Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and batsman Lokesh Rahul were both ordered to donate INR 20 lakh (approximately USD 30,000) to charity by BCCI ombudsman Justice DK Jain for the “sexist, disrespectful and racist” comments they made on a television chat show.
Following their comments on Koffee With Karan in the first week of January, the duo missed five ODIs as they were banned on a provisional basis.
Since the BCCI lacked an ombudsman or ethical officer at the time Pandya and Rahul made the remarks, it was decided that they wouldn’t be suspended until someone was appointed to the position.
When Jain took over as ombudsman, he sent a notice to the duo on April 2, and they subsequently appeared in front of him in person on April 9 and 10.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri also appeared before Jain and explained that missing five matches and not being paid for those games was enough of a punishment.
However, Jain didn’t agree and in his order, he was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as writing: “Taking into consideration all these aspects,” his order read, “in particular that the player has tendered an apology for the incident without seeking to justify his action, has acknowledged his duty to the society and expressed his willingness to hold himself to higher standards expected of him and has missed out five ODIs; in the interest of justice and fair play, in order to purge his collective indiscretion, it would suffice if the player is directed to…”
The order goes on to say that Pandya and Rahul should pay INR 1 lakh apiece to 10 to the “most-deserving” widows of constables of the para-military forces.
It further added that they donate INR 10 lakh each to a blind cricket fund.
“These impressionable young adults try to emulate not only their style of playing but also their conduct and demeanour and therefore, they cannot be unmindful of the impact of their casual and off the cuff remarks,” Jain said.
While appearing on the show, Pandya spoke about his “hook-ups” with women and admitted that he enjoyed observing women in bars and nightclubs.
Pandya also conceded to boasting about the flings he had when talking to his parents.
Rahul, on the other hand, was more reserved about the comments he made.
Both Pandya and Rahul have been picked in India’s World Cup squad.