Former India captain Rahul Dravid feels that the recent controversy involving Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul might act as a catalyst for both the cricketers and help them reach their true potential. Dravid is also pleased by CoA’s decision to lift the suspensions on the duo with immediate effect.
In an exclusive chat with ESPNcricinfo, Dravid said: “I am glad the suspension has been lifted. There is an inquiry in the process which must be completed.”
Earlier this month, Pandya and Rahul appeared on the popular TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’ and created storm by making "misogynistic" and "sexist" comments. Consequently, BCCI called back both the cricketers from Australia, barring them from participating in the recently held ODI series Down Under.
Giving his two cents on the matter, Dravid further added that it’s time to move on since the players have admitted their mistake.
“No one is brushing this under the carpet. The players have been the first people to admit that they made a mistake. They already have suffered a lot publicly. It is time to move on. We also need to ensure we don’t overreact. At no stage are you condoning their action or the behaviour,” he opined.
Dravid said that he has not watched the entire episode of ‘Koffee with Karan’ but urged Pandya and Rahul to be careful with their views. The current India ‘A’ and U-19 coach also stressed over the fact that mistakes are part of learning and growing up.
“I did not see the full show. I saw bits and pieces. At one level the players themselves have come out and said how disappointed they were with the way it came out, and rightly so. Clearly, when you are representing India you need to be a bit careful with your public views and comments that you make because it might be completely inappropriate to a lot of people. Having said that it is important to recognise and realise that sometimes these things can happen. Sportspersons and public figures can make mistakes. It is part of learning and growing up,” he remarked.
Having observed both Hardik and Rahul from the close quarters while mentoring the junior sides, Dravid added: “I have coached both of them at various levels. I somehow just don’t feel that interview truly reflected the players. Hopefully, they will come back better and stronger from this. I will say honestly, I do believe that both of them have not yet achieved their obvious potential that they both have, and maybe this might be the catalyst that would lead them to reflect and help them reach the level and potential they can achieve in all forms of the game. If they can do that they can certainly be role models.”
Meanwhile, Pandya is all set to join the Indian cricket team in New Zealand for the remaining limited-overs matches while Rahul has been named in the India ‘A’ squad for the final three ODIs against England Lions.