The controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul’s comments on the talk show Koffee With Karan, hosted by Karan Johar, has snowballed for Pandya’s ‘outrageous’ comments on women. The BCCI have decided to take action and both players face the prospect of a potential two-match ban. Vinod Rai, the head of the Committee of Administrators, has given the suggestion and is waiting for Diana Edulji to give her approval. Speaking about the controversy in the pre-match press conference, India skipper Virat Kohli has bluntly said the Indian cricket team does not stand with the comments made by the two cricketers.
“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. We definitely as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated (to the two players). 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. The two concerned players (have) felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what's happened. Definitely it has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right. We are still waiting for a decision to be made,” Kohli said.
Pandya's remarks were slammed as ‘misogynistic’, ‘racist’ by many Twitter users and the BCCI issued a showcause notice to the all-rounder along with Rahul, the other cricketer present on the show. Pandya had taken to Twitter to apologise for his remarks and expressed ‘regret’ over the comments when he responded to the showcause notice. The all-rounder has said the mistake will not be repeated in the future.
The situation came into light with this one conversation when Johar was asking questions about not asking women’s name in a night club and what do men talk about. To this, Pandya replied, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I'm little from the black side so I need to see how they move." Pandya also boasted about how he casually discussed his sex life with his parents. “When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, 'Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)'. At a party my parents asked me 'acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)' and they were like 'waah proud of you beta',” Pandya replied with laughter.
Dressing room morale high
Despite the controversy proving to be a distraction, Kohli maintained that the dressing room morale is high and they are determined to create more history in Australia. India recently broke their overseas woes and shattered 71 years of pain in Australia when they won a Test series for the first time Down Under. The Indian cricket skipper stated that although these comments are ‘inappropriate’, the morale is high.
“You don't have control over these things so you have to adjust with the situation and address it the way it comes to you and the way it unfolds. That's how we're looking at it. The combinations will have to be thought about once the decision comes out (from the BCCI) and from there on, we will see what needs to be done about the whole situation. We all are waiting just like everyone to understand what the decision will be. But from the Indian cricket team point of view this changes nothing in terms of our beliefs in the change room. It does nothing to the spirit that we've been able to create within the change room and these are purely individual opinions and something which as I said is inappropriate,” Kohli stated.
The first ODI will be played on January 12 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and India will be determined to register their first win in a bilateral ODI series in Australia.