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India suspend Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul over controversial TV remarks

The Guardian logo The Guardian 12/01/2019 Press Association
Hardik Pandya looking at the camera: Hardik Pandya has been roundly criticised. © AFP/Getty Images Hardik Pandya has been roundly criticised.

India have suspended opening batsman KL Rahul and all-rounder Hardik Pandya with immediate effect following the controversial comments they made on a recent television show.

Rahul and Pandya, both of whom have featured in all formats for India in recent months, have been widely criticised for remarks that were widely construed to be sexist during the talk show Koffee with Karan earlier this week.

As a consequence, the Board of Control for Cricket in India revealed Rahul and Pandya will not feature in “any form of cricket” and return to India to answer charges of misconduct and indiscipline.

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The pair will therefore be absent for the one-day series in Australia, which started on Saturday, as well as the forthcoming tour to New Zealand, with the BCCI set to name replacements in due course.

A statement on the BCCI’s official website read: “The CoA (Committee of Administrators) in accordance with the BCCI has decided to suspend Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show.

“The duo will now return to India and an enquiry and proceedings will be made against them for misconduct and indiscipline that have been initiated under Rule 41 of the BCCI constitution.

“The duo is now called upon to provide an explanation as to why they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline under Rule 41 of the BCCI constitution within a period of seven days.”

India captain Virat Kohli told reporters on Friday the “inappropriate comments” were something he and his team “definitely don’t support”.

Bejewelled and wearing yellow sunglasses, Pandya said he emulates the “West Indies and black culture“, which he credited for teaching him just how to treat women.

“You are just watching (women at a nightclub). You are just watching and observing how they move,” he said.

“I am a little from the black side, so I have to see how they move first. Then I can imagine the picture.“

He also said that when he lost his virginity, he bragged to his parents and, when at a party, pointed to multiple women and told his parents: “I have something going on with each of them“.

Pandya has since expressed remorse about his utterances, writing on social media: “I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way.

“Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments. Respect.”

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