Days after making sexist and misogynistic comments while bragging about their sexual escapades, Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya has found himself in a real spot of bother after the BCCI put their selection in the team on hold pending inquiry. Also bearing the brunt of the BCCI’s ire is Pandya’s teammate KL Rahul, who had appeared with the Indian all-rounder on Koffee With Karan show on 6 January. The said TV show had caused considerable anger amongst women’s right activists and general social media users because of their perceived sexist comments and display of utter misogyny.
The Indian cricket board on Friday suspended both the players from being selected in the national team until the inquiry against them is completed. BCCI’s Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai confirmed the development when he said, “Both Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry.” Both Rai and his CoA colleague Diana Edulji had agreed to slap a two-match ban on Pandya and Rahul for their controversial statements, made on the chat show, hosted by Karan Johar.
Edulji has now also referred the matter to the legal cell of the BCCI. Trouble for the two players doesn’t end here. BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has now demanded a probe to ascertain as to how they were allowed to appear on a chat show without obtaining the BCCI’s approval. “The provisions of the earlier contracts and the practice in place would have required these contracted players to seek permission to appear on the show. Was such a permission sought? Was such a permission granted? If so, by whom?” Chaudhry was quoted by news agency PTI.
Elsewhere, Hotstar, which is owned by Star TV group, has removed the last episode of Koffee With Karan from its platform. A tweet by Hotstar read, “Certain remarks / comments made by the guests on the episode 12 of Koffee with Karan may hurt the sentiments of our users / viewers. As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from Hotstar with immediate effect.”
Certain remarks / comments made by the guests on the episode 12 of Koffee with Karan may hurt the sentiments of our users / viewers. As a responsible platform, we have removed the episode from Hotstar with immediate effect.
— Hotstar (@hotstar_helps) January 11, 2019
Faced with growing outrage, Pandya had taken to social media to issue an apology. He had said, “After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, 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.”
While appearing on Koffee With Karan on 6 January, Pandya had narrated an incident when he bragged to his parents about losing his virginity. He had said, “Aaj mai kar ke aaya (Today, I’ve done that).” This wasn’t the only cringe-worthy comment that Pandya made about his sexual encounters on the show.
He told Karan Johar, “At a party, my parents asked me, ‘Which women are yours? I said, ‘This, this, and this one’,” Talking about his parents’ reaction, Pandya had said, “And they were like, ‘Wah, proud of you beta‘.”
On the show, Pandya had also boasted about getting intimate with multiple women. In response to a question on why he doesn’t ask for the names of women at nightclubs since he has trouble remembering them, he had said, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.”
Noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle had urged the BCCI to sensitise young cricketers about ‘life beyond the dressing room.’ Bhogle’s tweet had read, “It is all very well to issue show-cause notices now to KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. But I do wish the BCCI spends time in sensitising these young players to life beyond the dressing room; to getting them outside the bubble that is inevitable given the adulation they get.”