Indian cricketers KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya have been suspended pending an inquiry into comments they made about women on a television show this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have confirmed.
- KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya made sexist comments on a popular Indian chat show, Koffee with Karan
- The BCCI has suspended the pair subject to an inquiry
- India play Australia in three ODI matches, starting in Sydney on Saturday
Batsman Rahul and all-rounder Pandya had been heavily criticised in India and on social media for remarks that were widely condemned as sexist and inappropriate.
The two players appeared on popular Indian TV show Koffee with Karan, during which Pandya said he emulated the "West Indies and black culture", which he credited for teaching him just how to treat women.
"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, 25, 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 Committee of Administrators (CoA) asked the pair to explain the comments and Pandya apologised via an Instagram post, saying that 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 wrote.
However, after considering their reply, the BCCI decided to charge both players for misconduct and indiscipline.
The duo have been suspended for an undisclosed length of time, with the pair set to miss the one-day international series in Australia starting on Saturday and the following limited-overs tour of New Zealand.
"The duo is now called upon to provide an explanation as to why they should not be proceeded against for misconduct and indiscipline under Rule 41 of the BCCI Constitution within a period of seven days," the BCCI said in a statement.
'We do not support views like that'
Ahead of today's first ODI against Australia at the SCG, India captain Virat Kohli said the comments made by the Rahul and Pandya were not supported by their teammates.
"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," Kohli told reporters.
"The two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude.
"It has to hit anyone hard, they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right.
"These are purely individual opinions … we definitely, as the Indian cricket team, do not support views like that and that has been communicated."
Kohli's side sealed their first ever Test series victory in Australia earlier this week when the fourth match at the SCG ended in a rain-affected draw, handing the tourists a 2-1 victory.
During the series, opener KL Rahul was ineffective with the bat, averaging just 11.40 with a high score of just 44 from five innings.
The 26-year-old has played 13 ODI's for India, with an average of 35.22 and a top score of 100 not out.
All-rounder Pandya did not feature in the Test series victory over Australia after a disappointing tour of England in which he scored just one 50 and took 10 wickets across four Tests, but has featured in 42 ODI's for his country.
"[It's] definitely not going to dampen anything that we've achieved," Kohli said.
"You have to adjust with the situation. We need to go out there and play cricket.
"All these external factors are not going to derail our motivation or the preparation for the World Cup."