Hardik Pandya-KWK Row: Cricket Fraternity Divided on BCCI’s Stand
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul became the first-ever cricketers to appear on director and producer Karan Johar’s chat show ‘Koffee With Karan.’ Unfortunately, the repercussions after achieving this feat, are something they probably had not foreseen.
Pandya's comments on women and his sexuality resulted in major backlash, which was followed by show-cause notices by the BCCI to both him, and Rahul. After both cricketers were given 24 hours to explain, Pandya offered “regrets” in a statement, saying “there was no malice or any sort of ill-intent on my part to offend anyone or portray any section of the society in bad light.”
Not ‘convinced’ with his explanation, CoA Chief Vinod Rai recommended that both cricketers be given a two-ODI ban. His fellow administrator Diana Edulji, however, sought legal opinion about the same.
Meanwhile, the cricketing fraternity was also divided on the issue.
Ayaz Memon: Not BCCI’s Job to Mentor Players for TV Shows
Senior journalist and cricket expert Ayaz Memon said it was not the board’s job to “mentor 25-year-olds for TV shows.”
“Haven’t seen Karan Johar’s show with Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. From all accounts some parts distasteful. BCCI right to issue them show cause notices. Not BCCI’s job to mentor 25-year-olds for TV shows. They must be responsible for themselves. No issues with any grown up living as he/she likes so long as willing to accept consequences of their actions. Banal rationalisations are substitutes for pampering and pandering,” he said in a tweet.
Harsha Bhogle: Wish BCCI Spends Time Sensitising Players
Another expert in the field, commentator Harsh Bhogle was, however, of the opinion that the board should sensitise “these young players about life beyond the dressing room.”
“It is all very well to issue show-cause notices now to KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. But I do wish the BCCI spends time in sensitising these young players to life beyond the dressing room; to getting them outside the bubble that is inevitable given the adulation they get,” he wrote in a tweet.
Snehal Pradhan: Don’t Expect Athletes to be Great Human Beings
Former India cricketer Snehal Pradhan opined that athletes should not be expected to be great human beings, and if they were, it was bonus.
In a tweet she wrote, “Watched the first 10 mins of Koffee With Karan and that left me with no taste for the rest. But it says something that the producers of the show thought nothing about airing Hardik Pandya's misogyny, when it could easily have been cut out. Also a good reminder that we all make the mistake of confusing sporting heroes with heroes. I'm not condoning what Pandya said, but don't expect athletes to be great human beings. If they are, it's a bonus.”
Ratnakar Shetty: Pandya Disgrace to Cricket Community
Senior BCCI official Ratnakar Shetty was extremely critical of Pandya, calling him a “disgrace to the cricket community.”
"It is time the BCCI decides to take corrective steps for cricketers who talk rubbish on public platforms. Hardik Pandya was a disgrace to the cricket community with the way he spoke on Koffee with Karan show. He has insulted women and also made a racist remark,” he wrote in a tweet.
Shekhar Gupta: He Has Apologised, Let Him Be
Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta feels it’s time to move on from the incident since the cricketer had issued an apology.
“Exactly how Indian bureaucratic mind works... Grab any chance to impose restrictions and gift yourselves the power to relax them. Hardik Pandya says stupid things on TV, apologises, BCCI considers banning players from TV shows without “permission,” he wrote in an initial tweet.
Later in response to someone, Gupta wrote, “Pandya is just a young athlete, leveraging his hard work, talent and fame, not a trained diplomat. He said something nutty, was trolled, apologised, so let him be. We’ll curse him if he drops a dolly or gets somebody out on a no-ball in WC Final.”
“For sure his statements were stupid and vulgar. But he was called out, apologised promptly and hopefully learnt a lesson. That’s why in future, we will curse him when he messes up on the cricket field, of course provided he doesn’t again speak crap,” he wrote in response to another Twitter user.