Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul found themselves in a tricky situation after appearing in popular talk show Koffee With Karan, hosted by famous Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar. 


Some of their comments on the show were considered to be misogynistic and insensitive. As cricket icons of the nation they were criticized for showing disrespect towards women, and that too on a national television show.

What Happened

On the show, Hardik Pandya boasted about hooking up with multiple women and revealed how open he is with his parents, “When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, ‘Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)’. At a party my parents asked me ‘acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)’ and they were like ‘waah proud of you beta’,” The 25-year-old also mentioned, “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.”

Then they revealed how they take the decision when both of them like a particular person. While KL Rahul said it is “Up to the woman,” Pandya interrupted saying “Nahi nahi aisa kuch nahi hai, talent pe hota hai. Jisko mila woh leke jao. It is on talent.”

Reactions Post The Show

Image Source – Dainik Bhaskar

Social media went on to criticize these two young guns of team India and started comparing them with the previous Indian cricketers like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and VVS Laxman to comment on how icons should behave.  From activists to cricket personalities, all are disappointed with what the two players said.

Former cricket board general manager Ratnakar Shetty took to the twitter, “It is time the BCCI decides to take corrective steps for cricketers who talk rubbish on public platforms. Hardik Pandya was a disgrace to the cricket community the way he spoke… He has insulted women and also made a racist remark,” Famous activist Kavita Krishnan noted,  “The cricketers’ comments were harmful to the dignity of women. There should be some accountability. It’s not just a joke,” “It is a serious matter. We teach young players various aspects of public conduct. The BCCI also teaches them how to handle finances and fame. We were guided by seniors like Gavaskar and Kapil [Dev],” said former India stumper Kiran More.

What Followed Next

Post the outrage in media, Hardik Pandya issued an apology on Twitter saying, “After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologize 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.”

But BCCI took the matter quite seriously and The Committee of Administrators Wednesday issued a show cause notice to  Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul and asked for an explanation within 24 hours for their remarks on women on a TV show. The show cause came hours after Pandya apologized for making sexist remarks.  “We have sent show cause notices to Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their comments. They have been given 24 hours to give an explanation,” CoA chief Vinod Rai told PTI. The Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) verdict on the Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul talk show row is expected on Thursday.

 In his response to the show cause, Pandya who is currently in Australia with the team, said,  “I made an appearance on the chat show where I have made certain statements without realizing that these could be disrespectful and offend sensitivities of viewers for which I am sincerely regretful. Rest assured I hold the BCCI in highest regard and will exercise complete discretion and prudence to ensure that such incidents are never repeated in future.”

Reactions

Meanwhile according to news, COA Member Diana Edulji isn’t happy with the conduct and feels for commenting on women is such a way these two cricketers should be banned. “Cricketers over the years, even while bonding with film stars, have maintained their distance for the simple reason that their primary role is representing the country. Comments like these don’t show anyone in good light. This is sad. Someone of the stature of Bishen Singh Bedi also did not get away with going on a television show in the 70s and was handed a one-match ban,” the source was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

A senior BCCI spoke to Hindustan Times, “This attempt at an apology does in no way bring the issue to closure. This merely shows how lightly he takes the gravely serious issue of respecting women. His conduct was unacceptable. He needs to understand the impact the utterances of an international cricketer have in this country but more importantly, he needs to learn how to differentiate between the right and the wrong. Right now he seems to merely respond to the outrage and not to his own thought process and conduct,”

Harsha Bhogle tweeted, “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 sensitizing these young players to life beyond the dressing room; to getting them outside the bubble that is inevitable given the adulation they get.”

The Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai on Thursday, 10 January, recommended a two-ODI ban on the players but fellow COA member Diana Edulji has referred the matter to the BCCI’s legal cell. “I am not convinced with Hardik’s explanation and I have recommended a two-match ban for both players. However the final decision will be taken once Diana gives her go ahead”, said Vinod Rai.

It will be interesting to see how BCCI finally handles the situation keeping in my this strong outrage at one hand and important ongoing Australia series in mind.

Also Read: 10 controversial quotes by football players

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