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Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul asked to explain talk-show comments

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is overseeing the functioning of the BCCI, has issued show-cause notices to Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul seeking an explanation for comments they made on a TV show recently.

This followed closely on the heels of Pandya posting an apology on his Instagram feed for his comments, which had attracted widespread social-media backlash for their perceived misogyny, sexism and racism.

“After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise 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,” Pandya wrote on his instagram page.

“We have sent show-cause notices to Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their comments,” Vinod Rai, the CoA chairman, told PTI. “They have [been] given 24 hours to give an explanation.”

The CoA decided to pull up Pandya and Rahul as contractual obligations include the players safe-guarding BCCI’s reputation.

Pandya’s father Himanshu defended his son saying he was “innocent” and the comments on the show should not be taken “seriously”.

“I don’t think people should read too much into his comments,” Himanshu told the Mid-Day newspaper. “It was an entertainment show and his comments were made in a light- hearted manner. he was only looking to entertain the audience. So, it [ his comments] should not be viewed very seriously or negatively. He is an innocent boy with a very fun- loving nature.”

Pandya and Rahul appeared on the January 6 episode of Koffee With Karan, a popular talk show hosted by the Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar. In it, the two cricketers were asked several questions about their personal lives and relationships, and Pandya’s replies in particular came in for plenty of condemnation on social media.

“… the sheer disrespect and sexist way these guys discussed women and relationships made me cringe,” was one response on Twitter. “Cricket is a religion in this country and young boys watching the show are going to follow in the footsteps of their heroes. Do they not have any social responsibility?”

Ratnakar Shetty, the former BCCI general manager of cricket administration, also had his say, as did the commentator Harsha Bhogle.

This episode puts the BCCI and its attitude towards women in the spotlight once again, soon after its CEO Rahul Johri was given a contentious “clean chit” by a three-member independent inquiry committee that looked into allegations of sexual harrassment levelled against him by two women. Though the committee did not find Johri guilty, one of its members, the women’s rights lawyer Veena Gowda, said it was “essential that… [Johri] undergo some form of gender sensitivity counselling/training.”

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1171157.html?CMP=OTC-RSS