Less than 24 hours before India takes on Australia in the first of three one day internationals at the SCG, the tourists’ final XI remains unknown after two players were accused of making inappropriate comments about women on a TV chat show.
- Cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are under fire for sexist comments made on Indian TV show Koffee with Karan
- The chairman of the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators, Vinod Rai, has condemned their comments and called for a two-match ban
- Pandya and Rahul are in India’s ODI squad for the series against Australia, which begins on Saturday at the SCG
All-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener Lokesh (KL) Rahul could miss India’s first ODI game against Australia on Saturday, following controversy about comments the two made on popular Indian TV programme Koffee with Karan.
Pandya, who appeared on the show wearing yellow sunglasses and a shiny necklace, was most outspoken, as he went into details of how he approached women at nightclubs.
“You are just watching (them). You are just watching, and observing how they move,” Pandya said, describing himself.
“I am a little from the black side, so I have to see how they move first. Then I can imagine.”
Pandya said he emulated the “West Indies and black culture”, which he credited for teaching him just how to treat women.
He also related a story about a party he attended where he pointed to multiple women and then told his parents, “I have something going on with each of them.”
The comments were labelled “very crass” by the chairman of the country’s highest cricketing body, Vinod Rai, who has called for a two-match ban for the two players.
Speaking at the SCG on Friday, Indian captain Virat Kohli said he was yet to hear whether the players would be forced to sit out some matches.
“Yesterday, and some time before that as well, we have all been waiting for a decision by the board. From there on, we can understand what needs to be done about the situation.”
He also took the opportunity to distance himself from the comments made by Pandya and Rahul.
“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,” he said.
“The two concerned players have felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude of what’s happened.”
Top flight cricketers have been accused of sexism in the past, including West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, who in January 2016 asked sports reporter Mel McLaughlin out on a date during a live television broadcast.
Pandya, for his part, has apologised for his comments saying he “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,” he said in a short statement on Instagram.