Hardik Pandya is a star of the Indian ODI team. Picture: Brett Costello
Hardik Pandya is a star of the Indian ODI team. Picture: Brett Costello

Indian stars facing bans over sexism controversy

Inappropriate comments have cast a shadow over India's Test celebrations and ODI preparations, with Virat Kohli making his displeasure clear, as Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul face suspension amid a sexism scandal.

Kohli is yet to hear from India's board whether Pandya, a gun allrounder who is normally an automatic selection in India's one-day team, is free to play Saturday's SCG series opener.

Pandya and Rahul's recent appearance on an Indian talk show, during which the former had detailed how he had bragged to his parents about losing his virginity, has created a storm in their homeland.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is under mounting pressure to take swift action, having issued both players with show-cause notices. Kohli distanced himself and his team from the views that Pandya and Rahul, who was unlikely to play this weekend

regardless, had expressed about women.

"From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don't support," Kohli told reporters.

"The two concerned players felt what has gone wrong and they have understood the magnitude.

"It has to hit anyone hard; they will definitely understand the things that have not gone right.

"These are purely individual opinions ... we definitely, as the Indian cricket team, do not support views like that and that has been communicated." Debate is raging among bigwigs at the BCCI, a conservative institution, about what punishment should be handed down.

A two-match ban appears most likely, although BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has used the example of Steve Smith and David Warner in flagging the prospect of tougher penalties.

Smith and Warner were barred from taking part in last year's Indian Premier League after the Cape Town cheating scandal.

 

India's KL Rahul is the other player caught up in the controversy. Picture: Brett Costello
India's KL Rahul is the other player caught up in the controversy. Picture: Brett Costello

 

There won't be an Indian selection meeting about the SCG clash until their board provides an update.

"You have to adjust with the situation," Kohli said.

"We need to go out there and play cricket. All these external factors are not going to derail our motivation or the preparation for the World Cup." Kohli insisted the saga had not taken the shine off India's maiden Test series win in Australia.

"Definitely not going to dampen anything that we've achieved," he said. Jasprit Bumrah, the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world, who dismantled Australia in the recent Test series, has been rested from the three one-dayers. Swing king Bhuvneshwar Kumar, overlooked throughout the Test series, headlines the list of touring quicks keen to make their mark.

 

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