The BCCI’s Committee of Administrators have now lifted the suspensions with immediate effect.
The players are now eligible for immediate selection in the Indian squad.
Hardik Pandya’s infamous series of sexist comments on ‘Koffee with Karan’ had led to a huge whirlwind of controversy. As a result, Pandya was suspended by the BCCI. KL Rahul was also banned for just being present at the talk show alongside Pandya. Former India Women’s Team captain Diana Edulji, also a part of the CoA ensured that the bans were enforced. However, the CoA agreed to lift the provisional ban with immediate effect. Both players are now eligible to play for India.
CoA chairman Vinod Rai agreed on placing a two-match suspension until a new BCCI ombudsman was appointed. However, Diana Edulji wasn’t in favor of the idea stating either the office bearers and the CoA carry out the inquiry or it should be done by an ombudsman. Two of the three BCCI office bearers had then pointed out that the ombudsman could only be appointed by the BCCI.
Last week BCCI’s acting President CK Khanna voiced his opinion regarding the ban.
“I suggest that pending inquiry, we reinstate both the cricketers in the Indian squad immediately and allow them to join the team in New Zealand at the earliest,”
Khanna wrote in a mail to the Supreme Court-appointed committee of administrators (CoA) and the BCCI office-bearers.
“They made a mistake, and they have already been suspended and called back from the series against Australia. They have also submitted an unconditional apology. We must not keep their careers in limbo,” Khanna added while urging for a meeting between CoA and BCCI office-bearers.
Khanna also refused to call a special general meeting of the board, as demanded by some state units.
“As per the constitution of the BCCI, an ombudsman can be appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). But the matter (appointment of ombudsman) is already sub-judice,” Khanna wrote, replying to BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.
The next Supreme court hearing to appoint a new BCCI ombudsman has been delayed till at least February 5. The CoA hence decided that the provisional suspension should be lifted in consultation with the new amicus curiae PS Narasimha.
“Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect,” a release issued by the CoA on Thursday (January 24) read.
“The above matter and decision have been taken with the concurrence of the Learned Amicus Curiae, Mr. P.S. Narasimha. In view of the above, the suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 is immediately lifted pending appointment and adjudication of the allegations by the BCCI Ombudsman,” the release added.