Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are currently suspended by the BCCI on advice from the Committee of Administrators (CoA) following their remarks on popular TV show Koffee With Karan but acting President of the cricket board, CK Khanna has said that they should be allowed to play for India.
Khanna believes that the delay in deciding the fate of the cricketers is hampering their careers and till Supreme Court can appoint an ombudsman to decide the quantum of their punishment, the duo should be reinstated to the Indian team.
"I suggest that pending inquiry we reinstate both the cricketers in the Indian squad immediately and allow them to join the team in New Zealand at the earliest," he wrote in an email, as reported by Press Trust of India.
"They made a mistake, and they have already been suspended and called back from the series against Australia. They have also submitted an unconditional apology. We must not keep their careers in a limbo."
Pandya and Rahul faced immense backlash for their comments on the Karan Johar-hosted talk show which were deemed to be "sexist" and "misogynistic". The pair was suspended following that event and is currently in India. They have also issued unconditional apologies according to CoA member Vinod Rai who had initially suggested a two-match for the players.
But it was reported that fellow CoA member Diana Edulji wanted to consult BCCI's legal team in order to decide the extent of their punishment. But since the matter fell beyond the purview of BCCI's code of conduct, the Supreme Court had to be involved. This has led to an impasse in the whole situation as the SC has reportedly asked for a week to appoint the ombudsman.
Khanna is the latest in a list of well-known people who have made a statement regarding this controversy. While some have called the activities in the aftermath an overreaction, others feel the rage is justified.
No official response has been made to Khanna's email yet.