Indian cricket team players Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul learned things the hard way post a bizarre and uncanny appearance on a television chat show. What followed was misogynistic and crass comments regarding women that fuelled a wrath from the Indian fans and the cricket body alike.
The two Indian stars were part of the ongoing ODI series against Australia and were set to fly to New Zealand next for the ODI and T20I series. But things went sour for them as they were handed immediate suspension by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), who made one of the most decisive calls in recent times. The message was clear – A player representing the country cannot make sexist comments that hurt the sentiments of any human being.
The two were sent back to India and an inquiry is pending over them until an investigation is carried out. Hardik Pandya in particular was the main culprit on Karan Johar’s chat show – Koffee With Karan. He has become the talk of the town with many applauding the decision taken by the Indian cricket board.
There was a wave of arrogance and pride over Pandya’s comments on conquering women and being cool about the same with his parents. In the mix of all this, Rahul too wasn’t spared and question goes out that how the host allowed all of this and got the episode to air on television.
Pandya and Rahul will not take part in both the series and their replacements were named by the BCCI selection panel. So much has happened in a short span of time. We analyse how the CoA and the BCCI was right in their move and how responsible should a sportsman be in public. Sole reason is that he/she represents India and millions look up to the person.
The flashback of what happened on Koffee With Karan
The popular chat show is often a regular feature for Bollywood personalities. In the sixth season of the show, host and Bollywood producer-director Johar changed the game by inviting two cricketers. Both are popular amongst the fans and have a huge fan following.
The 25-year-old Pandya showed his immature self in the show and made some nonsensical remarks. He appeared to be flashy and the kind of words that came out from his mouth lacked class. The cricketer boasted how his parents were ‘cool’ and revealed he told them after he lost virginity. “I told my parents Aaj main karke aaya,” Pandya was seen saying on the show.
But this was just the start. As the minutes passed by, Pandya’s cringeworthy comments gained momentum. About women, Pandya didn’t have decent things to say either. The all-rounder said he liked to see them ‘move’ and credited his love for ‘black culture’ for this.
His show partner Rahul quipped Pandya had ‘relationships’ with all cheerleaders in the Indian Premier League.To the surprise of many, Pandya didn’t correct him. The way he went about things showed how he treated the ‘allegation’ as an achievement of sorts.
Hotstar took the episode down from its website after all the negative responses.
What we learned from Pandya and the entire episode?
There is a clear hint of feeling that the cricketers sees women as objects. That’s really awful for a person of his calibre who represents Indian cricket. Losing his virginity and boasting about it to his parents is incredible source of thrill for him. He feels that the Carribean culture is all about sex and booze. No wonder the black culture comments surfaced from here.
What was highlighted in the chat show episode was that Pandya may be a promising player on the field, but off-field he is pretty unbearable and uncool to hang with. Especially fit there is a female that hangs around with him.
Rahul did not make any objectionable comments on the other hand. But his response to Pandya’s words irked many quarters.
The incident also highlights that cricket’s status as a gentleman’s game is slowly losing its lustre. While Pandya and Rahul have been reprimanded (and rightly so) for their behaviour and conduct, not much attention is being paid to Karan Johar. He would have known all this and allowing them to go about it normally shows the director in a poor light. Each time he responded by laughing at Pandya’s comments.
How did the CoA and BCCI react?
The Committee of Administrators issued a show cause notice to cricketers Pandya and Rahul following the outburst on social media. The sexist, misogynist comments caught the netizens’ eyes and the cricket body acted swiftly. Pandya took to Twitter to offer an apology, but that wasn’t taken into consideration.
CoA believed Pandya’s apology wasn’t enough. Rai was clearly unimpressed with a poor apology from Pandya and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, labelled the comments as crass.
The CoA had earlier called for a two-match ban on both. But later on the game changed and the two were suspended from all forms of the game. CoA member Diana Edulji, who was seeking a legal opinion on the course of action, was candid and prompt in her response.
In a press conference Edulji said, “There is no delay as such. Big steps will be taken through a proper process and protocol as per BCCI’s rules and regulations. This is my response to the story.” The BCCI also wanted to find out who gave the two cricketers the permission to appear on a chat show.
Kohli was candid about the intolerance of such behaviour
Ahead of the first ODI against the Aussies at the SCG, Virat Kohli was asked to comment on the entire saga. The 30-year-old Indian team skipper was candid in his response. Kohli felt that the two players have understood the magnitude of what’s happened.
“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 the two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what’s happened,” Kohli said.
“We, as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated. I can definitely say that as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers we definitely don’t align with those views and those are purely individual views,” Kohli added.
Pandya, Rahul indefinitely suspended – The right call
Hardik Pandya&KL Rahul will now return to India & enquiry&proceedings will be made against them for misconduct initiated under Rule 41 of BCCI Constitution. All-India Senior Selection Committee will soon name their replacements for ODI series against Australia&tour to New Zealand https://t.co/no4T7avP8X
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2019
What the CoA did here was teach the cricketers a lesson for their irresponsible behaviour. There is a certain rule and regulation to be followed and how a player should conduct himself. Clearly, the code was broken here and Pandya came as a main culprit.
Certain section of fans are calling the suspension move by the CoA a bit harsh. But seeing all of this one feels that Rai and Edulji took the right call. A stern example was set and this will educate the other cricketers and youngsters alike on how to be responsible as a citizen when you are a celebrity.
Brand value of Pandya dips instantly
The brand value of Pandya has taken a hit post the episode. According to a report in The Times of India, Pandya’s contract with men’s shaving razor Gillette Mach3 Start has been dropped.
“Hardik Pandya’s recent comments do not reflect the values of Gillette. We have suspended our association with Hardik until we decide on further course of action,” a company’s spokesperson said to the media outlet.
This is just the start as one expects that several other brands are expected to follow suit. The reactions to the duo’s TV appearance is thought to be on the negative.
The 25-year-old Mumbai Indians cricketer is associated with many brands besides TV advertisements. Brands like OPPO, Gulf Oil, Sin Denim, DFY Sport and EUME are associated with him.
As far their cricket is concerned, it remains to be seen how does the investigation pans out. It’s a big blow for both the players in missing two crucial series. With some spots in the side being up for grabs, their absence is a bonus for the others.
With the ICC World Cup 2019 starting May 30 in England and Wales, this was a bad timing for the duo to get involved in such a matter. Pandya wanted to be cool, but things went rather uncool for the cricketer.