January 12: After initially being suspended, Indian cricketers, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opening batsman K L Rahul are officially been cut off and sent packing from on-going Australia ODI. After starting a stir of rage among the Indian cricket fans, with their disrespectful comments on women in a talk show, the two cricketers have become a topic of controversy putting both of their careers at risk.
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. It was only for the second time in 82 years history of Indian cricket that players have been sent back home due to disciplinary reasons. This is the second time after Lala Amarnath, who had experienced something similar in 1936.
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, racist and misogynist” during Karan Johar’s talk show earlier this week. Especially, Hardik Pandya faced huge backlash for his inappropriate comments on women, people calling on him for disrupting the reputation of cricketers.
Although, ahead of the start of the ODI series, skipper Virat Kohli had admitted that the ideology shown by the two players isn't something that the Indian team relates to. As per Kohli, the players, too, have also understood the seriousness of the issue. “These are purely individual opinions. We definitely, as the Indian cricket team, do not support views like that and that has been communicated”, said Kohli, trying to distance the team from the controversy.
Also saying that he is not too stressed about the situation as the team is ready for such consequences, Kohli added,” definitely not going to dampen anything that we’ve achieved. You have to adjust with the situation. We need to go out there and play cricket. All these external factors are not going to derail our motivation or the preparation for the World Cup”.
While the BCCI has suspended both the players with immediate effect, calls are being made for their elimination from the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season 12 starting on March 23. The respective franchises of Rahul and Pandya, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, are being asked to have the players banned from participation in the upcoming season.
It seems likely that the two cricketers to be given an equal level of punishment, once the probe into the matter is completed, are confirmed to be out of the New Zealand series as well.
Following the stir, Pandya has also started losing his sponsors due to his comments, as some of his sponsors including his biggest sponsor Gillette have suspended the cricketer calling on him to be inappropriate for the brand.
Meanwhile, Pandya has since expressed remorse about his utterances, writing, “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”, on his social media account.