya and a decision on the duo has to be made quickly.
“Hardik Pandya needs to come back quickly. I don’t know whoever got to make the decision has to make the decision quickly enough. I mean he has not committed a crime, he has admitted his mistake of making some crass statements, people need to move on and at least hand him his punishment. He has already missed three games, he is going to miss five more and he hasn’t had a lot of cricket in the past two and a half months. He gives you balance,” Agarkar told ESPNcricinfo.
Meanwhile, a number of former Indian cricketers including Sourav Ganguly have advised the BCCI to move on from the issue and forgive the duo. Furthermore, India opener Shikhar Dhawan also confessed in the pre-match conference on the eve of the third ODI in Melbourne that Pandya’s absence is affecting the balance of the side.
Following their "misogynistic" and "sexist" comments on the popular TV show Koffee with Karan, Pandya and Rahul were immediately called back from Australia. While both the cricketers were barred from the three-match ODI series Down Under, they will now miss five ODIs and three T20Is in New Zealand.