Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul Suspended, Will Return to India: BCCI

All-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener KL Rahul were on Friday asked to return home from the three-ODI series against Australia starting in Sydney on Saturday after being suspended for their controversial comments during a television talk show.

The BCCI, in a statement, said the tainted pair would be barred "from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show".

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

Also Read: Koffee to Suspension: Pandya’s Misogynistic Journey to Reality

Further indicating that both players will be out of action for the next month, the BCCI said the Selection Committee will soon be naming replacements for not just the ongoing ODI series against Australia but next month’s tour of New Zealand as well.

The decision comes after Diana Edulji, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), advocated suspension of the two until the quantum of sentence is announced. CoA Chairman Vinod Rai had earlier recommended a two-ODI ban for them but Diana decided to seek legal opinion before taking any action.

"Based on legal opinion and till the time the final procedure is laid down to address this issue, (I) will recommend that a communication be sent to the players concerned and the team immediately," Diana wrote in an email.

"It will be imperative that the players be put under suspension till a further course of action is decided for this misconduct," the mail added.

In this regard, a five-member Apex Council comprising the elected office bearers -- President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer -- has been formed to conduct the probe.   

Also Read: Edulji Recommends Suspension for Pandya, Rahul After Legal Opinion

The duo had made an appearance in a popular television talk show hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar during which they made several comments which were widely perceived to be sexist and vulgar.

Following intense criticism, Pandya had issued an apology on social media, although Rahul is yet to come up with his reaction.

Earlier on Friday, breaking his silence on the sexist comments made by Pandya and Rahul, India skipper Virat Kohli denounced the duo's statements, terming the comments as "inappropriate".

The 30-year-old skipper said the belief in the dressing room is completely different from the individual comments of the two young players.

"We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers do not support such views," Kohli said during the pre-match press conference in Sydney.

"The two players concerned have realised what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what has happened," he added.

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