Pandya, Rahul face uncertainty for IPL and beyond as CoA spar over inquiry

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Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul may have to wait for longer than expected as two-member committee is not on the same page on constitution of the inquiry panel that will look into Pandya’s sexist remarks on the Koffee With Karan show.

As things stands, uncertainty looms large on the duo’s return for the Indian Premier League.

Any delay n formation of the inquiry panel to look into the misconduct and indiscipline will have a bearing on their return to the national team as they two have been put under provisional suspension pending the outcome of the inquiry. Pandya and Rahul have since been sent back home from India’s tour of Australia.

The inquiry panel will need a minimum of 15 days to submit their report. That puts the controversial duo out of the remaining two ODIs in Australia and the limited overs series in New Zealand. Shubhman Gill and Vijay Shankar have been confirmed as the replacements.

However, the row between the CoA members – Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji – can potentially cast a doubt on Pandya and Rahul’s timely return for the Indian Premier League. Their return entirely depends on the recommendations of the committee, which has not yet been constituted.

Also Read: Mumbai Indians will not take Pandya’s comments lightly: Harbhajan

National daily Indian Express has reported that Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji have major differences on the constitution of the committee to conduct the inquiry. Rai has reportedly turned down to be the part of the inquiry process which is being recommended by Diana. Rai had recommended an inquiry by the board CEO Rahul Johri, but Diana is not in favour of giving the responsibility to him as it would present “bad optics”.

Diana wants the BCCI office-bearers – acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and officiating treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary – to be the part of the inquiry process. Rai cites the inquiry by anyone other than the CEO will defy the BCCI constitution. He has reportedly referred to Article 41 of the new BCCI constitution, which empowers the CEO to conduct any disciplinary inquiry against players.

“If she (Diana) wants to do it (inquiry), along with the acting secretary (Amitabh Choudhary), she is welcome to do it. I won’t associate. The (BCCI) constitution doesn’t allow it. The CoA has been appointed to implement the new constitution, not to go against it. Legal advices, also, are against that (CoA and office-bearers/secretary conducting the inquiry),” Indian Express has quoted the CoA head as saying. “If the CoA conducts the inquiry, who will we give the report to?”

The prevailing situation creates a logjam in the initiation of the inquiry process. Any delay is certainly not in the best interest of the players

Rai had early handed a two-match suspension to the two players. Diana had then object to Rai’s decision and pressed for the legal opinion in the matter. The BCCI’s legal consultants, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas had subsequently informed the CoA that the two can be suspended provisionally pending inquiry, which needs to be completed within six months.

If the inquiry goes up to the prescribed six-month period, the duo will also miss the ICC World Cup.

Also Read: Kohli not in mood to stand by Pandya, team ready with plan B