In the wake of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai recommending a two-ODI ban on India players Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their controversial comments on women on the Koffee With Karan television show, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has called for an inquiry to find out whether or not the two sought permission from the BCCI to appear on the show, and if yes, Chaudhry wants to know who gave him the permission. “The provisions of the earlier contracts and the practice in place would have required these contracted players to seek permission to appear on the show. Was such a permission sought? Was such a permission granted? If so, by whom?” he asked.

Chaudhry recommended a suspension for the two and a gender sensitisation programme for them. He also took a dig at BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who was cleared of sexual harassment charges but advised to undergo gender sensitisation by an inquiry committee. “The players must be immediately suspended pending a proper inquiry and must be allowed to join the team (if selected) only once they have gone through a proper sensitisation in addition to serving a ban, if imposed upon them,” he said.

“In any case the entire team and support staff must go through a sensitisation process. The CEO may join them in the sensitisation as well as recommended by Ms. Veena Gowda, Advocate,” he added.

Chaudhry said there should also be an investigation into how the two players appeared on an entertainment show.

“I question the situation where the sports journalists are kept at bay while access to the players is given to entertainment shows,” he said referring to the provision of players needing the board’s approval for routine media interviews.

Chaudhry said the loose talk on women could also make the two players susceptible to approaches by bookmakers through “honey-traps”.

“The comments such as the ones that have been made would definitely have painted a large, red target on the back of the players for potential recruiters for the organized syndicates who attempt to indulge in match–fixing across the globe,” he said.

“The very first caution that the ICC Anti-Corruption officers give in briefing to the players is to beware of situations of honey traps and the comments made on the show make it seem that the players may just be ripe for the plucking,” Chaudhry added.

(With PTI inputs)


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