Pending appointment of an ombudsman by the Supreme Court to look into the matter, the BCCI said that the suspension on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul could be lifted.

BCCI lifts suspension on Hardik Pandya KL Rahul over Koffee with Karan controversy
news Controversy Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 18:05

In what comes as a relief to cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has lifted the suspension handed out to the two players after Hardik made sexist and racist remarks on talk show Koffee With Karan. The duo had appeared on the show, hosted by Bollywood filmmaker and producer Karan Johar, earlier this month.

Following outrage over Hardik’s problematic remarks on women and appropriation of black culture, BCCI had suspended them, causing them to sit out India’s ODI series against Australia. The lifting of the suspension comes after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) of the BCCI had asked the Supreme Court to appoint an ombudsman to enquire into the matter.

According to norms, investigation and verdict over misconduct by cricketers registered with the BCCI can be done by an ombudsman of the Board. Considering the appointment of this ombudsman is pending, the CoA opined that the suspension of the players could be lifted. 

The players were called back home from Australia pending investigation into the matter and were likely to miss India’s ODI series against New Zealand as well, which they may now be eligible to play in.

In the aftermath of controversy following Hardik’s statements on Koffee With Karan, the cricketer had issued an apology on Twitter, saying that he had gotten carried away with the format of the show and did not intend to hurt anyone. However, the BCCI had been dissatisfied with the apology.

The incident has also compelled BCCI to consider introducing behavioural counselling for Indian cricketers. The Board was previously also mulling barring players from any interviews unless they were cricket related.

Meanwhile, Karan Johar finally broke his silence on the controversy. While he apologised because the comments were made on his show, he added that Koffee With Karan was a frivolous, candid and irreverent show and should not be taken otherwise. He went on to say that he had had “sleepless nights” thinking about he could “undo the damage” following the backlash the players were facing, as their careers were getting affected.