The controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul's infamous appearance on television show 'Koffee with Karan' has been laid to rest with both players fined Rs 20 lakh each for their indiscretion. But how did these two cricketers explain their gaffe away? How did they conduct themselves during the probe? And how do they view the whole episode now?
Well, after the two men were hauled over the coals by the BCCI ombudsman, an IBT reporter managed to get an exclusive interview with them. We asked them about the defence they presented in the BCCI enquiry. Here is the transcript of that interview.
IBT Reporter: So, Mr Pandya and Mr Rahul, you appeared before the BCCI ombudsman to explain your actions and statements during a television show. Both of you are accused of having made comments which can be called sexist and racist.
This could have been overlooked but you also did something which can be construed as constituting an even graver crime: not showing enough respect to Sachin Tendulkar. In this country, you can get away with racist comments – even Sunil Gavaskar said something like West Indians will go back to the jungles where they came from – and sexist remarks – remember Star Sports and ESPN picking random good-looking girls from the crowd and bringing them on to discuss 'cricket' with Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram about 15 years ago. But nobody, and I mean nobody can show lack of respect for Sachin Tendulkar. Not you, not Ravi Shastri, not Maria Sharapova, not even Donald Tru..... Wait, ye thhoda zyada ho gaya. So, what did you have to say in your defence? You first, Mr Pandya.
Hardik: Well, you know maan...I mean sir, I got carried away with the format of the show. I mean, all the movie stars come there and talk about their affairs and fantasies and such things. So, I thought I should do the same.
IBT Reporter: And you, Mr Rahul?
Rahul: I was just looking on. I mean, I hardly said anything. This Gujju lad went on and on about his love life. It was actually very unfair. I mean, I am scoring ducks and he is talking about chicks...
IBT Reporter: Chicks? (With a frown)
Rahul: No...no...no. I meant girls, I mean ladies, I mean sisters, no ladies, yes ladies. He was talking about getting some ladies, I mean earning the companionship of some ladies while I was staying single, not just in my relationship status but also in terms of digits of my scores. So, I was actually quite offended myself. How could I cause offence to anyone else?
IBT Reporter: And Mr Pandya, what was this comment about 'being from the black side' and 'having to see how they move?'
Hardik: Actually maan...I mean reporter bhai, I was misled by Chris Gayle. I learnt all these things from him. He told me how to look at.....
IBT Reporter: Look at what? (Again with a frown)
Hardik: Look at the rhythmic gyrations performed by honourable ladies during musical recreational activities.
IBT Reporter: Oh, you mean garba? Yes, you must be a big fan of Falguni Pathak. (Humming) Indhana vinva gaite mori saiyaan. Indhana vinva gaite re. Which Falguni Pathak song is your favourite?
Hardik: Actually, I don't listen to Falguni Pathak but singers like Beyonce, Rihanna, etc.
IBT Reporter: But how the hell do you do garba on Rihanna or Beyonce's songs? That's like eating Gujarati kadhi with taco!
Hardik: No maan...I mean reporter bhai, I am not interested in garba but the sort of dance that you see in nightclubs and similar places.
IBT Reporter: Wow, you don't love garba! Are you not from Gujarat?
Hardik: I am, but I am also a little from the black.... I mean, I have inculcated diverse cultural influences from various parts of the world, so my aesthetic sensibilities are quite eclectic.
Rahul: Wait, wait. I won't let this happen again.
IBT Reporter: What.
Rahul: On Karan's show as well, he kept talking with the interviewer and I got caught up in the entire controversy. This time, I want to make it absolutely clear that I bear no responsibility for Pandya's actions.
IBT Reporter: Don't worry. I am not even paying attention to you. So, Mr Pandya, you don't listen to Falguni Pathak and don't like garba. Fine, different strokes for different folks, I guess. But now, to the most serious question: how dare you say that Virat is better than Sachin?
Hardik: But even Lata Mangeshkar and Vinod Kambli have said that!
IBT Reporter: Don't drag Lata ji into this. But Kambli! Seriously, you are quoting Kambli?
Hardik: Why not, he too is from the black.... I mean, he also has a certain perspective which may be in consonance with mine.
IBT Reporter: So, you have gone from being compared with Kapil Dev to agreeing with Kambli! Wow, what a fall from grace! But anyway, are you two going to repeat these mistakes?
Pandya: No! not at all. Forget about Karan's coffee, we are not even drinking cutting chai at tapris near our hotel. And talk shows, not just Karan's show but we won't appear even on Kiran ji's show on Vividh Bharati.
IBT Reporter: And you, Mr Rahul? At least here say something yourself rather than just listening!
Rahul: No Koffee and no Karan for me also, just filter coffee will do.
IBT Reporter: You have been fined a sum of Rs 20 lakh by the BCCI ombudsman? Is that going to hurt?
Hardik: That is barely equal to one month's expenditure on my hair! Oh, I can manage that, but never again would I give an interview to any Karan. Not Karan Johar, not Karan Thapar, not Karan...oh wait, your name is not Karan, right?
At this moment, the IBT reporter revealed that his name is indeed Karan. At this, the two men ran away with alarming speed and the interview concluded abruptly.
(This is a satirical piece and work of fiction)