The two cricketers had been issued notices, asking them to be present for hearings on April 9 (Pandya) and April 10 (Rahul) in Mumbai. “Both KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya met me and explained themselves,” Justice Jain told ANI. “In due course, I will take a decision.”
This is the first issue the BCCI ombudsman, who was appointed by the Supreme Court in February, will adjudicate on and, as he had told ESPNcricinfo last week, he had to hear both players before announcing his decision.
Justice Jain had earlier said that there was no deadline given to him by the BCCI to take a final decision. However, both the Indian team management as well the national selectors would want clarity keeping in mind the World Cup, the squad for which will be picked on April 15 with the tournament starting on May 30.
Both Pandya and Rahul had been suspended by the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators in January over their offensive remarks on the television show ‘Koffee with Karan’, which was aired on January 9. The two players, who were in Australia at the time, were called back home and suspended two days later. Subsequently, on January 24, the suspension was provisionally lifted pending an inquiry.
Both the players are currently engaged in the Indian Premier League, where Pandya’s Mumbai Indians and Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab will face off on Wednesday night at Wankhede Stadium.