Suspend, Sensitise, Save From Traps: BCCI Treasurer on ‘KWK’ Issue

Anirudh Chaudhry demands under-fire Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul be “immediately suspended” pending a proper inquiry.

2 min read
File picture of BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.

The ongoing furore over Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul’s comments on Koffee With Karan has elicited another strong response from the Indian cricket board – and the words are scathing, to say the least.

Anirudh Chaudhry, treasurer of the BCCI, has demanded the under-fire duo be “immediately suspended”, while also proposing the entire team and support staff undergo a “sensitisation process”. Chaudhry’s comments come hours after CoA chief Vinod Rai recommended the players be slapped with a two-ODI ban.

Pandya and Rahul have been the subject of controversy – and ridicule, to many – following their appearance on the popular chat show hosted by Bollywood supremo Karan Johar, in an episode which aired on Sunday, 6 January.

The two cricketers, both part of the Indian team for the ongoing tour of Australia, have been issued a show cause notice by the BCCI, with Pandya later apologising for his behaviour.

“The players must be immediately suspended pending a proper inquiry and must be allowed to join the team (if selected) only once they have gone through a proper sensitisation in addition to serving a ban, if imposed upon them.”
Anirudh Chaudhry

Chaudhry’s words came in response to a query sought by CoA member Diana Edulji, who also asked BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary to offer their opinion on the issue.

The BCCI treasurer also appeared to take a dig at the board’s CEO, Rahul Johri, who was cleared of sexual harassment charges last year but advised to undergo gender sensitisation by an inquiry committee.

“In any case the entire team and support staff must go through a sensitisation process. The CEO may join them in the sensitisation as well as recommended by Ms. Veena Gowda, Advocate,” he said.

Appalled by how the players appeared on an entertainment show, which would have been in contravention with earlier BCCI provisions, Chaudhry demanded an investigation into the matter.

“...the provisions of the earlier contracts and the practice in place would have required these contracted players to seek permission to appear on the show. Was such a permission sought? Was such a permission granted? If so, by whom?”
Anirudh Chaudhry

“...I question the situation where the sports journalists are kept at bay while access to the players is given to entertainment shows,” he added, referring to the provision of players needing the Board's approval for routine media interviews.

In his response, Chaudhry also took up bigger-picture issues surrounding Pandya and Rahul’s appearance/comments on KWK, saying the loose talk around women could make both players susceptible to being approached by bookmakers through ‘honey-traps’.

“...the comments such as the ones that have been made would definitely have painted a large, red target on the back of the players for potential recruiters for the organized syndicates who attempt to indulge in match fixing across the globe.”
Anirudh Chaudhry

“The very first caution that the ICC Anti-Corruption officers give in briefing to the players is to beware of situations of honey traps and the comments made on the show make it seem that the players may just be ripe for the plucking,” said Chaudhry.

(With inputs from PTI)

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