Hours after a suspension was provisionally lifted, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya was cleared to join the Indian team in New Zealand while opening batsman KL Rahul will travel to Trivandrum to join the Indian A side which is playing England Lions.
The duo was suspended for making controversial remarks in television talk show Koffee with Karan and their fate is now dependent on the Ombudsman after the two-member CoA - Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji - could not find any conclusion on the next step of action.
Pandya was sent back home from Australia and Tamil Nadu opener Vijay Shankar was named as the replacement. Young batsman Shubman Gill had been drafted into the squad to take the place of KL Rahul, who too was sent back to India.
Earlier in the day, the BCCI released a statement saying: "The Committee of Administrators ("CoA") had, by emails dated 11.01.2019, and in exercise of Rule 41(6) of the Constitution of BCCI, suspended Mr. Hardik Pandya and Mr. K.L. Rahul in view of the allegations of misconduct against them, pending adjudication of the allegations under Rule 46 of the approved BCCI Constitution."
"Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect," it added.
The comments of Hardik Pandya, in particular, had drawn a lot of criticism and several former players weighed in on the matter. While Harbhajan Singh lashed out at the duo, Rahul Dravid said that people should not overreact and the BCCI should look to educate the cricketers about such issues.
Indian captain Virat Kohli too had said that the Indian team does not endorse any such statements and that they were made in an individual capacity.