It all began with the candid chat show called ‘Koffee With Karan’. Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were present at that show and some of their comments found to be misogynistic.
It led to huge social media outrage and finally both the players were suspended by the BCCI during the Australia tour. Ther were called back to India from Australia.
However, The Committee of Administrators (CoA) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday has lifted the suspensions of Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul with immediate effect. The decision has been taken after consultation with amicus curiae P.S. Narasimha. Supreme Court will appoint an Ombudsman soon for further inquiry and has tentatively listed the case hearing for February 5.
Former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid in an interview with ESPNCricinfo said that he is glad the suspension has been lifted. Earlier Dravid urged not to overreact as this was not the first time someone committed a mistake and also it won’t be the last.
“Sometimes we forget that mistakes have happened in the past. They will happen in the future. If you were to read the papers or if I were to hear comments it comes across as if it is only happening now. I can understand some of the anger, I can understand some of the reactions, but one has to understand mistakes will happen”, Dravid said.
He added, “No one is brushing this under the carpet. The players have been the first people to admit that they made a mistake. They already have suffered a lot publicly. It is time to move on. We also need to ensure we don’t overreact. At no stage are you condoning their action or behavior.”
The current coach of India A and Under-19 team believes that the duo will learn from their mistake and this would push them to achieve their true potential. The duo was compared with the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman to show how this generation lacks the ability to produce role models. But Rahul Dravid opposed to this.
“Absolutely. I have no doubt about it. I have coached both of them at various levels. I somehow just don’t feel that the interview truly reflected the players. Hopefully, they will come back better and stronger from this. I will say honestly, I do believe that both of them have not yet achieved their obvious potential that they both have, and maybe this might be the catalyst that would lead them to reflect and help them reach the level and potential they can achieve in all forms of the game. If they can do that they can certainly be role models,” Dravid said.
According to ‘The Wall’, youngsters can learn from the senior members of the team. A senior player has a very important role to play in the team and hence he suggests India A players play in first-class matches with complete dedication and professionalism to set proper examples for the next generation. He mentioned how Cheteshwar Pujara is playing for Sourashtra immediately after coming back from Australia with the utmost commitment.
He added, “Nothing disappoints me more than when a state coach comes to me and says so-and-so does not play our Ranji matches with seriousness, and he is a senior guy is not setting the right example.”
“Senior players, even if they are not playing for India, senior players in first-class teams are the guys who can actually really set a huge example. I honestly learned from my seniors. Nobody sat and gave me a chat. Nobody gave me a lecture. I just learned by observation. You observe, you see, you learn.”
According to him, this generation is always under scrutiny and focus.
He said, “The more success you get the more it gets highlighted and you get praised a lot more as well. The flip side is when things are going wrong or if you do badly the criticism and the scrutiny is a lot more as well. You get to hear and see a lot more comments and feedback than you probably did in earlier generations.”
While questioned about social media he agreed that social media is unavoidable nowadays but the players need to careful and aware of the consequences.
“All we tell them is look, there are advantages with what you guys are doing, but there are obvious dangers and stuff that can mess up with your mind, which will then not necessarily allow you to focus on the game or will stress you out, affect you mentally, and affect your game. So you’ve got to be careful that you did not let that happen”, he said.