India will not be fielding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in Saturday’s ODI series-opener against Australia after Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji recommended a suspension pending inquiry for their controversial comments on women during a TV show.
A BCCI source told PTI that Rahul was not considered for selection while Pandya will not feature at least in the game on Saturday. A final decision on the matter is still awaited.
“The team management has told Pandya that he is not playing tomorrow as they are yet to get a final directive. Rahul, in any case, wasn’t in contention for a first XI berth,” said a source close to the development.
“The team management is waiting for an official communication on whether there is a provisional suspension and if they will be sent back,” he added.
On Thursday, COA chief Vinod Rai recommended a two-match ban for Pandya and Rahul but colleague Edulji referred the matter to BCCI’s legal team.
On Friday, Edulji called for suspension of the two players pending inquiry after the BCCI legal team refused to declare their outrage-evoking comments on women a violation of the code of conduct.
In the pre-match media interaction, India captain Virat Kohli condemned the comments made by Pandya and Rahul, calling them “inappropriate”.
“From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don’t support…and that has been communicated (to the two players),” said Kohli.
“…We definitely don’t align with those views and those are purely individual views. The two concerned players (have) felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what’s happened.”
However, the skipper insisted that the dressing room morale won’t be affected by the controversy after the historic high of a maiden Test series triumph in Australia.